Lessons from Arrow’s Closure of IT Asset Disposition Business

Posted by Frank Milia

Jul 22, 2019 6:30:27 PM

 

Last week Arrow Electronics Inc. announced that it would be shutting the doors on its IT asset disposition service business leaving the industry dumbfounded and thousands of customers concerned with how to proceed with their day to day disposal requirements.   

Although Arrow has claimed the USA operations will remain active until end of the year, we have received several reports from Arrow’s customers that they will no longer receive disposed of assets shortly after this month. 

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If you are a current customer of Arrow or otherwise depend on a single service provider for your global asset disposition services there are some lessons to take away from this as you look to source your next provider. 

 

The Largest vendors don’t necessarily offer more stability or security

Many businesses signed on with Arrow because they liked the security of working with a fellow Fortune 500 company.  Arrow actively sold these businesses a narrative that they were a more stable option than the smaller boutique providers since they had the capital and infrastructure necessary of supporting the largest customers.  Ironically in the end Arrow’s decision to end the ITAD service line is at least partly because they are such a large public company and had the need to cut out expenses from a small business unit to avoid having to repeatedly publish poor earnings reports. 

I do not agree with Arrow’s claim that they are leaving the ITAD space because it is not a sustainable business model.  There are plenty of healthy and capable ITAD providers that offer this service has their exclusive business model.  For instance, my firm IT Asset Management Group has been operating in the space for almost 20 years and we forecast continued year over year growth. 

It is important to at least consider setting up a multi-vendor option for disposition and data destruction services.

As an IT asset disposition provider I’m happy to hear our customers want us as a single provider for their disposal and data destruction needs.  However, I suggest to all of the largest customers, especially those with a significant global foot print, to consider having multiple vendors to properly cover their needs. 

Arrow is dropping out with very little notice and many customers are concerned about establishing new vendors under deadlines that large organizations worry they will struggle to meet.  By vetting and properly contracting multiple vendors to cover your disposition and disposal needs you will protect your company from your vendor leaving the market or otherwise under performing to a degree that would require a switch in providers. 

Over the years we have worked with many customers that have a huge footprint in the USA and want us to cover their much smaller footprint globally.  The most successful of these customers have leveraged our company to receive lower cost services and more competitive asset recovery value returns on their larger sites in the USA and relied on a network of regional partners to cover their smaller global offices.  For many of our clients we do also manage the international disposal network via our own substantial team of capable partners.   

The customers that have been able to remain more flexible with their approach, not only financially perform better, but are also better setup with redundancies and have avoided the stress that so many others are feeling from Arrow’s sudden announcement to quit ITAD. 

 

 

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, IT End of Life Strategy, Management Tips, IT Asset Disposal NY, IT Liquidation

5 Lessons CIOs Can Learn from Star Trek: The Next Generation

Posted by Frank Milia

May 12, 2014 10:22:00 PM

Avid Star Trek fans and casual viewers alike probably agree that the show’s success is thanks to the moral and philosophical narratives that overshadow the fun science fiction, campy action, and special effects of the series.

IT Asset DispositionThe above image is from NASA.GOV. ITAMG is not affiliated with NASA and our use of this image does not imply NASA approves of this content or in any way endorses or utilizes our IT asset disposal services.  

Recently I began to notice there were many managerial lessons to take away from the crew of the Starship Enterprise. In tough leadership dilemmas I even find myself asking the question- what would Captain Picard do? That is other than ordering up a tea, Earl Grey, hot. I’m more of a coffee drinker.

The following are 5 Tips from the TNG leadership that could improve any CIO or executive management team.  

1. Hire a “Chief of Security”, like Worf, and prioritize the security of your network, data, and fixed assets from attack by insiders, competitors, and criminals. In a recent PwC study “The Global State of Information Security Survey 2014” 18% of the companies surveyed felt their greatest obstacle to improving information security was due to a lack of experience and leadership from a CISO / CSO. Take a lesson from Picard and put an experienced security professional in charge of developing and implementing your security strategies. Worf always put security measures ahead of any other goal and you need a dedicated resource to do the same for your firm.

2. He may not be a beloved character but there is a lesson to be learned from the accelerated promotion of young Ensign Wesley Crusher. There is no place in or outside of the workplace for age, racial, gender, or any other type of discrimination. It is important to invest in all available talent through continuing education as well as to promote inside staff whenever possible. Furthermore young energy and fresh perspective can create an exciting and creative approach to problem solving. There are also programs like All Star Code that can help your organization cultivate new technology candidates in communities that are currently under represented in the field. Well before attending the Academy Wesley Crusher proved himself as an unrivaled problem solver and a key member of the Enterprise’s success.  

3. Follow the “Prime Directive” and do not abuse or over extend the power of your technological advancement. The culture of an information technology department should be one that champions service, availability, security, and innovation with the goal of supporting the key mission of the organization. Technology should provide for and enable users and never be utilized to inappropriately collect information, or interfere with the organization’s core operations. The best IT departments will provide service to users with a soft hand and a light presence. A CIO should disseminate a mission statement that matters- give your team a cultural identity and code of operation, and then make sure they live it.

4. During difficult times make sure as a leader you take a tour with the “away team”. An effective leader takes the time to report to the trenches in order to obtain a direct understanding of the challenges the team faces. In the most critical situations Captain Picard or First Officer William Ryker would step into action to ensure success.  Getting on the front line of issues now and then will command respect from your employees and make sure you are analyzing problems with a real world perspective.  

