It is very important for every organization to take a call on the useful life of all the assets in the organization. The only two important questions that companies derive out of this statement are – When & How!

For any organization to address this question can be really tough and time-taking. There are multiple factors which can influence the disposal of assets and then there are various assets which are to be disposed of in a specific way to keep a check on customer privacy and data security.

Some of the factors are listed below:
a) Required to be disposed under a certain policy. For eg: Motor vehicles
b) Assets are no longer required due to a certain change in procedures, functions or usage patterns.
c) Assets occupying storage space and will not be needed in the foreseeable future.
d) Assets reaching their optimum useful life and will get reasonable returns upon sale.
e) Assets are no longer complying with workplace health and safety standards.
f) Assets found to contain hazardous material and should be disposed of immediately.
g) Assets are beyond the repairs and cannot be salvaged, but can be sold for scrap following the rules and
regulations.

Apart from the predictable reasons mentioned above, there are few other situations which can influence the immediate disposal of assets. For eg: a machine may be running weary manner and might be breaking down for maintenance on a continual basis and forcing the organization to pay for the repairs. In this situation, the immediate cost or buying a new machine might sound expensive. However, if the maintenance cost, time taken for repairs, and loss in production are taken into account; then the replacement of the machine seems to be the only rational solution.

Various studies suggest that downtime costs can bring production capacity in the range of 5-20%. Due to this unforeseen error, nearly 80% of the industrial facilities are incompetent in calculating their TOTAL DOWNTIME COST (TDC).

Now, the important question is to differentiate between the proper and improper asset disposal procedure.
Many organizations which function in the banking and financial sector take a lot of effort while disposing of the IT Assets like hard drives, copiers, tablets, phones, etc. which contains valuable information about customers. Deleting documents and files on a computer cannot erase the data completely. So in order to ensure the complete destruction of data, one should opt for professional services.
There are other options also available in the market like selling the used IT Assets to refurbishing companies as long as it is functioning. This can also help in avoiding any misuse of the data and aid in the investment of newer more reliable assets.

Furthermore, recycling assets can help in the cause of environment protection along with the removal of old company assets. There are professional companies which have acquired expertise in this field and can help in the safe removal of data before destruction.

In addition to the above, industrial waste comprising of old machines and equipment should be responsibly disposed of; in accordance with the guidelines laid down by various environmental protection agencies. This objective can only be achieved within a curated process, wherein all the data related to the equipment is readily stored and is accessible to avoid any unforeseen expense on maintenance. Once the depreciated value of the equipment becomes lesser than yearly maintenance cost, the organization can easily write off the asset and acquire the replacement.

In the entire process mentioned above, tracking of assets – old or new; plays an important role. Detailed information about the purchase of assets, their maintenance schedules, and physical movement of assets for estimating financial liabilities and their net worth at any point of time. With an accurate asset tracking and management application, organizations can easily store the requisite data and enable the development of protocols for estimating asset’s life cycle to enhance the accuracy for cataloging physical inventory and strengthening the balance sheet.