Preparing for IT Asset Disposition: A 10-point checklist

August 26, 2016 | Post by Jeff Hickey | 1 Comments
IT Asset Disposition

Organizations will install millions of new IT assets over the next year, with migrations to Windows 10, launches of the next-generation MacBook Pro and iPhone, the moving of corporate headquarters, the opening of new buildings, offices, and more.

That means these enterprises will need to get rid of millions of existing assets — desktops, laptops, smartphones, printers, servers and the like, as well.

If your company is in need of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), there are standard questions you should be ready to answer. These questions are appropriate no matter who the provider is. If you are in the market, consider this your ITAD preparation checklist.

  1. What assets need to be removed? Most providers will collect your traditional assets such as PCs, mobile devices and printers, as well as data center equipment such as servers, storage arrays, routers and switches. You can expect pickup of virtually all physical assets related to IT infrastructure. However, non-IT assets such as racks, storage shelves, household appliances, furniture and other miscellaneous items are typically not collected (and they could add significant costs).
  2. Where must they be picked up? This question is anything but routine when you consider that many organizations need assets collected not only at multiple sites across the United States, but internationally as well. Two-thirds of the cost of ITAD is in moving the equipment. You need someone to help plan the logistics.
  3. Is this an ongoing or one-time service? This is a key question, as service providers need to plan for systematic, regular service (typically, laptops alone are refreshed anywhere from 18 months to three years), or a one-time asset removal. One-time projects often have additional costs and unique requirements to consider. Often, one-time projects are for companies downsizing or closing permanently. 
  4. Are hazardous materials involved? This includes backup power devices with batteries, LED lights, digital signage and more. There is an ecologically sound solution for removing most chemicals. Just make sure to let the provider know about any hazardous materials in advance.
  5. Interested in refurbishing or remarketing assets? Some providers offer clients a chance to get a return on their assets. On average, many providers offer a real return rate of 30-50 percent of the proceeds from the remarketing of used assets to their clients. CompuCom regularly returns 50-70 percent.  These resale proceeds can significantly offset disposal costs and reduce the costs of new investments or of overall disposition programs. Want to extend the life of your used assets? Make sure you’re working with a qualified partner, such as a Registered Microsoft Refurbisher, to help you get the most from your used assets through regular refurbishing and reuse.
  6. Are any of your assets leased? If so, look for lease return management services, including asset tracking, restoration and refurbishing. Prevent unexpected charges of noncompliance by ensuring that leased assets are properly handled, including: 1) managing the timing of when assets come off lease; 2) erasing data from the hard drives; 3) resetting devices to factory settings; and 4) ensuring that all of the requisite paperwork is managed and completed in a timely fashion.
  7. What are your data destruction needs? When disposing of your assets, think about how best to remove the data on those devices. Options vary between wiping hard drives and other data-bearing components securely clean or destroying those assets entirely. Regulatory compliance and prevention of data leakage are critical. But IT assets today store ever-increasing amounts of data, and wiping them clean on-site can become complicated and expensive. As a general rule, I encourage companies to save money by destroying the data-filled assets wherever practical. It’s important to clearly understand your organization’s security mandates and to compare those needs against the technology options available, so you can ensure a cost-effective solution as well as meet the security requirements of your business.
  8. What are your shipping security requirements? Providers generally ship used assets to warehouses and other locations by truck. Many clients want travel plans mapped out in advance, and some even want the trucks tracked via GPS. Also related to this are chain of custody requirements – a documented record of the transfer of assets from owner to shipper to service provider to recycler, and so on.
  9. Are there other back-end requirements? Do you need detailed transaction reports, asset-tagging data or hard drives quarantined? These are just a few common requests. 
  10. Finally, is asset disposition affected by your corporate polices or other parts of your business? Many organizations have policies on the disposal of ecologically sensitive materials, or on donating used assets to charitable organizations rather than reselling for a cash return. Or they may even have other business units or partners interested in used assets. This is important to know and share.        

If you’re part of an organization planning an asset refresh and accompanying removal of your current assets or infrastructure, preparing answers to these questions is helpful to any ITAD service provider. But let us know if you consider this checklist incomplete. What are we missing? Feel free to comment below.

The content and opinions posted on this blog and any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of CompuCom.

  • Jeff Hickey's picture

    Jeff Hickey

    Jeff Hickey is a Supply Chain Program Management Director who is responsible for CompuCom’s IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Services offering at CompuCom.


Hi Jeff, thanks for the post. It was a great high-level view of the disposal stage of the IT Lifecycle, and there were several aspects that you pointed out that I didn't even consider, such as the scope of the detail of the transaction reports, and asset remarketing.

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