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Techbuyer Joins the Push Towards Remanufacturing Codes in the US
The Remanufacturing Industries Council justified its reputation as a strategic alliance for the remanufacturing sector last month with a campaign to add remanufacturing codes into the North American Classification System (NAICS) in the USA. Techbuyer supported the initiative by submitting a letter of support to the Office of Management and Budget through the Federal portal www.regulations.gov. These are some of the reasons we made the decision to take action.
Shining a light on remanufacturing
One reason we support initiatives like these is that a major barrier to remanufacturing becoming mainstream practice is lack of public awareness, understanding and knowledge. Having remanufacturing codes would enable the US government to collect data on the size of the industry, which in turn has other economic benefits which I will discuss later in this article.
We know there is strong commercial case for remanufactured enterprise IT hardware in particular because we have been supplying a growing customer base with as-new or better-than-new machines for 15 years.
Benefits to the market
Our research work with the University of East London in the UK has proved that there is no difference between remanufactured and new servers in terms of performance or energy efficiency. It also demonstrates that the immediate previous generation can actually out-perform the latest version if configured properly, meaning potentially huge savings for data centre operators.
However, despite the distinct cost benefit of taking the remanufactured option, there is still a misplaced stigma of going public about using it. Having the US Federal Government adopt codes on remanufactured products would go some way towards alleviating this, providing useful information for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) considering offering a remanufactured option and – maybe more importantly – helping governments to retain supply levels in difficult times through identifying additional quality remanufactured equipment as being available for use.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is creating a need for more and more IT equipment as people work remotely. Suppliers of new equipment are struggling to keep up with demand. Some of the OEMs are warning of long waiting lists for products. This makes data on the availability of remanufactured product even more important as governments ensure core infrastructure continues to function. It also helps governments figure out how businesses will cope in recession.
Benefits to society
The nature of remanufacturing means that it creates high value jobs for the workforce. Using Techbuyer as an example, we stock over 225,000 parts at any one time, which come from multiple manufacturers and multiple generations. Our technical teams need to know how to differentiate between these, restore each part and rebuild to order. It’s a knowledge intensive job which means it takes months and years to train our employees. It also requires a creative mindset as each new product that comes onto the market needs to be researched and understood by our operatives. Some sectors might see a future where automation replaces human intervention. I can’t see that for IT remanufacturing, or at least not in the short term. So as we create new jobs (and we’ve grown rapidly year on year), we also create skill sets and technical knowhow in our employees.
Reusing and redeploying has environmental benefits too. With 50 million tonnes of ewaste created globally each year – and on the rise – finding a solution for redundant hardware can only be a good thing.
Techbuyer specialises in buying, refurbishing and selling enterprise IT equipment. With sites across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific, we provide a range of new and quality refurbished server, storage and networking equipment for businesses, universities and organisations across the world. Find out more about our refurbished servers here.