3 Ways Reverse Logistics in Telecom Expense Management Supports Sustainability Goals

10 November 2022 | Posted by Don Kiernan

The rapid growth of enterprise telecoms technology is generating a constant surplus of obsolete equipment. Many businesses keep up with the rate of innovation, but at the cost of waste. Effective management of end-of-lifecycle processes creates an opportunity for businesses to further their green sustainability goals.

What is Reverse Logistics in Telecom Expense Management?

Reverse logistics is supply chain in reverse. It’s the process of moving devices from the end-user to capture value or ensure proper disposal. In telecom expense management (TEM), reverse logistics is part of sourcing and logistics management. It involves taking laptops and mobile devices from staff and refurbishing or recycling them.

Inefficient Reverse Logistics has a Cost on the Environment

  • 4 billion lbs of waste
  • 2 billion gallons of diesel fuel
  • 12 million metric tons of CO2 from transportation

Optoro, Inc.

How Telecom Expense Management Improves Your Sustainability Strategy

Growing environmental concerns and the advancement of green supply chain management concepts mean that reverse logistics is more relevant than ever. As well as being a central part of telecoms cost optimization, reverse logistics offers three key opportunities to further your green business agenda.

  1. Recycling & Refurbishing
  2. Inventory Management
  3. Logistics

1. Recycling & Refurbishing

Recycling on-site or in the office is simple. But when you’re managing the tech for sales teams in the field and remote workers all over the world, things get complicated. If you need to retire devices because they're obsolete, your needs have changed, or a regional office is closing, your TEM partner will manage their ethical and secure disposal.

For every one million cell phones recycled, it’s possible to recover 75lbs of gold, 772lbs of silver, 33lbs of palladium, and 35,274lbs of copper. Cell phones also contain tin, zinc, and platinum that can be reused, making them a substantial commodity.

Refurbishing and reusing devices elsewhere in your business also offers great benefits when done strategically. Not only do these devices save you the capital expense of new devices, well-refurbished devices perform just as well as new tech.

Google has been refurbishing its technology since 2015. They saved over $1 billion in operation costs, purely based on energy efficiency. They state: “Once components are in inventory, there is no distinction made between refurbished and new inventory, both are considered equivalent.”

In short, there is no disadvantage to refurbishing your devices and reusing them elsewhere.

Download The Complete Guide to Telecom Expense Management. Get a summary of TEM  in the 21st century.

2. Inventory Management

Inventory management plays an important role in optimizing costs and reducing the carbon footprint of your processes by increasing efficiency. Replacing labor-intensive manual data entry with automated TEM management reduces overheads, and saves time, which can have an effect on your carbon footprint.

By monitoring devices over the course of their lifetime, you can optimize repairs and renewals management. Data coming from product sensors, such as transit time or records of energy use, give you the data you need to optimize the lifecycle of employee devices.

Effective inventory management gives you a clearer view of what devices you have and how best to deploy them. This will greatly improve your recycling and refurbishing activities.

3. Logistics

You can optimize any logistics operation. Smart-routing and eco-friendly transport modes allow you to reduce the carbon footprint of this notoriously consumptive activity.

However, it’s important to keep goals realistic. It's a well-known fact that ocean freight and air freight are among those most responsible for the high logistics carbon footprint. Transportation via road, while certainly better than the air and ocean, is far from good either.

This is simply the reality for global enterprises. Some transportation is unavoidable so we recommend looking for other ways to offset the carbon cost in other areas of your business.

Reverse Logistics From Cass Supports Telecom Equipment Recycling

It couldn’t be easier to retire or replace a technology device with Cass. We take care of safe device recycling or refurbishment and manage the retrieval of all devices from employees. We audit and store your old telecom equipment to recover value for you. If you need to retire a device, data is destroyed, and devices are sanitized to governmental standards as set in NIST SP 800-88 guidelines.

We offer flexible IT asset disposition solutions for all managed mobility service needs while ensuring your brand is fully protected. Reverse logistics is a critical part of device lifecycle management. Not only does it help optimize spend and reduce costs, but it’s also instrumental in fulfilling business sustainability goals.

Download the complete guide to telecom expense management

Topics: TEM

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