Edition 113, April 2021

ITAD Providers Become Total Solutions Providers

By John Yeider, Re-Teck

Several market factors are the driving force behind the recent surge in IT Asset Disposition. The lifespan of electronics has been dramatically reduced by a technology-dependent culture causing a surge of electronics into take-back and recycling programs. Additionally, increased regulations and privacy laws have caused governments, municipalities, and businesses to rethink IT disposal and establish protocols and departments responsible for electronic waste disposal. These potential clients are seeking trusted partners that are able to not only recycle and refurbish end of lifecycle products but also securely manage the erasure and destruction of sensitive data.

The rise in demand for electronic recycling has caused many new businesses to enter the market. Key distinguishing factors among providers are asset management protocols and certifications. With an increase in companies offering ITAD services, providers in the industry are responsible for educating clients on the importance of these protocols and proper disposal techniques.

Data Security

The costly implications of data breaches have caused many businesses to reevaluate their IT asset disposal process. The final stage of any IT asset life cycle requires secure and responsible disposal to ensure that sensitive client or business data is completely destroyed.

Concerns about data security have caused many clients to seek providers with clearly defined protocols and reporting that tracks the client’s product through the ITAD and recycling process. Re-Teck, a member of the Li Tong Group and a global leader in Reverse Supply Chain Management Solutions, utilizes Leader Data, a proprietary data sanitization software developed by the Li Tong Group combined with a four-step process to protect intellectual property. First, electronic components are transported with serial locks and GPS tracking. The product then undergoes the degaussing process followed by a data wipe with the exclusive Leader Data software. Finally, the product undergoes physical destruction of the memory containing chips and drives through shredding or milling into a powder form for raw material recovery.

While most data sanitization software in the market can only erase data for HDDs and servers, Leader Data is capable of providing data destruction for SSD which can work with all SSD storage via SAS, SATA, M2 and MSATA interface. They have also developed a proprietary data wipe software for mobile devices, MDW, to ensure 100% personal data security of all functional mobile devices. Compatible with iOS, Android and Blackberry devices, MDW is capable of simultaneously erasing up to 30 devices at a speed of 25Mb/second. A certificate of data sanitization for each device is then provided to confirm the data was permanently removed from that device.

“It is imperative as ITAD providers that we are able to report to our clients where their products are at any step in the process as well as where various components are distributed for recycling and reuse,” stated John Yeider, EVP and COO for Re-Teck. “Data, whether private or corporate, is valuable. At Re-Teck, we take our responsibility as customer data stewards very seriously, which is why we have created practices to ensure credibility and transparency. For over 21 years, we have been at the forefront of receiving and maintaining the highest levels of certifications and adhering to global standards in 26 facilities across 4 continents and 20+ countries.”

Certification and Reporting

While certifications can be costly and time consuming, their importance to maintain industry integrity is key. Certifications offer clients a component with which to compare and contrast competing providers and ensure them providers are adhering to the highest level of industry standards.

An article in Recycling Today highlighted four areas important to research when choosing an ITAD partner 1.Certification was top priority followed by competitive bidding, compliance and proper disposal.

Clients today are used to real time data and offering them the ability to track their products creates accountability through transparency and traceability.

Marketing ITAD Solutions

Opportunities exist to expand the circular economy as ITAD providers build relationships with governments, municipalities, and businesses who are becoming environmentally aware and are adhering to new regulations involving e-waste. One area of growth is the 5G build-out expanding across countries. Many ITAD providers are partnering with wireless carriers to repurpose and recycle antiquated servers, towers, and phones. In 2020, the world experienced the transformation of the workplace landscape following the COVID-19 pandemic that has many large businesses, universities, and data centers realizing the potential value in unused electronic equipment occupying empty offices. Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, there may be businesses in need of data destruction services after a business closure or downsizing.

ITAD providers are entering new terrain where previously they were sought out by progressive clients. Now, the crowded marketplace requires providers to market their services and the competitive advantages they offer. Mr. Yeider explained how they are proactively forging relationships with wireless carriers, universities, data centers, financial and healthcare institutions, and multinational corporations to consult with and advise them in reaching their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives while also retaining more value from their IT investments.

Awareness Through Education

As the lifecycle of electronics continues to diminish, Re-Teck has learned the value of education in creating awareness about the environmental impact of improper e-waste disposal. Not only do they advocate awareness and education through B2B channels, but most recently, they have partnered with a local community college to create an educational app that will provide learning opportunities for a younger demographic teaching them the importance of properly recycling electronic waste.

The creation of a digital character, Detective E. Waste, is a tool that can be used in schools and homes to educate the next generation of technology users about the possibilities that exist within their technological devices. Understanding that although certain components of the device may no longer work, other parts such as cameras can be dismantled and used in other devices.

Future of ITAD

As ITAD providers look to the future and the exponential growth of IOT, there is an incredible opportunity to offer dependable asset management solutions. Clients are seeking partners that prioritize client security and provide added value by being cost-effective solutions providers and not just material managers. Having a trustworthy data destruction partner that offers full and secure data sanitization is crucial to prevent data leaks and security breaches that are occurring too frequently within the marketplace.

The regulation arena will continue to grow in complexity as more national and local governments establish disposal regulations for IT assets. ITAD providers should be prepared to assist clients in navigating this area of the ITAD process through proactively engaging and educating them on the issues.

Finally, as ITAD providers, it is imperative that we educate IT asset managers about the potential value of their assets and the importance of proper disposal to ensure a sustainable future for the generations to come. Now is a great time to evaluate your companies IT asset disposition plans and policies and then consider the benefits of utilizing a qualified third-party provider.

1. Data Breaches and ITAD. Recycling Today. Aug. 20, 2019. https://www.recyclingtoday.com/article/data-breaches-and-itad/

John Yeider
After 21 years serving in various program management positions at Apple, John Yeider took the position as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Re-Teck. With experience in operations, sales, finance, relationship management and marketing both domestically and internationally, John is an accomplished visionary leader. An in-depth knowledge of the ITAD landscape and operations processes combined with a continual problem-solving mentality enables him to bring new solutions to any project. www.re-teck.com