Written By: Debbie Jung
When you have many other job duties, retrieving company laptops and devices from former employees can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Building specific and clear processes catered to your company will deliver consistent solutions and promote a stress-free environment for all parties. If you are responsible for IT asset returns, you must consider the proper packaging, labeling, insurance, and monitoring. Remember to also coordinate these shipments on their behalf!
Selecting the appropriate box (or boxes) is necessary when shipping employees' laptops or other devices. The best scenario is to use the box the laptop or device originally came in. When proceeding with this option, you must ensure that this original box has no wear, tear, or damage. If the original box is no longer usable, consider investing in packages specifically designed for laptops. Doubling up on boxes is always recommended.
If you decide to work with a shipping company, choose one that can recommend the best methods to transport your company's laptops and devices safely.
Keeping the laptop or device safe and secure during transit is important. Consider providing extra protective packaging such as bubble wrap, cushioning, recyclable paper, and “fragile" or "this way up" stickers. This extra step will give the courier clear instructions on handling the shipment.
Most reliable shipping companies have this service readily available for you—remember to still do diligence and research before making a solid decision. Think about the actual value of your laptop or device and take out insurance for peace of mind.
Shipping carriers do not provide insurance, but rather use something called declared value. The cost for declared value coverage depends on the value of the item being shipped. For the first $100 of value, coverage is free. Above that threshold, you’ll need to pay for declared value coverage. Because laptops cost more than $100, it’s recommended to use declared value coverage in case your laptop is damaged in transit, lost by the carrier, or stolen.
If you do file a claim, you’ll need to prove the value of the laptop, so make sure to keep a record showing the value of your shipment. If you declare a value higher than the item’s proven value, your claim will only cover up to the proven value, plus the transportation cost from shipping. Regardless of the shipment’s declared value, the carrier’s liability for loss or damage will not exceed the repair cost, depreciated value, or replacement cost, whichever is less.
Note that if you declare a value over $500, the carrier will automatically add a direct signature requirement to your shipment.
Laptops are one of the most commonly stolen items in transit. If you ship a laptop without requiring a delivery signature from the recipient, the carrier will leave it at your front door where it’s likely to be stolen. If this happens, there’s no way to support your declared value claim, and it will be denied by the carrier. As discussed above, a declared value of $500 or higher will automatically add a direct signature requirement to your shipment. However, requiring a signature can be a double-edged sword, as you’ll need someone to be available at the location to sign for the laptop or it won’t be delivered on time. If no one is home at the time of delivery to sign for a laptop, the carrier will attempt to deliver two more times before holding your shipment in a nearby location to be picked up.
You've taken all the necessary steps: found the perfect box, packaging, labeling, and even insurance! It's now time to coordinate your shipment for your former employee. This step is where it might get a bit tough—depending on where they reside, you'll have to ship all these supplies to them, hope that they'll arrive in the same condition it's left, and then coordinate to ensure successful return all in one go. Providing an instruction sheet, labels, boxes, and extra packaging will avoid miscommunication or misdirection.
When you ship out the necessary materials to your former employee, remember to get the tracking number so you can monitor the entire shipment. Sign up for alerts and delays via email or phone to be proactive. Take the extra mile and troubleshoot when your package gets delayed to successfully deliver these laptops and retrieve them back to you in pristine condition.
Hiring a reputable shipping company, like Mercury, who will coordinate, track and troubleshoot on your behalf will ease the stress. We will track and manage your laptop fleet, ensuring devices are always available for use and promptly returned when no longer needed.