Here are 3 changes that helped a global OEM overhaul its electronics recycling management

A global or nationwide network of sites demands a certain level of organization when it comes to electronics recycling. However, it’s not uncommon for large companies to piece the operation together as it grows. While this approach is understandable, you may come to a point where it becomes too difficult to manage electronics recycling.

The question is what to do next? When a leading OEM enlisted us to devise a comprehensive solution to a range of issues that largely stemmed from using too many electronics recyclers across their global network, the goals were manifold — and the impact significant. 

Other organizations can learn from the steps the OEM took to eliminate confusion and disorganization in favor of transparency, accountability, and cohesive procedures. In this post, we’ll briefly touch on three of the changes that we helped the OEM, a provider of home internet connectivity solutions, implement. 

How to manage electronics recycling

First of all, regardless of the size of an organization, a one-size-fits-all approach is rarely appropriate. The purpose and scope of each site tends to vary, and demands a customized solution that takes all variables into account. The solution has to be both simple and hassle-free for the client at site level and robust enough to meet the requirements of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) as well as the security and financial departments. 

Part 1: Eliminate pickup day confusion

A cornerstone of our solution for the OEM was the reorganization of the pickup of retired electronics. While pickup used to be a source of much confusion and redundancy, Global created an intuitive pickup request form tailored around the needs of each site. 

With time in short supply, we know you don’t want to waste valuable minutes on details that are irrelevant to your site. Why answer questions about liftgates or elevators if your site has no loading dock? 

To eliminate such frustrations, you need a form that uses branching logic to filter out questions that do not pertain to the site at hand. The form should also let you identify the types of electronics you will send. This step allows us, your electronics recycler, to help you determine how to safely ship the items and to provide guidance on specifical packaging materials. 

Part 2: Improve flow of communication

The last thing the executive team of a global organization needs is to field phone calls with granular questions about how to manage electronics recycling and pickup. With sites spread across the globe or nation, questions are best handled by those with direct insight into the process and setup of each facility. 

Your electronics recycler should be that expert. Rather than having site managers contact your company’s C-level staff, everyone is better off when the e-recycler’s own experts address questions as they arise. Not only does it remove the burden of communication off the executive team, it also helps the recycler further tailor the process down to the finest detail to ensure the needs of each site are met. 

The result is a robust system that provides clarity on process and roles of responsibility. For the OEM, the change in the flow of communication was a game changer. 

Part 3: Identify and collect relevant metrics

Reporting and data collection can easily turn into a laborious and time-consuming endeavor without the right process in place. In the case of the OEM, reporting was a returning headache. And the issue will likely ring familiar to anyone working with several electronics recyclers, all using different reporting methods. Untangling data to meet the reporting requirements is a hassle you can do without. 

It’s crucial to work with an electronics recycler that helps you identify a set of metrics — for instance, unit count, gross weight, net weight by asset type, serial numbers on certain asset streams, breakdown of recycled assets by waste stream, recycling method — to be gathered during processing. Your electronics recycler should provide reports that are easily translated and include all data points that your departments are required to submit. 

If you, for example, have local special reporting requirements, your e-recycler should share that information in an accessible format, not send you digging for data in a hard-to-decipher report that is not tailored to your business. Site consolidations and site closures require a whole different data set, and, again, your electronics recycler should be able to provide clear guidance on the metrics you will need to share with authorities. 

To sum up

The OEM knew change was needed and took action to better manage electronics recycling across its global network. We discussed part of the step-by-step solution in this post. Other organizations can learn from how the OEM chose to tackle its e-waste management challenges. To learn all the details, please read our case study. 

Read the Case Study
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