Connecting the Dots between Compliance and Data for Surplus Assets and Inventory

Companies are looking to maximize value across their global supply chain, and that includes the reverse supply chain where idle and surplus assets and inventory often take up valuable staff time, storage, and can negatively impact the bottom line. As organizations realize the potential treasure trove in this historically underserved area of their business, they are applying best practices, such as working with trusted partners who provide services for surplus asset management and disposition as their core business. Key factors for partnership should include access to buyers and marketing experience to target buyers, trusted online marketplaces that reach greater numbers of bidders and provide transparency, and metrics and reporting to support a more robust surplus program. One thing that companies may not be looking for as they head out to search for a partner is compliance capabilities.

In the information age, data is everything. The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) identified third party risk as a high priority and of the top possible risk factors, data privacy is one of the most significant. (CEB, 2012) Organizations need to understand who owns data and the regulations surrounding it in order to successfully innovate across their supply chain, and then consider compliance as a primary factor for partnership in the reverse supply chain.

Data – Who Owns It and Why It Matters

In the eyes of the law, personal data often belongs to the data subject. In the case of a laptop where a person has paid bills and stored personal files; that information can be considered their personal property by some jurisdictions. This means that should that laptop be resold in secondary markets with information still on the hard drive, the company that originally sold the item could be held liable. And fines for selling personal data can be in the thousands or millions, depending on the case.

Companies have to utilize data to innovate in this new technology paradigm. However, when it comes to big data and the possession of private information, it’s important to understand the right consents for data and what is allowed by the relevant laws that apply when it comes to use of data. CIOs and CCOs (Chief Compliance Officers) need to work closely together to assess the types of data possessed, what actions need to be taken with the data, what consents are required for those actions, and ultimately, design a strategy and process to achieve its goals.

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