Sustainable resources: Tackling the crisis with used IT.

Back in March 2020, as the COVID-19 lockdown was announced, many administrations and businesses were suddenly faced with the challenge of equipping their employees for working from home. Within a short time, the market had been stripped of IT equipment and many people learned to appreciate the value of used hardware. From a sustainability point of view, the spotlight has been increasingly turned on remarketing products, a topic we recently discussed with Alexander Thiele, Managing Director of Bechtle Remarketing GmbH in Wesel.

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How was Bechtle Remarketing able to best support its customers during lockdown?

Alexander Thiele: A lot of companies needed notebooks so their employees could switch to working from home from one day to the next. The larger manufacturers’ factories in Asia and Eastern Europe were either closed or were unable to deliver quickly, but we were able to provide flexible IT equipment and fast. The devices in our portfolio are all tested and in complete working order, the previous user’s data have been wiped according to extremely high security standards, and we are located in Germany meaning delivery channels are short. You could say that Corona meant Bechtle Remarketing had a very good first half-year as in the first quarter we sold over 4,000 additional notebooks. But not only that. People are now much more willing to accept these products.

What challenges were you faced with?

The challenge was, in essence, the volume of requests we received and the need for everything to happen as quickly as possible. It wasn’t just our customers that didn’t have a long lead time. We didn’t either as our customers needed to ensure that their employees would be able to work from home within just a few days.

You’ve been managing director of Bechtle Remarketing GmbH since the end of April 2020.  How would you sum up your first year?

I have an extremely motivated team that smoothed the transition. The employees were all open and honest and had a lot of ideas up their sleeves which was a great start. Partly as a result of the pandemic, we had to make some very quick changes so that we can better serve the Bechtle IT system houses and our mutual customers. So, for example, we changed the production plan, introduced a new service level agreement and bolstered our ranks both in-house and externally. Another important project was to put our processes under the microscope and we found some areas we could tweak to enable more efficient working and further increase quality.

Alexander Thiele has been at the helm of PSB IT-Service GmbH in Ober-Mörlen since April 2019 and took the reins at Bechtle Remarketing GmbH in Wesel in April 2020. He previously worked as director of networking solutions at Dell and as a unit director at Computacenter.


Used IT has shaken off its negative image. The reusing and recycling of IT hardware is now a crucial component of a sustainable economy.

Alexander Thiele, Managing Director, PSB IT-Service GmbH in Ober-Mörlen and Managing director, Bechtle Remarketing GmbH in Wesel.


 

What potential does Bechtle Remarketing hold?

Used IT has shaken off its negative image. The reusing and recycling of IT hardware is now a crucial component of a sustainable lifecycle. The pandemic has forced a lot of businesses and administrations to turn to reused hardware and they’ve been positively surprised leading to a significantly greater acceptance as people have changed their opinions. That’s why I see potential particularly in terms of collaboration within the Bechtle Group. As market leaders, our Bechtle IT system houses have optimum access to customers who don’t just want to scrap their old hardware, but would like it to be put to use, not least to expand their sustainability credentials.

Are there any other opportunities?

There’s growth potential in the Hardware as a Service model which sees Bechtle Remarketing take on device recycling during its lifecycle. By taking on both rollback and roll out, synergies are created not just with the Bechtle Group company, PSB IT-Service, but also the system houses. As a central service partner, PSB IT-Service offers extensive field service and central IT logistics all from a single source.

You’ve mentioned lifecycles and sustainability. Are these important topics for you?

Absolutely! I envisage exponential growth in both of these areas. At EU level, additional statutory regulations governing sustainable business are in discussion, which means that businesses are increasingly having to keep an eye on what’s happening along the entire supply chain. When it comes to Bechtle Remarketing, there are three positive sustainability aspects:

  • Buying used IT protects resources such as raw materials, saves water and lowers CO₂ emissions during production.
  • Handing over old hardware to Bechtle Remarketing guarantees that data are securely wiped according to ISO 27001 standards. Information security and data protection are after all, part of the non-financial KPIs that many businesses have to publish with the framework of a sustainability report.
  • And the third point is that old devices are given a new lease of life and devices that can no longer be used are professionally recycled according to German standards.

We are preparing ourselves to be certified in accordance with ISO 14001 standards this year in order to make our processes even more sustainable and environmentally friendly. We are convinced of this practice and want to partner companies that also have high environmental standards.

Bechtle Remarketing:

Bechtle Remarketing GmbH is headquartered in Wesel, Germany and is the Bechtle Group’s specialist in sustainable IT lifecycle management. Alongside the purchase and sale of IT hardware, Bechtle Remarketing guarantees residual values, ensures secure data erasure and recycles or disposes of unusable parts in co-operation with an on-site waste management company. If required by the customer, Bechtle Remarketing coordinates related logistics, the rollback of retired devices plus the roll out of new equipment in co-operation with other Bechtle units. Bechtle Remarketing is backed by specialist Bechtle Group teams across Europe—and worldwide if required.

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Published on Jul 14, 2021.