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- 2020 International Trade
Secondary market IT supplier wins in International Trade Techbuyer, a global specialist in the buying, refurbishment and sale of data centre IT hardware, has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in its 15th birthday month. It is a huge honour for the firm, which has grown from a company of just two people to an employer of over 170 team members working in seven sites across three continents.
Reflecting on this journey was a boost of positivity at an otherwise difficult time, according to Mick Payne, Managing Director. Techbuyer’s award was announced in the midst of massive changes in business and cultural environments as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.
As a company specialising in the provision of IT hardware, Techbuyer’s business was classified as essential. The transition to home working, split-shifts and social distancing however was a challenge. Still, the company was in a privileged position to remain open and continue supplying the NHS and public and private sector clients. Moreover, Techbuyer was also able to provide free rentals to healthcare organisations in order to keep essential services running.
As a company, Techbuyer is no stranger to a relatively fast rate of change. Since 2017, it has opened sites in the US, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the firm has also introduced a new business division in the form of its IT Asset Disposition service, and vastly increased its stock levels and employee numbers globally. In 2019, the company was listed in the Sunday Times Fast Track 200 as one of the UK’s fastest growing companies.
Techbuyer’s success relies heavily on teamwork, not just within departments but also between them. The company operates primarily within the secondary market for servers, storage and networking, meaning it has huge diversity in manufacturers, models and generations. Techbuyer also buys laptops, desktops and other client equipment, offering competitive prices. Every department requires a high level of expertise, developed within an in-house training programme and a strong culture of mutual support. The spirit of cooperation extends beyond the company to its partnerships with professional organisations, research, and governmental bodies.
Developing sustainable solutions is a key value at Techbuyer. The company does a lot of work to further the Circular Economy agenda, both within the UK and overseas, working with the University of East London to develop a tool to reduce emissions in data centres whilst reusing hardware. It is also an Associate Partner on the Circular Economy in the Data Centre Industry (CEDaCI) project, which covers France, Germany, the Netherlands and UK; submits to academic and industry publications, and speaks regularly at sustainable IT events.
The world produces just over 50m tonnes of e-waste every year. According to some predictions, this figure could be as high as 120m tonnes by 2030.
Circular solutions like high-quality refurbishment and sale to the secondary market have been adopted by many big players, including Google, which published a report in 2015 to say it was saving billions of dollars as a result. However, other organisations are less aware of the benefits of re-use. Techbuyer would like to change this with world class provision of refurbished solutions alongside new, thus bringing re-use into the mainstream. Winning a prestigious Queen’s Award will be a great help in this regard.