IT Asset Recovery Becomes Essential with Remote Work Teams
It’s no secret that the nature of work for many has changed during the pandemic. As companies across every industry adjusted to challenging conditions with remote or hybrid work solutions, however, it highlighted the need for forward/reverse logistics and enterprise asset management (EAM).
Tracking, locating, assessing and recovering the technology and devices needed to power those remote teams requires substantial IT asset logistics expertise. And it’s a need that is expected to remain front of mind for proactive businesses even after the pandemic subsides. The biggest lessons learned by management and leadership teams over the past two years are that going remote didn’t mean a loss in productivity, and that many employees would prefer to retain some remote or hybrid work flexibility.
The remote work model helped organizations survive (and sometimes even thrive) during the COVID crisis and is set to remain a viable productivity strategy for the workplace moving forward. In fact, 83 percent of workers said they preferred a hybrid work model in a recent study from Accenture.
There’s more proof remote or hybrid work is here to stay. Another survey, conducted by The Harris Poll for Sungard Availability Services, found that over half of employed U.S. adults (57 percent) have been working remotely since the start of the pandemic, and nearly 95 percent would like to keep it that way.
It’s clear that responsible leaders must move beyond the physical location of the office and give employees the resources they need wherever they work. This means realizing a streamlined and efficient process for an EAM plan and IT asset logistics.
IT Goes Out; Reverse Logistics and EAM Bring It Back
Increasingly, the idea of forward and reverse logistics no longer applies solely to products a business sends out to customers. Instead, more and more organizations are finding the need for logistical solutions for their own workforce.
For many employers, forward logistics now also includes issuing devices critical to work—laptops, tablets, phones and assorted components to help employees work efficiently. Likewise, reverse logistics and EAM are needed to retrieve those assets when repairs are required, replacements are issued or an individual’s employment ends.
How do you manage this efficiently in an environment where remote work or hybrid arrangements are increasing? Take this example scenario: A decade ago, when a new employee was hired, they were issued the needed assets and equipment to do their job in a specific site—an office. If there was a repair needed, the in-house IT department handled it. If they left that job for any reason, their assets remained in the building, and IT reclaimed them to redistribute them to the next employee.
That process doesn’t work in a remote/hybrid world. When your remote worker drops a laptop and needs a repair, how do you reclaim it and issue a temporary replacement? When your hybrid employee leaves for a new job, how do you implement IT asset recovery logistics to reclaim company-issued devices?
You need to have a process for tracking devices, as well as a system for retrieval and then redeployment for a new employee. Without it, your organization can quickly lose track of hundreds (if not more) of important and valuable assets and won’t be able to produce an accurate picture of your resources.
Do You Know Where Your Assets Are, and Where They Were?
A proper forward/reverse logistics strategy and implementation is only part of the solution for tracking IT assets. EAM is also essential in creating an accurate and current picture of where your critical devices and other resources are, where they were last, and in projecting their next destination.
Besides helping customers return or exchange purchased products, reverse logistics will help you issue a replacement device and/or repair assets for employees who work remotely. It can also help recoup those assets when employees leave your employment. But, EAM will do more and complement those processes. By actively monitoring asset deployment, you’ll get a clearer picture of where your valuable resources are, and—through chain of custody asset management—where they’ve been.
Often, many organizations find it easier to buy new equipment or invest more into IT assets than keeping track of those assets once purchased across their facilities and workgroups. Between repair operations, logistic partners, remote workers and central hubs, however, you might quickly realize you’ve lost track of substantial assets you thought you had. What then? Invest even more into equipment you yet again can’t account for later?
An ideal forward/reverse logistics and EAM partner will offer more than a facility and dedicated labor to engineer IT asset logistics. More important will be the performance of their asset management platform and its integrations with the systems used to track these devices and assets. In theory, anyone with some warehouse space and available manpower can claim to be a forward/reverse logistics partner. But a dedicated, high-quality EAM partner will have the ability to track thousands of assets and deliver essential information about them through its use of integrated systems and processes.
The right EAM partner will be to tell you not only how many laptops your organization has but where each can be found, who has them and what state they’re in. The availability of accurate, current information will better inform your budget decisions and allocations and is a key differentiator for superior enterprise asset management.
Trust TRG to Handle Your IT Asset Recovery Logistics
Remote/hybrid work is here to stay in some fashion. Proactive organizations are already implementing programs to make it more efficient, seamless, and easy to implement. This is where forward/reverse logistics and EAM add value moving forward. Without the ability to track those deployed assets, you can have a gaping hole in your IT budget and not even realize it.
With facilities across the United States, Canada, and Europe, TRG proves the most comprehensive suite of lifecycle management services — from the warehouse to the boardroom, from deployment to retirement. We strive to Make Technology Simple and help clients accelerate projects, drive application success, and improve employee and customer experiences while maximizing performance by adapting alongside our customers to best support the changing tech landscape.
Connect with TRG today to learn more about how we can engineer forward/reverse logistics and EAM.