Business profile: Return On ITBy David Millward
February 25, 2011
The boss: Managing director Phil Reakes: “My entire career has been in computing, starting in 1978 with HP. When I joined the HP Remarketing Group I found my ‘spiritual’ home, and went on to be the European sales manager with P&L responsibility. I now had a taste for running my own business, and this I have done since leaving HP in 1996.”
What is your business about? “Our IT expertise helps organisations understand when to retire their existing IT assets, collecting the redundant items and professionally processing them to return cash to the client. We are environmentally and socially responsible; where reuse is not possible, then computer recycling takes place in the UK.
"We have put aside money from our reuse and computer recycling regeneration service to fund Launchpad Reading (a single homeless project) and tree planting in Theale, through the EIT Foundation.”
What product/services do you offer? “Return On IT provides IT asset services that deliver cost benefits to our clients from understanding when to retire IT, and returning cash from IT reuse.
"Our certified data erasure service, up to military specification, and asset cleaning ensures the client’s good name is protected.
"By working with Return On IT, the client is compliant with the WEEE directive and EU legislation for waste disposal, and knows we will take an environmentally aware approach by reusing before recycling computers.”
How and when did you start your business? “Return On IT started in April 2010, after having seen some success with a previous general IT recycling business.
"However, we’ve only recently adopted the name Return On IT to avoid confusion with other businesses, and to make clear the benefits of working with us.”
How many staff do you employ? “A total of seven are currently involved.”
Who are your customers? “Our customers are medium to large organisations that run and own their IT systems on the desktop and in the data centres. Our clients include easyJet, Mondial Assistance, Informa and PepsiCo.”
What sets you apart from the competition? “Competitors may pick up your old IT, but would they give you cash back when equipment is reused? Advise on the best time to retire your IT? Erase data and clean assets to ensure security is maintained? Reuse rather than destroy IT giving environmental benefits?”
How has the recession affected business? “The recession has helped us, as customers want to know they are realising maximum value from their IT at the end of its lifecycle.”
How do you feel about the future? “Good, we are growing and know there are plenty of new clients in medium to large organisations who would benefit from our IT asset retirement services.”