At some point, you are going to have to commit to that CAPEX and sign off on that new furniture. However, one question we get from time to time is, “what do we do with the old furniture”. The first thing we will immediately say is don’t just send to landfill.
There are many creative & thoughtful ways that companies can use in dealing with this older furniture dilemma.
- Offer to employees
- Flash sale to small offices/start-ups
- Mix the old with the new
There are a number of different charities that will appreciate the contribution of office equipment new of used especially NGOs.Here’s a shortlist of six (6) possible charities that you can look at when donating office furniture.
- Red Cross
- ISTNAC (Is There Not A Cause)
- FEEL (Foundation for the Enhancement & Enrichment of Life)
- * UNITED WAY
- Local/Community Church
* Note: United Way will support in identifying a suitable NGO but not physically receive the items.
We cannot move on without reminding companies to not look at donating as an opportunity to get rid of your older items but as an act of good corporate social responsibility as an organisation in helping others.
Offer To Employees
Employees are the next best choice for moving your old office furniture. Based on the company’s asset management policy they can look at either giving for free or selling these assets for the remaining book value or adding value onto it.
Employees are normally very open to accepting office items as they are most familiar with them and normally donate it or use it for themselves. Two benefits that come out of this approach are 1) Faster stock and revenue turnover and 2) It shows a sign of goodwill to the staff.
Flash sales are a great way to push the movement of old stock. Apart from just looking at doing a sale for the general public, it’s also a good idea to target start-ups, entrepreneurs, etc. as new companies are being registered at an alarming rate in Trinidad.
One of the things I like most about the flash sale is that it gives you a new base of customers to support and grow with and let’s face it based on your type of business we are all looking for new customers. From a financial standpoint, this revenue positively impacts your bottom line as there is no major cost of sales to factor in.
Old furniture re-sellers like SunUp International are good companies to partner with as they can also purchase used furniture from you directly and refurbish and resell them directly, this takes the hassle of logistics of the company.
Mix the old with the new
Re-purposing equipment is a really good option to help cut cost, but also to make things a bit funky in the office-based on what that piece of furniture is. As much as things are modern, once there is always an opportunity to add some “vintage” into your office design. Interior designers love getting the opportunity to re-purpose older items and mix them into the new layout. Here are just three quick cost-effective ideas;
- Reupholster old chairs with funkier colors to make then accent pieces for your reception areas.
- Refinish old wooden desk to give it that more modern, bench-top finish or vintage look.
- Paint old 4 drawer or 2 drawer filing cabinets in funky or company colors and reuse them outside or inside a place to store plants.
We couldn’t finish this article without indicating the importance of recycling. Tossing items into the landfill isn’t the best solution. Office furniture and equipment come with a mix of different materials, metals, components, etc. Here are some local providers that we suggest you consult with if you looking at disposing into the landfill;
Based on what you are recycling always check the MSDS sheet (once available) to know what the item is made out of. This will make the conversation with your recycler easier if they are unfamiliar with what you are trying to recycle.
Here is a list of local recyclers that can support your office equipment recycling needs;
- Paper/Cardboard – Ace Recycling 290-2970
- eWaste – Piranha International 223-7444 or Recyclage eWaste Management Services Limited 710-9778
- Scrap Metals – Chabilal Enterprises – 488-7818 and Far East Recyclers – 640-1163
- Waste management Consultation: Siel Environmental Services Limited – 381-9337