The 2019 E-Scrap Conference in Orlando has come and gone but the many lessons from the workshops and plenaries will last for some time. ISRI again sponsored two workshops prior to the conference focusing on “Operational Excellence” and “OEM Partnerships.”
ISRI also organized one of the main sessions focusing on international trade, markets and commodities, and transportation issues featuring ISRI’s Joe Pickard and Adina Renee Adler, and Jason Tutrone of Thompson Hine – a law firm that specializes in transportation issues. The E-Scrap Conference brings together E-Scrap processors, brokers, equipment manufacturers as well as electronics manufacturers to discuss issues and trends occurring in the marketplace.
ISRI pre-conference workshops were well attendees with over 75-85 attendees in each. ISRI has hosted these workshops several times at E-Scrap and often follow up on subjects from ISRI’s annual convention. The first workshop on operational excellence focused on why measuring and improvements are so necessary to keep pace with the rapid changes in this industry segment and to ensuring your customers are satisfied with your performance. For example, using standards helps not only improve your operations but can also differentiate between your operation and another company. Additionally, the first impression of your operation by customers and auditors can set the tone for your relationships with your customers. Also, enlisting the support of comprehensive data systems that help measure the profitability of purchasing and repairing devices can help avoid costly mistakes while focusing your operations on purchases that take into account everything from transportation costs to technicians time. The OEM Partnerships workshop provided a glimpse into the how successful recycling operations can become partners with OEMs by providing new services and support that helps OEMs achieve both their sustainability goals as well as improve the bottom line. By being nimble and working with their customers, recyclers can grow their businesses, be more profitable and be a trusted partner to their customers.
Our plenary provided great insight into the domestic and international aspects of electronics recycling through the presentations by Adina Renee Adler and Joe Pickard who presented the current trade and markets situation especially with the turbulent global trade and economic issues we are experiencing. As the global manufacturing is shifting and U.S. recyclers are looking for additional new markets, economic pressures are making the situation more difficult over the last several years. However, while transportation related issues have long been a problem for recyclers, some good news is on the horizon with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issuing new rules for demurrage charges incurred when shipping containers are misdirected or are delivered late. The FMC actions follow the actions by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to address precision schedule railroading and the resulting demurrage charges. Additionally, the Department of Transportation released a rulemaking to finally address the problems associated with the inflexibility of electronic logging for truck drivers.
Additionally, at E-Scrap, there were other sessions concerning the next versions of the international standards and the emergence of ITAD into the business models of many electronics recyclers. ITAD will continue to grow as customers large and small require sensitive data to be destroyed and ensure their electronic devices from cellphones and tablets to computers and servers are upgraded. Moreover, ITAD will also grow as the smart homes and smart cars continue to proliferate.