LifeVERDE: Micheal Bleicher, please introduce us to bb-net - The IT Lifecycle Company.
Michael Bleicher: bb-net is located in Schweinfurt in Lower Franconia and was established around a quarter of a century ago Year of foundation. Today bb-net is one of the largest and best quality IT processors in Germany and Europe. We are a colorful group with a lot of love for detail, but also always professional and forward-looking. We have made it our business to give IT hardware a second lifecycle and to protect it from electronic waste, because there is more to used company hardware than you think.
"QUALITY CREATES VALUE." - One of the guiding principles of our company. Starting with a one-off approach in rollback, the retrieval of the devices, production and certified data deletion and destruction, to marketing under our orange quality seal tecXL. tecXL stands for technology like new and is bb-net's own brand.
Around 100.000 units are processed, reconditioned and manufactured in the Technology Center in Schweinfurt - every year. The whole team is passionate about their work every day - for the success of our services and products. Highest quality and reliability - in every area.
What specific benefits do you have as a customer of bb-net products?
In today's world and due to the increasing pressure on digitization, IT hardware has become an indispensable part of everyday private and business life. But on the contrary. Companies in particular are under constant pressure not to stand still. To do this, they need hardware that they can rely on. Reliable hardware doesn't necessarily mean new hardware. Prepared IT is an inexpensive alternative to new devices. The systems from tecXL come from the high-quality business lines, which are just as high-quality processed. By using devices from the secondary market, companies not only save money without sacrificing quality, they also make a contribution to relieving our environment that should not be underestimated. In addition, the devices receive a 24-month guarantee from us as standard with further extension options. All systems are also installed with legally compliant Windows 10 and receive an ESET virus protection license for one year and up to 3 devices free of charge. Free LibreOffice software is also included. This means that the customer is definitely on the safe side and can start using the device immediately.
What role does sustainability play for you? In which areas would you consider your company sustainable?
Our entire corporate philosophy is based on a fundamental principle of sustainability. At bb-net, the principle “No, to the throwaway society” applies in every business area.
Our core business is to give hardware that has already been produced a second life cycle through qualitative and resource-saving processes, so that the mountain of electronic waste does not get any bigger. Devices that can no longer be reprocessed are broken down into their individual parts so that the components can be reused in other devices. Only around 1% of the removed components are no longer usable. Even this manageable amount does not simply end up in disposal at bb-net. From the discarded IT hardware materials, creative and skilled craftsmanship is used to produce real unique items that can be purchased under the name "tecXL Upcycling Edition" and for a small price. Part of the income from the Upcycling Edition goes to a non-profit environmental initiative. We constantly review ourselves in all areas and set ourselves clear goals in order to become even more sustainable, environmentally conscious and greener even through the smallest changes. For example, by reducing advertising material, switching to natural paper and reducing the number of printed pages, or by using 100% degradable packaging tape to seal our goods in cardboard boxes. At the beginning of 2020 we were certified by Focus Zukunft as the first German climate-neutral company in the field of IT reprocessing. We have set up our own environmental page on our website for this purpose.
Which product characteristics make your offer stand out from conventional suppliers?
The decision for a reconditioned device is also a decision for our environment. By reusing a new computer does not have to be produced, large amounts of natural resources are saved and less polluting pollutants are released. The customer receives a high-quality device at a fair price and helps to relieve the environment.
In which price segment are your products located and what role does price play for you?
In addition to environmental concerns, price is also an important factor. Retailers benefit from high margins through the purchase prices combined with our partner program for tecXL, which is rather the exception in the IT hardware trade. The end users are happy about high quality devices that are in no way inferior to new devices and usually save 70% compared to the new price.
More information about the safe sale of used IT at bb-net.
Which current trends and developments do you find particularly exciting in the IT sector at the moment?
Of course, the current corona situation does not pass us by either. It is exciting to see how the pressure on topics such as digitization has increased. Many companies, authorities or public institutions were forced more or less overnight to make their day-to-day business more digital. Due to the lack of new goods on the market, processed IT has now also become a real alternative for many. The situation has given many companies a "taste" for the advantages of processed IT and that there is a very big difference between used IT and processed IT. Of course we hope that this rethinking will continue to spread and that more and more companies will recognize the potential of processed IT from the tecXL brand.
Which conditions would you like to change in this industry so that everything runs even more sustainably?
Uniform quality standards are unfortunately “in short supply” in the industry. For example, we would very much like a standardized exchange container system in order to be able to do without cardboard boxes and packaging material as far as possible. This would be a big, sustainable step forward across the industry.
Which new products can your customers look forward to in the near future?
In addition to product improvements, we are constantly expanding our service portfolio.
In addition, we launched a “firework” of services this year as well. This includes an uncomplicated and precisely calculable rental of IT equipment. The simple process of rental IT makes it possible to deliver the desired devices to the customer within just 48 hours and ready for use.
But the IT refreshment was also reborn this year. Under the motto: "He still does it" Hardware that still meets the company's requirements can be completely renewed with a refresh. This includes the logistics, complete cleaning, data deletion and upgrading of the devices as well as licensing with Windows 10 if desired. A real highlight is the guarantee option, ie we provide extended security for those in our house for only 4 euros a month processed systems of the customer. No matter what a company intends to do with its hardware, the refresh is the right service. Thanks to our service, an insurance company was able to save around 300.000 euros compared to buying a new one and is using the refreshed hardware again in its own company. An alternative to your own reuse is a donation for a good cause. The Rotary Club Düsseldorf-Schlossturm shows how you can use our refresh for a good cause. Rotary used the refresh service for 60 notebooks and donated the devices to the Diakonie Düsseldorf after a successful refresh. After being commissioned, the donor did not have to worry about anything, from logistics to delivery to the Diakonie, everything was taken over by bb-net.