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Repair, Refurbish or Recycle: Maximizing Value through IT Lifecycle Management

June 19, 2017

High-tech OEMs want and need to focus on what they do best: making the components and parts needed to keep the world moving at the ever-increasing speed of technology. In their perfect world, if a part or whole unit breaks or wears out, they’d sell you a new one. Their customers, on the other hand, want to extend the life of technologies they’ve purchased for as long as possible to get maximum ROI. These two seemingly opposite goals converge in the service supply chain, which is why it is imperative both sides have a cohesive plan that incorporates IT lifecycle management: depot repair, refurbishing and recycling or disposal.

When to RepairIT Lifecycle Management

At the time of purchase, OEMs and end users alike understand any part or whole unit has an estimated lifespan. For end users, it makes sense to repair something if it’s early in its lifecycle, especially if it’s under a manufacturer’s warranty. If it is, the part can be repaired at little or no cost to the end user.

For the OEM or manufacturer, outsourcing depot repairs and warranty management helps OEMs maximize value and minimize ongoing costs associated with warranty support, especially when they use an authorized vendor such as Flash Global who can do everything under one roof. Flash is authorized by several of the world’s leading OEMs to do in-house repairs ranging from simple cosmetic touch-ups to the most intricate board-level repairs.

Maximizing value for a technology product that is no longer under OEM warranty becomes a bit more involved. In such cases, it’s important to again consider where that part is in its lifecycle, as well as:

  • How much has the part or unit depreciated?
  • What are the failed Components?
  • Is the repair economical?
  • Is there enough demand for the part to warrant repair?
  • Is the replacement part in stock or readily available for purchase?
  • Is there an adequate alternate part available?
  • Does the location of the repair depot make it cost-effective to do repairs?

When to Refurbish

Those same questions apply when considering whether to refurbish a product rather than just outright replacing it. Often people think refurbished means the product lacks the quality of a new purchase. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, refurbishing restores a part or unit to manufacturer standards or better, and it does so at a significant cost savings over purchasing a new replacement product. Refurbishing also helps maximize value in IT lifecycle management by:

  • Extending the life of product, which reduces total cost of ownership and enables companies to either stick to original replacement schedules, or extend them.
  • Extending the warranty on refurbished product beyond the OEM warranty period.
  • Providing greater product reliability, which increases uptime and productivity.
  • Refreshing the product through configuration to order, which can include installing software updates and hardware upgrades (such as larger memory or storage) as repairs are made.
  • Ensures safe, secure data destruction before redeployment, recycling or disposal.
  • Providing a consistent source for service parts sourcing and cost-effective management.

When to Recycle

Despite the best efforts to get every ounce of use out of technology, sooner or later parts or whole units are going to reach their end of useful life. Don’t overlook the opportunities to maximize your value in this last stage of IT lifecycle management.

  • Tear Down.  Some call it “harvesting.” Others say it’s “cannibalization.” The generally accepted term is “whole unit teardown.” Regardless of terminology, there’s value to be gained in reclaiming spare parts from end-of-life product. Not only do these usable components alleviate the need to purchase new repair parts, having them in close proximity in a repair depot increases efficiencies in the repair process. Many OEMs say cannibalize all you want, but don’t use non-OEM parts for repairs that do not meet our quality standards. Using non-OEM or counterfeit parts would lead to an increase in future product failures and thus warranty commitments would go up.
  • Resale.  Reselling used parts can gain some value, but let’s be realistic: The speed with which technology evolves leaves a very small window of opportunity here. After all, who’s going to want or need a 20MG hard drive in this day and age, not to mention your time, cost and hassle-factor of selling parts on the open market (think Ebay and Amazon).
  • Recycle/Disposal.  The final option is recycling and scrapping. This must be done with great care, because all parties lose visibility of the product once it reaches this process. That is why it’s important to use a partner that is R2 certified. Chain of custody regulations could mean if an OEM’s part serial number shows up in a landfill or is used for a terrorist activity, there could be wider ramifications.

Flash Global Specializes in IT Lifecycle Management

Value extends way beyond the initial sale and purchase of IT equipment. If you don’t have the time, resources or commitment to properly manage the IT lifecycle or your technology products, you’re missing out on significant opportunities to maximize value. That’s why it’s important to partner with Flash Global, a company that can efficiently execute IT lifecycle management to help you maximize value through expert repairs, product refurbishments and end-of-life asset disposition. That’s how you win… faster. Get started today.

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