The PC ragtrade, or as those in the trade prefer to call it, the PC refurbishment business, has recently attracted what some might feel is the wrong kind of publicity (if there is such a thing). But Global Remarketing general manager, Tony Nestola, insists his company is proof that PC refurbishing is a serious and profitable business.
According to Nestola, Global Remarketing is the largest PC refurbishment business in Aust-ralia. Yet to most IT businesses, focusing on decommissioning IT assets which have run their lease dates and remarketing quality refurbished IT product to the marketplace would normally be considered an unimportant, behind-the-scenes activity. "This company has found a unique place in what many say is an over-supplied technology marketplace," he said.
Global Remarketing (GR) has its head offices in Melbourne and forms part of the Volante Group of companies. GR has a 2000 square metre warehouse which provides storage facilities going up four pallet rack levels high.
In addition to products coming off lease, Global Remarketing also buys old stock from organisations wishing to update their technology.
"The services that Global Remarketing offer are increasing in demand because so many organisations today are leasing their IT equipment - PCs, laptops, servers, printers and even scanners," Nestola said.
GR follows a streamlined refurbishment process. On arrival, serial number, model number and brand detail is captured. The PC is then given a new identity by a Global Remarketing barcode number. All specification details are then noted and the product is ready to move into its 24-hour diagnostic test. An extensive cleaning process follows. "GR spent months identifying the best way of cleaning the products. They are securely packed in readiness to find a new home out in the market," Nestola said.
The in-house software that captures the critical specifications and data took nine months to develop. "We have developed an online electronic refurbishment application which is hooked up to a number of IBM Global Finance personnel.
Even Singapore's IBM Global Finance office logs onto the system and generates a report listing the latest stock details. It reflects a true picture, dynamically updated as we enter new products into the database," said Nestola.
GR has an agreement with IBM Global Financing to undertake all the refurbishment work for products that come off lease. But it is not only IBM PCs that IBM Global Financing offers finance for. The equipment coming off lease includes IBM PCs, Compaq notebooks and HP printers. And it has recently renegotiated its contract with IBM Global Financing. "Global Remarketing has proved to us its solid capability in the refurbishment market. Our audit results revealed a high standard in all key performance indicators," said Nic Nuske, general manager of IBM Global Financing in Australia.
Nuske believes the remarketing market will continue to grow strongly. Nestola has closed his books this year with 20 per cent more units being refurbished and sold than forecast.
"This coming financial year we are growing the business by 100 per cent refurbishing and selling 70,000 units," said Nestola. GR distributes its goods through brokers, wholesalers, resellers and the retail outlet JB Hi Fi. Nestola said that most of the product finds its way to the home user, but there are exceptions. For example, large companies may use refurbished PCs to maintain a standard PC model, he added.
For Nestola, the future looks bright. He said that he is working towards an online system to communicate and take orders as well as provide "information to those wanting to know more about the exciting world of refurbished technology".
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