Assetlinx Corp., based in Richmond Hill, Ont., began as a company that not only removes hardware but cleans, tests audits and reconfigures the items that still may be useful for resale. The bulk of those chores have now been moved over to Tech Data, which will process the equipment through its warehouse
and configuration centre in Mississauga, Ont.
Assetlinx is still in the asset business, but will concentrate on tracking the equipment through in-house software and maintaining its relationships with clients.
“”What’s changed with Tech Data is really capacity and throughput speed,”” explained Assetlinx president Chris Kerr. “”We have Web-based asset management and asset retirement software that we give access to the customer to view all of the activity as assets are being disposed of.””
The used equipment business is new to Tech Data, but it made sense to the distributor since it already has the facilities in place to handle equipment pick-up, delivery and testing.
“”We’ve been looking now for a couple of years at how we can leverage that ability to pick, pack and ship and configure product outside the business, or even better within the business but in a different form. That’s where Assetlinx kind of came into the picture,”” said Tech Data’s director of e-solutions and business development David Spindler.
Tech Data won’t have much contact with Assetlinx customers but will communicate with the company directly through Assetlinx’s Web-based tracking software.
“”Tech Data becomes the arms and the legs,”” said Kerr. “”We are very strong in the tools and the process, but we weren’t recognized as a warehouse facility, so bringing those two strengths together we expect a dramatic increase.””
Kerr estimates that business may more than double to 100,000 pieces of technology through the system a year. PCs, monitors and servers represent the core of the company’s business, but it also handles other equipment like fax machines, photocopiers and projectors.
Technology that has some life left in it might get returned to the client for deployment or sold on a secondary market through Assetlinx’s retail and wholesale partners. The rest is disposed of or recycled. At the moment, Tech Data isn’t involved in the reselling process.
Kerr said much of his business comes from the financial sector – banks and insurance companies that go through regular technology refreshes. He acknowledged that upgrade cycles have become longer as IT budgets have become smaller, but every piece of equipment has a limited useful life. Companies may be able to squeeze and extra year or so out of their PCs these days, but he said business may improve as IT investments made in the late 90s for Y2K preparation finally start to expire.
Also this week a long-awaited not-for-profit organization of electronics and IT manufacturers was announced whose goal is to work with governments to find industry-led solutions to electronics