If you’re searching for the best ITAD partner for your business, remember the difference between a partner and a vendor. Partners share in the risks and rewards of the relationship with your business, help you succeed with unique, customized programs — and perhaps most importantly… they “walk the talk.”
Searching for an ITAD partner (vs. a vendor) is no simple task. Your company has unique needs, budgets, timelines, and security requirements. Not only must these all be met — there’s also the question of the future. Will they stand with you over the years?
As you’re evaluating your options, here’s 6 key factors you should carefully consider.
#1 – Experience
We live and breathe asset disposition; it’s the core of our business and has been for over 20 years. This was achieved through focusing on the value of a program rather than any single transaction.Some companies can be taken off the rails when ITAD is considered an ancillary service. For us, this isn’t the last step — it’s the most important step.You should ask the companies you’re speaking with:
- What’s their history?
- What are their roots in the industry – did they start as resellers or recyclers, for example?
- Do they treat ITAD as a secondary “add-on” service to their core offerings?
#2 – Corporate StructureChain of custody, environmental stewardship, and overall security are all crucial to a successful ITAD program. Even more so if you’re working with the government, civilian agencies, or a corporate entity with high data security requirements. So, do the corporate structures of the companies you’re evaluating contribute to accomplishing these goals?
- Are you buying a name brand, only to have your ITAD services brokered out to someone else?
- Who is truly accountable for delivering on your program?
- Is the processing company owned by a foreign entity?
#3 – Breadth of Service
Another key factor is breadth of services. For example, let’s consider data destruction. Sipi offers every level of data destruction from shredding, crushing, wiping, degaussing, or even reducing data to molten liquid. We’re proud of the depth and breadth of service we’ve developed over the decades. Ask whether the vendors you are evaluating provide only the basic level of service rather than the full spectrum.
#4 – Flexibility vs. RigidityThis spectrum of services also becomes important down the line in the asset lifecycle. However, some vendors will try to force you into a “box” — don’t let them! Ask yourself:
- Do they default to specific services in the processing chain?
- Does the vendor try to lead you down a pre-determined path instead of a customized program?
- How does it feel to do business with them — is it on your terms, or theirs?
#5 – Environmental and Compliance Commitments
Vendors talk about certifications. Partners live them. We meet under our own roof every morning — as a team — to ensure that we ourselves are fulfilling these standards. It’s not enough for us to simply check it off our list! The bottom line: compliance is simply a minimum requirement for any vendor. But do they live it day-to-day?
#6 – Economic ModelIt’s a transactional world. There are costs involved in virtually any business process. The problem is when the focus is placed on only one component. Some vendors may strongly promote a high fair market value or low processing fees. But how do those factors fit into the other pieces of the final settlement? Some vendors will only propose to buy your assets, removing your compliance needs or visibility into their processes.A true partner, however, will look at the final results. Limiting your company to only the options with the lowest freight cost, for example — may then prohibit the achievement of maximum recovered value.
A vendor is defined as “a person or company offering something for sale,” whereas partners are defined as “a person or company who takes part in an undertaking with others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits.” Selecting an IT asset disposition partner who will walk that path with you – as well as share in the risks and rewards of the relationship — is no easy task!
We hope to give you an effective head start to your journey with these 6 elements; these will help guide you towards a partner who will be flexible, accountable, and committed to delivering maximum value for your business.