Top 10 Most Common ITAD RFP Requests (and the one everyone leaves out)

Aaron Cramer

Thinking about an ITAD RFP?  Whether it’s because you really need a change or want to make a difference, or just want to see what’s out there, or to keep Sr. Management off your back?  No matter the reason, the whole exercise is daunting.  It’s not only a ton of work, but it’s also the lack of industry clarity around what you’ll really end up with once the marketing stops.  As a former IT Asset Disposition practitioner for a Fortune 10 company, I know this all too well.  But now I know that times are rapidly changing, and clarity is finally upon us.

Luckily, most of the ITAD industry is commoditized, meaning ITAD providers are all executing the same services at a comparable price and although the amount of work is significant, this fact benefits consumers, , when considering taking the service out to bid. These top 10 ITAD RFP requests are common and typically are easily comparable between providers, not discounting, of course, the amount of work in interpreting the responses putting it all together.  To minimize the work, ensure responses are provided solely in the format YOU want.  

Here are the Top 10 most common items requested within an RFP issued to an ITAD provider:

1. Data security processes

Data security & eradication is always priority #1

2. Data management processes

Ensure the provider has the data attribute and exchange capabilities you require to be successful.

3. Chain of custody processes

Internal chain-of-custody practices at any organization should extend throughout the ITAD portion of the lifecycle to ensure security

4. Portals & engagement process

Portal should provide for an easy consumer experience with all relevant data

5. Logistics & Logistics Pricing

Don’t be fooled by “lower pricing” associated with an insourced fleet of trucks – you’re paying for it elsewhere.  Look at the whole package.

6. Services & Service Pricing

Although there’s a lot of sub-categories, services performed in the industry are almost identical; be aware “gotcha” wording

7. Remarketing Revenue Split

Always push for more

8. Average Sale Price

Be careful interpreting  this as it should never be considered on its own as a stand-alone metric. Take answers with a grain of salt.  A high ASP can have two completely different meanings – and one of them isn’t good.

9. Reference checks

Like a reference you may use in an interview process; don’t have high expectations of voluntary critical feedback; be sure to come armed with questions to ask to test process, control and reliability quality.

10. SLAs

Many industry SLAs are outdated; concentrate on the ones that really matter for your organization.

Although it takes work and must be done, the comparison between providers for these requests in an RFP should be a straightforward exercise and can be even more manageable if you delegate the right pieces to internal owners.  They are all meaningful and important and you’ll need to confirm which answers best meet your requirements.   This is all in the easy category of evaluating providers in an RFP.  Now the harder part and the request every IT asset manager should ask all RFP participants to provide:

What is your average Reusable Yield? IE, how do you measure your true impact and performance?

With Data Security being the #1 priority, the next two – in any order – are financial and environmental return on your IT asset portfolio.  The reason why RFP evaluations are so difficult is that we’re always looking to put a box around this and there is (or has been) no means to do so.  The industry has trained us practitioners to think about and live with “half-truths” and partial information to make decisions  – and we get stuck on things like Remarketing Revenue and Average Sale Price and lots of Kg in our environmental benefits– which by themselves are meaningless from a measurement perspective (but they sure do keep us busy).  As mentioned, comparing costs between providers is straightforward, but what about the benefit side of the equation?

What we’re really talking about is sustainability. And the measurement?  Reusable Yield.  

Reusable Yield is the ratio of ITAD Reuse to Total ITAD Received.  As funny as it sounds, ITAD recycling is bad.  The more that’s reused (sold, redeployed, donated, etc), the more financial and environmental benefit is provided.  In other words, the more sustainable a provider really is, the more financial and environmental benefit is provided back to you and your organization!

Historically the industry has lacked a measurement for sustainability, and we’ve had to just live with the results our provider gives us.  And while all the marketing in the industry talks about sustainability and how sustainable providers are, there’s been no way to measure it and prove it – to prove they are true to their missions and their marketing…until now!  

In your RFP, make the candidates put Reusable Yield in writing.  Let them show you, by asset type, what their average Reusable Yield has been for projects similar in scope to yours for the last three years.  Don’t let them give you a number only for desktops and laptops, (that’s the easy stuff) but for everything – all serialized asset categories.  And since this is within an RFP and you hold the cards, you may as well ask them for the Average Sale Price for each while you’re at it.  Note: Always beware of greenwashing!

Do they optimize Reusable Yield and even have a standard way of calculating it?  Consider it a red flag if they can’t get it or provide an excuse.  All things being equal, the higher the Reusable Yield, the lower your financial & environmental footprint – and the better the reflection of that provider’s true mission and validation of their marketing.

About the author:
Aaron Cramer

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