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The Role of Big Data in ITAD and Reverse Logistics

Big data, ITAD, reverse logistics
August 16, 2018

 

Although still relatively new in its application, big data is changing the way ITAD providers do business. Using big data and cloud-based technologies, modern ITAD providers are able to develop much more efficient reverse logistics, streamlining the process of getting your used data center assets to market and significantly improving value recovery.  

Here are three ways big data is helping ITAD providers achieve maximum value recovery:

1. Big data provides ITAD providers with visibility into every step of the reverse supply chain.

There is tremendous value in knowing where every asset is physically located. It is equally important to know what stage of the reselling or recycling process each piece of equipment is currently in and will be entering next. Efficient management of reverse logistics directly impacts the resale value of used data center equipment. If the equipment lingers in one stage of the process for too long, or it is in the wrong physical location, it may cause a delay in bringing the asset to market. And that reduces its value.

2. Big data allows ITAD providers to respond to the ever-changing market.

Several market forces determine the global demand for used data center equipment. Over time, big data can help ITAD providers better predict market demand and review trends regarding equipment that is selling well, what is not selling well, what is holding onto its value and what is losing market value. Certain used IT assets can be sold to a secondary market in the United States or Europe. As these assets age, their value decreases in these markets but still retain significant value in emerging markets. Understanding the tipping point helps ensure maximum value recovery. 

3. Big data allows ITAD providers to improve distribution channels.

Today’s technology allows ITAD providers to see exactly how each asset progresses through every step of the reverse supply chain. Sophisticated systems enable ITAD providers to also look across the network of their trading partners, providing an even more detailed picture of their distribution channels. These observations help identify inefficiencies, which, once addressed, improve the flow of assets through the distribution channels and onto the global market, where they can secure the highest possible return.

A recent article in Supply Chain Quarterly noted that profitability was the most significant benefit to companies using big data analytics. Your ITAD partner should be analyzing all available data — including currency exchange rates — to respond to market demand and achieve maximum value recovery. In addition to knowing how to use big data effectively, your ITAD partner needs to be an expert in reverse logistics so they can help you determine the most cost-effective and resource-efficient way to dispose of your used IT assets.
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