Retrieving IT Assets Stranded in the Field 

Returns Program

Case Study: CNE creates a reverse logistics program for a global broadband customer

A large, multimedia company had a problem. They needed an effective reverse logistics process to efficiently collect cable set-top boxes that were issued to customers across the United States. These set-top-boxes were important in allowing users to connect to their TVs to their cable service.

The CNE team developed a custom program to retrieve stranded IT equipment from the field.

Due to regulatory requirements, the client needed to retrieve all devices from the field. The CNE team understood the logistic challenges and teamed with the client to develop a reverse logistics operation that featured conveniently located collection sites to gather all set-top-boxes from consumers in densely populated areas. To collect devices in rural and remote locations, where it can be cost prohibitive, a creative collection program was developed. The CNE team designed a custom return kit that included a unique protective shipping bag, mailer correspondence, and instructions on how to return the equipment. Working closely with the customer, a targeted mailing list was developed and CNE executed the distribution of the kits to reach end users in rural areas.

The returned set-top-boxes were shipped via the US Postal Service, though a program developed by CNE, where the returned packages were palletized, aggregated, and shipped to a CNE facility for processing. CNE even negotiated favorable shipping rates to substantially reduce the cost of retrieving the equipment from the field. Overall, the total cost of set-top-box retrieval was reduced by 73% and the program was deemed a success for the client.

Once the materials were returned to a CNE facility, the CNE team was able to extract key components from the set-top-boxes to recover additional value for the client. Hard disk drives (HDDs) that were once used as DVR devices to record shows were removed, tested, and their data erased. The recovered drives were then remarketed to recover value, while all other materials were recycled into scrap and sustainably recovered through R2 certified downstream vendors.

To learn how CNE can develop a custom program for your organization, contact us.

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