Rethinking: Refurbishing is on the rise

refurbishing on the rise
Processing instead of throwing away is the motto for more and more consumers.

April 03, 2018 | IT BUSINESS

Companies like bb-net take over this task and bring completely overhauled business computers back onto the market. The demand for these refurbishing products is growing.

In view of increasingly scarce resources, more and more consumers attach importance to sustainability. Repair cafes and do-it-yourself workshops are springing up. When it comes to used IT, however, you quickly reach your own limits. Companies like bb-net, which professionally conduct refurbishing, step into the breach. They buy up used notebooks and PCs from company stocks, delete existing data using certified procedures, subject the computers to a general overhaul and bring them back on the market. In addition, the computers are often upgraded with SSDs, notebooks usually get a new battery. One of the largest providers in this sector is bb-net. The Schweinfurt company has been active for more than twenty years, with its own TecXL brand since 2011.

Equipped for large projects

The computers that bb-net processes come from company use. The notebooks and PCs are often leasing returns, which are exchanged in large numbers for new devices. The refurbisher therefore has to cope with many computers in a short time. According to Marco Kuhn, sales manager at bb-net, the company can now process up to 8.000 devices per month thanks to optimized processes. Further capacity expansion is planned.

According to Kuhn, not only the argument of sustainability speaks for the business notebooks or PCs from manufacturers such as HP, Dell, Fujitsu or Lenovo, which are brought back to the people under the TecXL brand, but also the price and quality. For example, you can get an HP Elitebook 400 G840 with an Intel Core i1-5U, 4300-inch display and 14 GB SSD for just under 180 euros, which in 2014 cost well over 1.000 euros. With its Haswell processor, the notebook is faster than new consumer notebooks, which at this price can often only come up with an Intel Pentium N4200 or a Core i3. The components used and the housing are often of higher quality in business devices than in inexpensive consumer computers. In addition, firmware and drivers are usually better updated than with consumer devices. Updated BIOS versions with processor microcodes against Meltdown and Specter should also be made available for the computers.

Desktop PCs still make up around 40 percent of computers sold. Kuhn sees an interesting product segment in workstations, which are very expensive as new devices. Here, the prepared workstations are an inexpensive way for companies or freelancers to get access to computers that are still equipped with powerful Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia Quadro or AMD Firepro graphics cards and are certified for professional software.

Individual items that also end up at bb-net as part of larger projects are sold to dealers at lower prices. Since bb-net belongs to the group of around 80 Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers worldwide, a new Windows 10 license is also included with all systems.

Different sales channels

The company bb-net sells the processed computers via various channels. They are sold through specialist dealers under the TecXL brand. They are also available from retail stores operated by the Euronics and Expert purchasing cooperatives and the ElectronicPartner group. In addition, there are providers such as Notebooksbilliger or Pearl, where the systems are not offered under the TecXL brand.

The specialist trade is still extremely important for bb-net. The dealers therefore not only benefit from services from the three-tier partner program, but can also take advantage of extensive marketing assistance. Smaller partners in particular can generate more attention by presenting their company on the TecXL homepage or on Facebook. In addition, services such as the delivery of computers directly from bb-net to the customer or an “end customer mode” are available in the TecXL online shop. The products offered can be displayed here with self-configured end customer prices.