In case you are unfamiliar with the notion of reverse logistics, let us take a moment and define the idea. In short, reverse logistic is the reuse and redeployment of products and materials within your current environment. Traditional or “forward” logistics involves the flow of products from factory to consumer, whereas reverse logistics involves the opposite transition. The main objective is to maximize your capital investment while maintaining environmental initiatives.
Typically, reverse logistics implements various processes including repair, warranty recovery, refurbishment, hardware/software upgrades, redeployment and recycling. Some questions that companies need to ask themselves when implementing a true reverse logistics initiative include:
- Do I have the tools in place to effectively manage logistics of all of my assets nationally and globally?
- Is their sufficient visibility within my current infrastructure, including spares, to efficiently manage the life-cycle?
- Is my hardware end-of-life or end-of-service?
- What value can I recoup from my assets by either re-allocating them in future IT implementations or selling for full-market value?
- What are current regulations and best practices for recycling and destruction?
- What is my data destruction plan in order to maintain information security?
One of the main goals of reverse logistics is for companies that are ready to move on from current IT hardware implementation to maximize asset recovery rates and supply chain efficiency to reduce overhead related to IT hardware costs. More recently, businesses have been increasingly using reverse logistics methods to achieve sustainability goals. More businesses are integrating refurbished and recycled IT hardware into their operational infrastructure.
More often, companies are now enlisting businesses that manage the disposing of IT hardware that cannot be refurbished, repaired, or recycled due to reaching the end of its life cycle. When it comes to the disposal and recovery efforts involving redeployed or end of life IT hardware components, utilizing a sustainable approach can deliver an advantageous return on investment – not merely relegated to financial accountability, but also within the context of social responsibility, as well as customer satisfaction throughout the life of the product.
Reverse logistics is practically mandatory for hi-tech companies, as constant innovation and continuous upgrades are accelerating lifecycles for IT hardware. Due to this shortening of IT product lifecycles, the pressure is on technology businesses to install reverse logistics to responsibly manage the redeployment of technology assets within their current infrastructure.
In addition, implementing a strategy utilizing reverse logistics in order to reuse, refurbish, and recycle IT hardware can deliver a significant return on investment in several ways. To learn how reverse logistics can help you recover value from current investments while minimizing your environmental impact, contact MDSi, and a representative will be happy to assist you.