2022 University Surplus Property Association Conference Recap

Our Experience at USPA 2022

This month, after two long years, we got to see all the wonderful faces of our friends in university surplus at the annual University Surplus Property Association conference. The main goals of USPA is to bring people and ideas together, to share our experiences and to help one another succeed. While meeting virtually we were able to share ideas, it was nearly impossible to truly be together. This year was different, and it shows!

USPA was hosted by the talented NC State University Surplus duo of Bill Carlson and Lance Newson. They and their team made sure we had the best possible experience over the course of the three days. The week started with an meet and greet session on Sunday, where we got to speak to a diverse cast of surplus officers from coast-tocoast. 

Overcome Obstacles in University Surplus with Recoup


On Monday we shared our experiences, successes, and failures. We compared results and found ways to improve operations. Our hosts provided opportunities  to talk in small groups, which allowed members to speak on a personal level and create new relationships that will help enhance each members operation. We ended the day at Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant and were greeted with amazing pizza, pasta, and a generous helping of desserts. We recommend it to anyone travelling to the Raleigh area! Of course, we couldn’t end the day without watching the NC State women’s basketball team win their NCAA game against Kansas State. Go Wolfpack!

Amedeo’s Italian Restaurant USPA 2022

On Tuesday we were treated to a detailed in-person tour of the NC State University Surplus operation. (Pro tip: for a virtual experience, follow their Instagram where Lance and team occassionally give live tours!). 

The educational opportunity it supplied was tremendous. Thanks to Bill and Lance we were able to see  the power of investing in new employees with specific skill sets that can be used to generate revenue in new and unique ways. We also saw how a large organization handles the storage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), which typically takes up substantial amounts of space, and how best to optimize the storage. 

Near the end of our tour, we got to see how NC State is taking advantage of the university upgrading to new PC’s. We saw how ewaste is handled, including a system to wipe SSD’s and resell them after securely deleting the data, and how the PC’s themselves are being sold and the best practices around this. With current  global chip shortage computer sales have been a big boost to surplus operations who have storefronts, both digital and in-person. NC State has supplied a service during this shortage by offering affordable computers. In return, they’ve ensured steady growth in sales for the surplus operation.  

Tuesday’s dayout also brought us onto campus to tour the historical Reynolds Coliseum and the Howling Cow Dairy Education Center and Creamery. Both are NC State institutions and brought their own dynamic to the tour. Reynolds has a rich history of unique events on campus and, of course, the men’s and women’s basketball games. The Howling Cow was an eye (and nose!) opening experience of a working dairy farm. We had a chance to sample the magnificent ice cream made on-site! 

Everyone had a wonderful time during the conference. The AssetWorks team is grateful we had the opportunity to be a part of this experience and to be back in person amongst colleagues. Established and new members alike were able to supply insights into their surplus operations and what makes each one unique. Even though each operation is unique, there are common issues each university surplus team faces. The best part about USPA is the openness, transparency and willingness of each member to discuss and help one another. We hope this conference is a precursor to more inperson events and conferences to come.

Onwards to 2023 hosted by Colorado State University next spring. AssetWorks will be there! 

 

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