Companies grow. Information needs expand, hardware becomes obsolete or less productive, and the renewal cycle for new electronics and computer equipment gets shorter. As new IT equipment comes onboard, management is continually challenged with finding ways to retire old hardware best safely and economically.
Managing IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is becoming a critical worldwide industry. In 2018, for example, ITAD vendors oversaw the safe disposal or remarketing of 500 million metric tons of used IT equipment, according to a United Nations report.
The reasons for creating a plan for change may be that you:
- Believe your current ITAD vendor service is inferior or has become unresponsive.
- Learn that your current ITAD vendor is ceasing operations.
- Wish to be ready if you need to make a change in the future.
Here are some guidelines for managing the process of changing ITAD vendors.
Having a Transition Plan is Critical
If you are planning to change ITAD vendors, certain steps will facilitate the process to ensure your records are secure, the change is seamless, and minimize confusion, and help you get a fair return on your IT assets.
Closing Out Current ITAD Vendors
- Keep an accurate record of all your company’s IT assets. The information should include all computers, mobile phones, and accessories, as well as drives and other equipment that contain your company’s data. Know the who, where, what, and when of every component.
- Record all recent Data Destruction and Asset Disposition details with your current ITAD vendors.
- Communicate with all essential stakeholders within your organization to assure them that assets and information will be safer following the changeover of ITAD vendors.
- Review any existing contracts for any early termination issues that must be addressed.
Preparation for Choosing New ITAD Vendors
As you begin to look for a new ITAD vendor, you should carefully organize your pending ITAD needs. The new vendor will need to know:
- How many assets will need to be managed?
- What types of equipment will be handled?
- How many drives will need to be sanitized or destroyed onsite?
Where are all the assets located?
- When will the new ITAD vendor need to start?
- What is your average asset volume?
- Will the be any special needs or handling required?
Having this information in advance gives candidate ITAD vendors a clear picture of how to present their quotation.
Selecting New ITAD Vendors
When vetting new ITAD vendors, you must be sure you are not going from bad to worse. Do not jump for “specials” and price breaks unless they make sense. Also, be sure to check references and related outside industry resources to determine reliability, past performance, and reputation. During the interview, ask specific, in-depth questions to assess how the vendor has handled similar circumstances.
Vet the prospective ITAD vendors carefully. The first step is the make sure they have the proper certifications which may include Ban e-Stewards Certified Recycler, NAID (National Association of Information Destruction) Certification, or Microsoft Registered Refurbisher
Most important, examine how the prospective ITAD vendor will handle the issues in which the current one is underperforming. It would be best if you considered creating a test case project to determine the company’s professional approach and timeliness. A multifaceted test case can determine any ITAD vendor’s organizational aptitude and identify weaknesses.
Finally, make sure you establish mutual expectations, eliminate performance gaps, and create mutually acceptable success measurements.
Transitioning New ITAD Vendors
Create a process document that outlines the objectives, projects, success measures, and description of the optimal outcome.
With large projects, particularly ones that span considerable territory, you should consider creating an internal team to oversee the effectiveness of the new company. Key personnel, notably IT experts, can take responsibility and champion the change.
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