The Challenge

Bechtle have been working with Colchester Borough Council for 18 months, supplying laptops, smartphones and associated hardware, including Bechtle’s own brand, Articona.

During the summer of 2020, Bechtle won a tender with Colchester Borough Council for 565 client devices, as part of a hardware refresh project. With the new devices rolled out, and the old devices returned, the council approached Bechtle once again about a social value opportunity. Colchester Borough Council wanted to bring some of the returned devices back into the local community to support the elderly, low-income families, and students. With the pandemic still at large, the council were keen to ensure that the devices were suitably sanitised before distribution, but it was also vital that the costs of the project were kept to a minimum, in fact as cost-neutral as possible.


  • Re-use old devices for the local community
  • Sanitise and refurbish the devices, ensuring GDPR compliance before distribution
  • Distribute the devices to the new recipients

The Solution

With the age and condition of the devices in mind, Bechtle agreed that around 50% of the laptops met the requirements for sanitisation, data wiping, and Windows re-imaging, and could successfully be returned to the local community.

To keep costs as low as possible Bechtle made an agreement with Colchester Borough Council that any remaining devices would be sold on for a profit, which in turn would cover the costs for refurbishment, secure data compliant recycling, and destruction of any devices that were not suitable for refurbishment.

One of the main challenges for this project was making it cost neutral, as issues with BIOS passwords meant that not every device was suitable for refurbishment, re-use or re-sale. Therefore, it was vital that Bechtle maximised the return on devices that could be sold on.

A secondary major challenge was logistics, with all of the refurbished devices needing to be delivered to multiple locations. However, with an extensive distribution network, Bechtle were able to overcome this with minimal impact to the council.

Key Benefits For Colchester Borough Council

  • New devices rolled out for the hardware refresh project
  • Recycling of the old devices
  • Sanitisation, refurbishment, secure data compliant recycling, and destruction of any un-used devices, covered with no additional costs for Colchester Borough Council
  • Logistics to multiple locations, supported by Bechtle