Techworld: How do you buy from your suppliers?
We don't "buy" from our suppliers. Corporations pay TechTurn a fee to appropriately retire their IT assets. For this fee, we physically remove IT equipment from their offices, securely scrub all hard drives, run thorough tests and provide documentation of the asset retirement, and process the devices for refurbishment of recycling. We then return monies to the corporations based on the residual value of the actual equipment processed. It is a win/win situation for everyone.
We sell in bulk to electronics resellers. However, we are aggressively moving into the consumer market through a robust e-commerce initiative that will offer detailed information for each device on the Web site. In this way, we hope to follow the lead of the used auto industry and become the "Carmax" of computers.
What geographies do you operate in?
Today, TechTurn operates two high-efficiency, maximum-security facilities in Austin, Texas and Richmond, Virginia. We also have partner locations in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Germany, and serve thousands of dealers, VARs and wholesalers in more than 60 countries through our TechTurn Product Sales Web site.
Are USA state policies affecting your business? Should there be a national policy? How should this be implemented if it is desirable?
At this point, we are not extremely affected by state policies, however we are always keeping a close watch on the proposed regulations. We have to be experts on specific regulations in different states so we are always compliant. I think federal legislation in the US would be a positive step if properly implemented...and this is critical. Policies that are not well thought out can actually do more damage than good.
What are your geographic expansion plans?
We are planning to open facilities in Reno, Nevada and Chicago later this year. We are also continually evaluating new partnership opportunities in Europe and across the world.
How is your business developing?
We're looking to the consumer resale market as a huge opportunity through our e-commerce initiative.
How do you position TechTurn with charitable refurb/recycling initiatives?
We have launched numerous initiatives to partner with charities that deliver technology to those who do not have access or means. Some examples are listed below. TechTurn also works with corporations who designate charities - such as the Christina Foundation - for their refurbished equipment.
- Operation Homelink. TechTurn donates refurbishment services and machines to family members of deployed military troops and to disabled troops back home
- Dell Techknow - in partnership with Dell, thousands of refurbished machines are donated to underprivileged students. The student learns about computers and software and receives the machine as an award for completing the class.
- Big Brothers , Big Sisters, Austin. TechTurn donated computers to participants in a computer learning class.