Among the questions to ask yourself if you are considering
handling e-destruction services are:
1.“Will I focus on security in the e-destruction services I
provide?” While this is a no-brainer, it is worthy of mention.
Many companies get into the business for the back-end revenue off the equipment, which makes the business difficult to
sustain in light of its low margins
and commodity-driven nature.
This model could sometimes
force decisions that compromise
2.“Will I perform the
services myself or will I use a
third-party vendor/partner for
all or part of this endeavor?”
Partners/vendors allow for
quicker and easier entry
into the market and
give you an opportunity to “try
before you buy.”
could arise if the
relationship does not
ment destruction firms that decide to pursue e-destruction
opportunities, a variety of business models exist.
It’s important not
to dabble in information technology asset
The stakes are just too
high and could result in
regulatory fines and civil
suits as well as distract you
from your core competen-
cies. Poor performance
in this sector will also
reflect poorly on your core
in tarnished referrals and
unhappy employees, which
could lead to the loss of key
However, for those docu-
POTENTIAL BUSINESS MODELS
A variety of business models for ITAM exist that document
destruction firms can use alone or in combination.
Finder’s-Fee Model – In this model, a document destruction firm identifies a partner or vendor to work with and
performs serious due diligence, working only with a partner
who meets or exceeds the NAID Certification Standard.
Additionally, you should only work with a partner that is
willing to sign non-compete and non-disclosure agreements.
The non-disclosure agreement must cover the customer data
the company is handling and the nature of your deal with
the company. The non-compete agreement should preclude
your partner from working in the account for an agreed
upon length of time and cover all the services you currently
provide to the customer.
Such an arrangement benefits a document destruction
firm because it entails few out-of-pocket expenses apart
from those associated with due diligence and legal fees for
the non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. These
agreements are also easy to manage and allow you to keep
control of your customer and account.
However, the limitations include being at the mercy of
your partner’s time frame, culture and philosophies; enforcing
non-compete and non-disclosure agreements; and, finally, if
your partner performs poorly, it will reflect poorly on your
Limited Hard Drive Destruction Model – In this
model, you destroy only hard drives. You do not handle the
rest of the computer and instead use a finder’s-fee model or
simply refer your customer to someone else. You inventory
all hard drives prior to destruction, enact systems to perform
barcoded inventory reporting and quality control on your
This model creates an additional revenue stream that aligns
well with your core competency of document destruction,
allows you to maintain a position of expertise and to be a
full-service provider for your customer’s information and
you potentially possess all of the equipment you need to
destroy hard drives.
Limitations associated with this business model include
having to invest in personnel, equipment and technology