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Talking Innovation at Intelligence Forums Leeds

Rich Kenny, Group IT Director Jan 21, 2020

Last week I was invited to give a short talk to a roundtable discussion at Intelligence Forums at the Clarion Solicitors offices in Leeds. It was an exciting afternoon with business leaders from a diverse range of local companies coming together to discuss how innovation plays a role in what they do and it was great to swap details with so many people who were interested in what we do and keen to collaborate on community projects going forward.

As I lead most of the technical innovation projects at Techbuyer, from project and infrastructure changes, bespoke data bases, KTP and new business development, I was in a good position to give an overview of some of the exciting work the company is undertaking. I also got to explain how by doing this successfully and being one of the fastest growing companies in the country enables us to do more of what we really love: fun projects that help our local communities and raise awareness about sustainable IT.

Necessity and other innovation drivers

Fundamentally innovation is necessary to ensure continuing growth and business development,  whether this is in response to technical challenges, regulatory requirements or to catalyse next step growth. This is particularly important in the secondary market, where you stand or fall according to the quality of goods and services you supply. We have to continually prove ourselves so that we compete not just on price but on reliability and quality. It means we are on a constant journey towards self-improvement which, whilst it may be challenging is also deeply rewarding.

Innovations aren’t just brand-new products; they are new ways of dealing with existing and changing problems. For us this could be reconfiguring our warehouse to follow a process chain that eradicates the possibility that recorded data can leave our facility by a single failure. Would could do so by implementing the best software in the world to erase drives, and then make it better, followed by processes and procedures that involve random sampling and linked serials to reports to catch each drive that enters and leaves the building.

It would be creating a market changing tool through our partnership with UEL and Innovate UK that will allow any business with servers and server infrastructure to evaluate both its refresh cycles, environmental impact and energy efficiency and usage. This has the impact to benefit the companies bottom line, reduce complexity in its organisation, reduce dependency on single OEMs while having a huge positive impact on the environment. We cannot make strides forward as a business community without investing time and effort into solving the larger problems.

Why we come to work

At the heart of all this is our people. Techbuyer has grown from an organisation of around thirty people to one of over one hundred and fifty within five years. That we have been able to do so whilst consistently raising turnover is testament to the company’s ability to retain its values and ethos. We believe that in order to drive success we must be a little bit better at what we do every day. We do this by looking after and supporting each other… and by making a difference where we can.

Our business success means our staff get to do some really fun stuff, which helps make Techbuyer a good place to come to work every day. Whether it is pulling apart servers and coming up with the optimal configuration, building a bike out of redundant IT hardware and taking it on a tour of local beauty spots, playing detective on materials content and driving EU research, sending mice and keyboards to schools in Africa, trialling cutting edge recycled packaging or collecting pieces of foam to make charity craft kits, Techbuyer projects are interesting. They have real use, involve collaboration between multiple departments and, most importantly, come from ideas of our staff.

People often ask how we retain company culture as the organisation grows. It is easy to be friends when you are all within calling distance of each other, but how do you retain that cohesiveness through multiple sites over three continents? Part of the answer is by listening to each other and helping each other to make ideas a success. 90% of what we do has come out of ideas employees have, whether that be on charitable donations, business development or systems design.

There is satisfaction in increasing the bottom line, employing more people and growing the company talent pool. Much more satisfying is the ability to do good stuff with the money you earn – have fun, try new ideas and make a positive difference. That is something that Techbuyer staff have the chance to do regularly and in multiple different ways, both as a company and in partnership with other organisations. I look forward to seeing what new partnerships will come as a result of last week’s talk. It will be great to see what the future holds.


Techbuyer is a global specialist in the buying and selling of new and refurbished data centre equipment. With our thorough testing process, a three year warranty as standard and over 225,000 IT parts in stock, our IT equipment provides a range of quality IT solutions for businesses, organisations and universities across the globe. You can find out how we could help your business here.


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