Technology companies want to do the right thing, but often, the right thing threatens to put them out of business. You can see this with the Right to Repair act. Lobbying to give consumers the right to repair their technology offers three main ways for businesses to save. And we think these are worth looking at.
Buy our products and don’t ever come back
The reason things are created with designed obsolescence is because it’s a great profit-maker. Having the consumer need products again and again is a great way for manufacturers to make money. So, when they see customers repairing their devices, instead of buying new ones, they tend to get nervous.
For this reason, computer companies are attempting to limit the access that their customers have to viable DIY improvements. In fact, there are some practices from manufacturers where they slip a recycle clause into their contracts with consumers. This method of forcing customers to shred or disposition perfectly good IT assets is a direct attack on customer’s rights.
But what can be a loss to manufacturers (which it isn’t, really) can be a huge boost to your business. By repairing and refurbishing your slightly dated or damaged IT assets, you can triple the value of your IT Asset Management (ITAM) program.
How to get three times the value out of repairs
When you refurbish an electronic device, you gain an appreciation for the true value of things. It can be easy to think that our devices are less worthy of our attention while we’re being bombarded by ads and articles touting the latest and greatest devices. But—and this is more than just a tagline—your gadgets truly do have more to give. And by repairing your devices, you can directly impact your business's IT finance:
Value 1: sustainability
Refurbishment keeps that device of yours out of the waste stream for another few years. That means that not only are you not adding to the horrible stain growing across the globe, but you are actually spreading the environmental damage that’s already been done in getting that device to you in the first place over a greater length of time.
The cost, both financially and environmentally, to manufacture electronic devices is significant. From mining minerals from conflict areas and working with elements that really ought to be left buried, to fabrication, shipping, and packaging costs, your laptop has impacted the environment before you even opened the package.
That damage is done, of course, but by refurbishing and repairing your devices, you can amortize that damage longer. Not to mention, you aren’t buying another device that’s doing that same damage all over again.
Value 2: cost of goods
In our experience, good refurbished technology is often 30 to 50% more valuable than the new device that’s replacing it. That means, the refurbished tablet or laptop can sell for more than the price of the devices that often replace those older models. By refurbishing and reselling retired IT assets, you could offset the cost of the upgrades.
Sadly, however, many companies use ITAM partners who shred or recycle the devices they receive. The biggest reason for this behavior is cybersecurity, but we’ve found that using erasure software that adheres to the NIST 800-88 guidelines for media sanitization guarantees 100% data erasure, thereby eliminating any data security concern.
And, many times, the things to refurbish are so insignificant that it seems foolish not to do it. Exchanging a battery, for instance, or cleaning the hard drive and reinstalling newer operating systems are all things that the average person can do. But those things can add an additional two to five years to the average laptop.
Value 3: costs saved
Of course, the most obvious reason to refurbish is in not having to buy new equipment. This may seem obvious, but it can be hard to ignore the sleek packaging and tantalizing widgets Silicon Valley keeps feeding us. Chalk it up to brain reprogramming or the spiritual experience of purchasing IT assets, but the fact remains: we love new devices.
If you can stave off that insatiable need to upgrade for even just one more year, your business can invest in its people and internal processes with more vigor. Many businesses often use new devices and software as a crutch to get them over problem areas in the company that might get worse if not directly addressed.
These are three good reasons to see the value of ALL your IT assets before your next upgrade. There are more things to consider, of course, but we hope this gives you pause the next time you’re convinced a new suite of devices is the answer to your problems.