Thursday, 12 March 2015

Man Flu and the Education of the Masses

Never sell to a sales person. Not if you want to keep your sanity. I was reminded of this when, in my role as Commercial Manager, which is posh for sales and marketing manager, I took a call about email marketing.

The young man was trying to get me to divulge the marketing segments I was interested in, so that he could rattle off the zillions of relevant email addresses he had to sell me. But as I may have mentioned in the last few blogs, I am suffering from a severe dose of man flu. I am therefore not at my most patient or friendly. In fact, I am actually a miserable old git. The girls in the office are being very nice but I suspect they are planning to kill me if I don’t recover my normal genial persona very soon.

So, in answer to who my targets were, I said everyone. No seriously. Yes everyone. Any business or organisation, charity, public sector, school or drug dealer who has electronic devices of a data bearing nature. Surely I want some more than others? No, I want everyone. Even drug dealers are legally required to recycle.

Which was me being obtuse. Of course, I want people with lots of data bearing devices to dispose of unnaturally early in their lifecycle who laugh at my jokes and have no apparent budgetary concerns. I will have as many of those as you can give me, thank you very much.

Size is really the only thing that makes a difference. Because if you are big you produce a lot of waste and you naturally develop a process to dispose of it. Or so you would think. As I may have pointed out once or twice, regular readers will confirm this, not having a process leaves you as a disaster waiting to happen.

I had a very interesting meeting with a new entity set up to deal with several large areas of the education sector the other day. Sort of outsourced government stuff if you see what I mean. Nice chaps. Seemed to like the odd joke I threw in and listened to what we had to say. Their previous supplier was a bit lax about the paperwork apparently.

Well I say previous but I mean current, soon to be previous. In the wonderful in-sourcing and outsourcing world, these guys were getting organised, starting with a clean slate, and the fact that they were exposed to a large amount of doggy-doo hitting the proverbial fan had unnerved them just a little. They wanted to put in place a much better arrangement, and who better than eReco with our DIPCOG approval and ADISA certification. We showered them in paperwork, generally showing them what we could do and I am hopeful that we will have a fruitful arrangement going forwards. I am dusting off my second meeting jokes already.

But the point is they are of a size where they have to get their act together, and their re-organisation gave them the motivation to do it. Smaller businesses have exactly the same issues, but because they do not produce the same volumes of disposals, they are rarely geared up. They largely remain blissfully unaware of the fates which might befall them.

I am very concerned about this market, the SME, although in reality it is the ME which is of the greatest concern. Your average very small business sorts himself out one way or another, and Genghis Khan, our friendly neighbourhood ICO, very rarely gets involved down there. Medium to large businesses though...they do get in his cross hairs every once in a while.

My opinion is that we need a lot more education to the SME sector. Neither the ICO or any of the other interested parties give clear, concise advice. There is a lot of ‘if you don’t we will smite you’ but very little ‘Responsible Recycling 101’ available. We here in eReco-land are trying to redress that balance and hence the existence of this blog in the first place.

So I did not buy any email addresses. I apologise to my young friend for being a pain in the human recycling bin. I am naturally cantankerous when I don’t feel one hundred per cent, and I have to be nice to customers. That hurts when you have a temperature and a bad throat and a headache.