South Africa's refurbished electronics market is flourishing as corporates change their business models. Business leaders are fast realising that there are ways to become more profitable by simply changing their attitudes and purchasing habits.
Xperien CEO Wale Arewa says it isn't always about increasing sales or productivity, but rather about reducing unnecessary expenditures. “There is a definite move towards refurbished electronics, they are now seeing the cost benefits of deploying rented refurbished computers and laptops."
The biggest interest has come from large insurance companies, financial institutions and call centres. They are getting super-competitive pricing, they can save up to 70% off the manufacturer’s original RRP when buying refurbished.
He points to a recent deal where prominent blue chip company purchased in excess of 5000 refurbished desktops for its new headquarters in Sandton.
"Everybody loves the latest and greatest technology, but it certainly comes at a hefty price. Unless you’re using very high-powered applications, there is absolutely no purpose in buying new equipment. There is very little that a new laptop can do today that its predecessor couldn’t do two years ago," he explains.
Refurbished doesn’t always mean old and unreliable, most refurbished devices are normally one or two generations behind. Besides the main processor, very few components would have changed during that period. The screens, speakers, webcams, microphones, keyboards and connectors hardly ever change.
Xperien guarantees that its refurbished products are clean inside and out, they are thoroughly cleaned from dust and any traces of use. Certified refurbished computers undergo extensive testing, they are disassembled and obsolesce designed components are replaced.
Hard drives are completed erased of data then put through an integrity test, lose connections are identified and fixed, along with the power supply, screen, RAM, capacitors, graphics processor and any other components.
He says these quality control processes are ISO9001 and ISO14001 certified, more rigorous than when the product originally left the factory. "The only difference is, this 'as new' computer is now given a significantly lower price tag than it originally had."
Xperien has also partnered with Blancco to ensure the safe and secure destruction of all data and the complete sanitisation of all refurbished electronics.
"One needs to address the security risks because there’s a fair chance sensitive data might fall into the wrong hands. Every device is carefully inspected, tested, cleaned and certified by expert technicians and a new operating system is installed," he stresses
There is a whole new world of choice when it comes to refurbished electronics, especially for corporates that are not looking to buy the latest and greatest devices. There is no reason to compromise on a less-than-ideal machine, one can now probably afford a superior refurbished device from one's favourite brand.