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The benefits of remanufacturing for robust operations

The benefits of remanufacturing for robust operations

Operations & SystemsTop Stories

IT solutions specialist, TechBuyer, prides itself on raising awareness on the importance of reusing technology to make for a more sustainable world. Charlie Collett, Sustainable IT Communications / Marketing – TechBuyer, explores some of the benefits of using remanufactured equipment and discusses why it is the way forward.

With long manufacturing delays on supplies of new equipment, supply chain issues and reduced business budgets, demand for remanufactured products has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Far from being a short-term solution, the secondary market is a sustainable, secure and future-proof option for businesses.

In the IT sector, refurbishment is the highest level of remanufacturing possible, so when Techbuyer speaks about remanufacturing, we are talking about the process across all industries. As a refurbishment specialist, we have been raising awareness about reusing technology wherever possible for over a decade. To open up this conversation to other sectors, we spoke to the Remanufacturing Industries Council (RIC), which is furthering the remanufacturing industry by raising awareness, sharing industry news and contributing to governmental policies.

Tackling challenges

“One of the biggest challenges the remanufacturing industry faces is a lack of awareness,” said Michelle Hayes, Business Manager at the RIC. “People simply don’t know the option is there, or if they do, they’re not sure about the quality. Something we always emphasise at the RIC is that these are quality products which are generated securely and provide excellent performance.”

Hayes went on to discuss the factors influencing people’s understanding of remanufactured products.

“There are a lot of terms going around – remanufactured, refurbished, reused – which I think confuses things. ‘Remanufacturing’ is a very robust process with defined processes in place, including testing, cleaning and reassembly, which ensure consumers receive the very best service.”

The RIC has had direct influence on this process. In 2017, it worked with the Amercian National Standards Institute (ANSI) to establish a new benchmark for remanufacturing, which you can read more about here. It is also gathering information and feedback to help pursue an international standard for remanufacturing.

#ThinkReman

To raise awareness about the remanufacturing industry, the RIC started #ThinkReman. This inspired ideas like Global Reman Day – an annual event where businesses share the major benefits of remanufacturing, including sustainable jobs, cost savings and reduced waste. We supported Global Reman Day with a webinar exploring performance and energy efficiency, which you can see here.

“We eventually want people to think of remanufactured options as their first choice, rather than an alternative to new,” said Hayes. “Hashtags and campaigns like #ThinkReman are great for getting the word out there and also gaining some industry support.”

Remanufacturing exclusives

“What many people don’t realise is that when you choose remanufactured, you can access products and prices that you can’t get otherwise,” said Hayes. “Remanufactured products are typically 10-30% cheaper than OEM prices. This means you’re getting the exact same product, with great testing procedures, but at a lower price.”

This is something we find within the IT industry. Many legacy systems and generations of IT equipment are available exclusively through the secondary market, which is ideal for clients looking to upgrade their existing systems; rather than paying for an entire new system or infrastructure. Our IT equipment is available with extensive warranties, rigorous testing and is up to 80% cheaper than OEM prices.

“Another reason for buying remanufactured is that performance is as good as, and sometimes better than, new,” Hayes said. “An example of this is when features are upgraded or added during the remanufacturing process, which enhances performance and improves on the original model.”

Earlier this year, Techbuyer’s KTP testing proved that the performance of refurbished servers is equal to new. This means that the traditional approach of always buying new is no longer justified. The RIC shared the news on its website and supported the message on its social channels.

Remanufactured equipment also has a massive environmental benefit. “Reusing means giving equipment another opportunity to live,” said Hayes. “This prevents the creation of harmful waste and ensures we get the most out of our current resources.”

This is all the more important when you consider that, according to World Economic Forum (WEF), 50 million tonnes of e-waste is produced every year. This is the same weight as all commercial aircraft ever built.

Existing solutions

“The most exciting thing about remanufactured is that there are so many quality solutions out there, whether it’s refrigerators, phones or cars. They are ready and waiting to be found,” said Hayes.

The Remanufacturing Industries Council advances the entire remanufacturing industry by focusing on cross-industry challenges, the barriers of trade and success stories. Its network is home to businesses from all kinds of sectors, including construction, automation, IT, food and education. It also helps to shape policies and regulations impacting the industry.

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