Here at Warp It, we often get asked the interesting question of ‘How do you maintain your catalogue of usable items on your marketplace?’. This will be the focus of this blog post, which will include some invaluable tips that you can apply immediately. We are talking about making your reuse system automatic, with a simple tweak to your facilities management (FM) practices.
We believe that the person who is disposing of the item needs to be the one to take responsibility for the item. For them to add it to the Warp It marketplace takes about 20 seconds, and then the disposer becomes a vital part of the system, rather than having one person taking control of everything, labour time is reduced and responsibility is increased.
However, when you are launching your reuse program, FM should start by adding all of the assets that they have in their stores or squirrelled away across the estate- to kick start your program.
Change of behaviour for staff
This reuse program will be a change of behaviour for your staff, no doubt. Nobody likes change and nobody likes doing extra work. To consider what the best method is for change, you must first consider what your current process looks like, and the case is often as follows:
- The disposer wants to get rid of something
- They’ll phone a porter or logistics person, or fill in an online form
- They have to describe the assets and organise a collection
- That call may go to voicemail, or will be picked up by another person, taking a minute of the disposer’s time and the porter’s time
- The admin person will put that message onto a system somewhere
- Someone has to print off that task and add it to their schedule
- The porter or logistics person goes out to collect the item
- The porter or logistics person takes it to a collection point, disposal point or into storage or worse has to dismantle the asset in some way.
Here’s our much more efficient version:
- Instead of calling the porter, the disposer logs their asset through an online form, onto Warp it, taking 20 seconds
- The asset is then advertised across the estate so staff can see it
- Everyone in the organisation knows to check Warp It before buying new assets, and sees that the item is available, so they click claim. Or if you have a well developed system staff already have that asset on their wishlist.
- The claimant requests a transfer from A to B which can be setup to automatically notify the porters via the transport request.
- The porters take the item from A to B, saving it from disposal or storage
It’s remarkable really, as
- The porters are doing the same or similar logistics activity
- The disposer is just adding an item to the system rather then calling help desk or filling in online form. Slightly differently, even easier, and taking the same, if not less, time.
- The person claiming the asset is doing the transport request. It costs the organisation nothing, they just have to claim an asset and put in a job request, and that also saves them from filling in a purchase order. There’s far less admin work for everyone.
Great savings through this process
What this process does is:
- saves money from avoided waste disposal and procurement costs
- better use of the available working time
- environmental contribution as you spare your assets from the landfill
- avoid purchasing something which impacts on the environment and is potentially made from harmfully sourced materials
How to implement this change
There are two ways of doing this, the hard-line, or the softly-softly. It’s the classic good cop or bad cop approach.
The hard-line is to change your disposal policy overnight, forcing the new process onto your staff, giving them a mandatory guide on how to fill out the form and add things to the Warp It system. We’re not saying it’s the wrong approach, as very ‘management heavy’ organisations with this communication style may find that it’s the fastest way to make change.
The softly-softly approach is where if a staff member calls up the porter and says “I need my asset taken”, the porter says “Ok, but this is your final chance. The system has changed, next time you must use the Warp It system.
The logic for change is very compelling:
“The reason we are doing this is to reuse assets across the estate, as your items will hold value and use to other staff. The organisation saves money, we all save time and we cut the carbon footprint”.
You can tell them it’s their last chance, but three warnings will still be fair, and by the third one they will know what they have to do. The porter can also be armed with a ‘how-to use Warp It’ guide that they can send over to make sure the disposer doesn’t try to use them again.
Working with procurement
If you work with procurement to encourage purchasers to reuse, in tandem with the above strategy, your furniture reuse program will be 100% automatic!
This is why you don’t have to maintain a catalogue
It’s because you’re getting your disposal staff to maintain the catalogue for you! When someone claims an asset, it gets removed from Warp It automatically. If we add 100 desks to the system, 20 get claimed by one department, 30 by another and 20 by a local charity, we have just 30 desks left on the system. The 30 desks can move into storage! Facilities get given the update figures and the catalogue becomes totally automated in its management of surplus assets.
Everyone’s a winner!
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