Take out the PCs and the trash

Redemtech, a technology asset management company based in Hillard, Ohio, has signed an agreement with Montreal’s Ecosys Canada Inc., furthering its effort to create

a global asset management solution for multinational companies.

The agreement allows United States-based companies with Canadian subsidiaries to manage their technology assets on both sides of the border seamlessly with Redemtech’s Web-enabled process control system, according to Redemtech vice-president of business development Jill Vaske. As well, Ecosys clients like Bombardier Inc. and Bell Helicopter will be able to monitor their foreign assets with the system, RedemTRAC.

“”Large companies like Bombardier have American facilities and European facilities and they have shown an interest”” in using RedemTRAC, said Bruce Hartley, vice-president of Ecosys, which is planning to double its warehouse space and increase its workforce by 10 to 15 per cent in part because of the agreement.

The agreement between Ecosys and Redemtech comes on the heels of a December deal inked between Redemtech and Actis Asset Management (formerly Corporate Accountancy Network Ltd.) of the United Kingdom. With Actis serving the U.K. and Europe and Ecosys covering Canada, Redemtech is now looking to extend its reach into Asia, Vaske said.

The Ecosys agreement was officially announced Tuesday, though the partnership has been in effect for about a month, in which time Ecosys had moved 1,000 pieces of equipment through RedemTRAC. RedemTRAC is designed to allow supervision of inventory and money realized through asset resale and redeployment of assets, as well as management of the assets themselves through a RedemTRAC portal.

Vaske said it is rare for companies to set their own uniform policies on asset management and disposal across jurisdictions.

“”Consequently, you’ll have a lot of disparate practices out there and many of them are doing the wrong thing,”” she said. “”The goal of this program is to give companies control over their own users.””

And their own equipment. This can mean overseeing the resale of equipment either to other companies or home users, donating it to a school or community group or recycling it.

The push for recycling electronic equipment has been growing as product life spans get shorter and technology waste increases. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average life span of computers and monitors is expected to fall to two years by 2005. In 1997, the average PC tower lasted about five years, while the average monitor stuck around for between six and seven years. The U.S. National Safety Council estimates that by 2004, 315 million computers in the U.S will be obsolete. According to National Safety Council, the number of PCs shipped this year will be less than those deemed to have become obsolete.

Some vendors, including IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., have set up fee-based recycling programs that accept product from all manufacturers in an effort to cut down on this waste. But vendors are reportedly not keen to see North America follow the European Commission in making it the fiduciary duty of vendors to reuse or recycle their equipment at the conclusion of a product’s life span.

Vaske and Hartley said their asset management partnership will help reduce waste by helping vendors recycle their equipment and by getting equipment into reuse faster. Vaske said electronic equipment depreciates by six per cent per month.

“”I think companies like us tend to lengthen the lifecycle of equipment just by finding (a place) for used equipment,”” said Hartley.

“”We think there’s a great opportunity for used equipment to go back into a B2B community because people have less money to spend,”” Vaske added, referring to the current economic climate. “”The intent is to avoid true recycling because that is most expensive option for the environment and for the client.””

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