5. Boldly go where no CIO has gone before. Technology is now the foundation for the success of almost every business or institution. In order for a CIO to be successful he or she needs to be a master of the mundane (think email and help desk) as well as the intellect behind innovation (think analysis of big data, transition to outsourcing and cloud services, and development of core business processes). More often than ever CIOs are being considered for CEO positions as organizations look to the CIO to lead the company's overall direction and drive profitability through efficiency and lean processes. In any leadership role it is important to be free to experiment, change the course, and head into the unknown.           

 

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, Management Tips, IT Management, Information Security

Three Tips for Hiring an IT Professional

Posted by Ellen Clarke

Nov 19, 2013 10:00:00 AM

Hiring an IT professional can be tricky. While technical skills are the focus, considerations must be given to other attributes and experiences. The interview is the time to ask the targeted questions yielding critical information needed to make an informed decision.

Our hiring managers at ITAMG, an IT asset disposition and data destruction firm, have put together three important tips when hiring an IT professional.

1.     Have your interview questions prepared. A starting point can be found in Careerbuilder's Top Interview Questions. Your questions must be thoughtfully prepared to cover a variety of subjects. While asking about relevant experience is critical, other questions about interpersonal skills must be covered, such as, “how do you handle conflict, and provide an example of how you handled a difficult situation at your last job.

2.     Provide an atmosphere where the candidate feels free to open up. Greet the candidate with a firm handshake and a smile. Make small talk at the beginning of the interview. Never lead the candidate. Questions like, “Well you didn’t have any problems with your last manager, did you?” does not allow the possibility of an honest answer. Instead go with this, “In your last position did your manager give you a lot of freedom or was she more of a micro manager? How did you like working under those conditions?”

3.     Consider where you need this individual to be one year down the line. While not every IT professional will have the charisma of the best salesperson at your company, you don’t necessarily need him/her to. You do need someone, though, that can work with your team. Additionally, if you are looking to groom someone into a supervisory role, consider if this individual’s interpersonal skills will lead to success or failure.

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When hiring an IT professional, technical skills will always be the main focus. Through proper interview preparation one can take steps to identify these types of skills in a candidate. Never leave the interview without determining if the candidate has the interpersonal skills needed for the position. Ask your questions, and let the interviewee do the majority of the talking to ascertain if this candidate will succeed in your firm.

 

 

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Topics: ITAD, education & tips, Management Tips, IT Best Practices

5 Ways an IT Pro Can Succeed as a Manager

Posted by Frank Milia

Oct 1, 2013 12:08:00 PM

An IT Manager takes on a diverse role that encompasses technical challenges, analyzing information, staffing, conflict resolution, strategic planning, developing budgets, and even data center management. Both the technical and management components require your attention. It is crucial to both your success and the success of your team that you balance these responsibilities.

Our managers at ITAMG have provided 5 tips to help you succeed:

 

#1: Time Management


Do this: Make the most of every minute. You have two hats to wear – technical and management. To achieve success you must make a daily plan. Written or electronic, it doesn’t matter. Record all of your responsibilities and schedule them in time blocks. Be diligent and stick to this schedule whenever possible. According to this article in US News & World Report, “set specific time limits for routine tasks. Work tends to fill whatever amount of time you happen to have.” When emergencies occur, handle them, and then get back on schedule.

 

Don’t do this: Go into the day without a plan. Without a plan seemingly “secondary activities” such as getting input from employees, giving feedback, providing training will go by the wayside when inevitable technical issues arise.

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#2: Build Relationships

 

Do this: In an an article on Monster.com Richard Hagberg, the president of the Hagberg Consulting Group, a company that develops training programs for the high tech industry is quoted, “First, carefully define your role. Then audit your time so you're spending time on building relationships and improving communication with everyone around you. Schedule appointments with subordinates and listen to their ideas. Initiate group problem-solving, particularly on real issues, rather than trying to solve everything yourself. Deal with substandard performance by coaching and holding people accountable." To build a strong, loyal force it is imperative to have an open line of communication.

 

Don’t do this: Have a closed door policy. When possible include employees when making decisions. Let them share their ideas to create a mutually respectful relationship.

 

#3: Keep Your Skills Sharp


Do this: You are likely a manager because you have exceptional technical skills. Continue to stay on the cutting-edge through research and training. Demonstrate those skills, jump in when complex problems are at hand. Respect is gained in this manner. Education for you and your team is critical to everyone’s success.

 

Don’t do this: Let your technical skills wane. Consider the importance of the respect of your technical subordinates and your ability to lead by example.

 

#4: Delegate


Do this: One of the keys to successful delegation is to know each team member’s strengths. You cannot successfully do everything yourself. Your company is best served when your expertise is devoted to finding solutions to critical issues and delegating accordingly.

 

Don’t do this: Do everything yourself. You and your team will suffer. The members in your group will see this as a lack of confidence in their abilities.

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#5: Roll Up Your Sleeves


Do this: When matters arise that require multiple resources from your team, jump in when you can. Maybe next time your firm is getting ready for a computer disposal help the team take an inventory of the surplus computer equipment. Roll up your sleeves whenever possible and you will gain immeasurable respect form your team.

 

Don’t do this: Sit back and let your team do all the work. Make sure to always be a part of the solution. There’s no substitute for a boss that understands what it’s like to still be in the trenches.

 

By devoting the proper amount of time to each task, keeping your skills sharp, and demonstrating your willingness to be a part of the team, you will gain the respect and loyalty of your team. Master these 5 areas and you will soar as an IT Manager.

 

 

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, technology vendors, education & tips, Management Tips, IT Best Practices, IT Management

   

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