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Minimizing IT Asset Disposition costs

One of the biggest concerns with IT Asset Disposition programs is the cost. So how much does it cost to outsource ITAD services to a professional ITAD firm? For Cascade the cost is dependent on what value added services you select (such as on-site data destruction, 3-pass wipes, Computrace removal, etc.) and whether these costs can be offset by revenues generated from the resale of equipment

While your disposal policy should dictate your security and environmental processing requirements, there are steps every organization can take to reduce its disposition costs or turn this process into a revenue generator.

Cascade calculates the net cost of our services to customers by subtracting out any rebates paid from the resale of reusable equipment from all service costs related to the disposition of those items. Costs may include transportation and secure freight; on-site deinstallation of data centers; media destruction; inventory reporting, tracking and disposition reporting; NIST 800-88 data wiping; e-Stewards compliant recycling; and donation management. We then normalize these net costs into a cost per asset and cost per pound to track trends for our customers from one year to the next.

Overall, the average net cost to process an asset in 2015 was $6.33 or $0.38/pound. In 2014, the average net cost was $8.38 or $0.59/lb. These costs may vary widely for clients and are dependent on a number of factors, as described below.

Reducing net costs by increasing resale opportunities

We find that customers have the greatest impact on reducing costs by working in partnership with Cascade to maximize resale revenue from their retired assets. Here are some best practices:

  • Refresh assets on a consistent basis (and more frequently). Assets depreciate at an average rate of 3.5% per month, so the longer you hold onto them, the less they are worth on the resale market;
  • Maintain equipment in good condition - these are assets that have value, not waste that is a liability to dispose. Don't throw them around when they are no longer needed. Take proper care of them in order to maximize resale potential;
  • Keep accessories together - when you are retiring assets, keep the accessories together and dispose of them at the same time. An a/c adapter to a laptop is worth $15 - $25 more. If we don't have that adapter when the item is sold, you lose money; and,
  • Remove locks and passwords from devices - while it is a good idea to secure your assets, if Cascade can't remove these controls (BIOS passwords, Computrace activated agents, etc.), then the items can't be resold. Cascade can work with you to ensure the controls are safely removed from the device only after all sensitive data is wiped, thereby protecting you and increasing the resale value of your equipment.

Reducing net cost through cost containment strategies

Cascade has been able to help customers reduce unnecessary costs by ensuring the solutions we provide to them are in alignment with their asset disposition policy and business rules. We also work with customers to analyze these business rules to ensure they are consistent with existing technological solutions and security/regulatory standards and requirements. Here are some ways we've helped clients reduce their costs:

  • Don't over-sanitize: The Department of Defense 3 pass wipe standard has been obsolete since 2007 and has since been replaced by the NIST 800-88 Media Sanitization Guidelines which specify a 1-pass overwrite with verification on most magnetic hard drives. A three pass wipe takes three times longer to perform and costs more. There's no reason to follow this old standard;
  • Avoid doubling up on work: If you remove hard drives from laptops, computers and servers before you send them to Cascade, then you are paying Cascade twice to process the same equipment and costing yourself time and resources to pull the drives. Keep it simple and more secure by leaving drives in your equipment;
  • Don't be in a rush: Cascade can accommodate most pick-up requests within 2 weeks (pickups outside the Midwest may take longer to fulfill). The more advance planning you put into big refresh projects or cleanouts, the lower your pickup costs and less headaches for you;
  • Don't forget your internal cost savings: By working with a trusted contractor like Cascade, you can focus on more value-added projects at your organization. We take care of your security and environmental compliance requirements when it comes to IT Asset Disposition;
  • Save money on your existing assets and software licenses: One Cascade client said that by actively managing his IT Asset Disposition program with Cascade, he was able to identify and repurpose about $500,000 in software licenses that came off of the disposed assets. That was a 4:1 ROI on his asset disposal costs. See how a coordinated asset disposition program can save you IT Asset Management program costs.