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Member Spotlight: Tech Si Limited

An interview with Tech Si

Gee, it’s great to catch up with you, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Firstly, for those of us who don’t know, could you tell us a bit about Tech Si and what your role entails?

Hi Ed, you're very welcome, I appreciate your interest in our business.  I'm the Sales Manager at Tech SI.  Tech SI are one of Europe's leading consumer electronics refurbishment and remarketing companies.  We came to promenance over the last decade, primarily for refurbished consumer PC, laptop and tablet products, but over the past couple of years we've become increasingly well known for our used and refurbished mobile phones.   We've got great sales, technical, logistics and admin teams at our HQ in Staffordshire and it's exciting being part of such a dynamic business.

Tech Si has long held a strong reputation for refurbishment and data logistics in the computer and IT space but you’ve fairly recently stepped up your involvement and moved in on the mobile sector. This market is really coming into its full stride, how have you found venturing into this new territory?

The mobility part of our business has grown exponentially year on year for the past 5 or 6 years now.  We've engaged with new customers from across the globe and have found it to be good business for us.  Our technical expertise gained in the refurbishment of large volumes of tablet PC products during the 2010's transposed directly to reworking mobile phones and we were lucky enough to take on a number of manufacturer trained mobile technicians when a large UK mobile retailer closed it's nearby technical centre, back in 2015.

Do you see further growth opportunities in this segment?

Absolutely.  Business during the pandemic has been challenging, but we've muscled our way through and have ambitious plans for 2021.

What effect do you think the growth of 5G will ultimately have on the recycled sector?

5G has been with us for around 18 months now and didn't render 4G devices obsolete overnight (thankfully), so we see it as device evolution rather than market revolution.  With the launch of the iPhone 12, people will be upgraded to 5G by way of course, not necessarily because they need it or requested it.  Some people may never even realise that they're using 5G technology.  Flagship device launches from key manufacturers always drive device trade-ins and the whole industry is geared up around this. 

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in asset recovery and refurbishment and what improvements do you think could be made to further develop this market? 

The biggest challenge of 2020 has been the impact of COVID-19 on the retail sector.  Major retailers all around the world put device trade-in programmes on hold, manufacturers delayed the launch of new devices and the supply of used product in the market really began to thin out.  We were quite fortunate to be holding stocks of products that peaked in demand (& value).  The big challenge for 2021 will be Brexit, which seems to have taken a back seat to COVID in many people's minds, but we're ready to capitalise on whatever opportunities we uncover.

2020 has been a turbulent year to say the least, with Brexit and Covid-19 wreaking havoc on global economies. How are Tech-Si faring with the challenges this year has thrown its way? 

We took early advice from our parent company on safe working practices (we were checking staff & visitor temperatures back in February) and were quick to roll out these practices across our offices, workshops and logistics areas.  During lockdown, the sales & admin teams transitioned seamlessly to working from home.  Obviously, for many the whole lockdown experience has been awful and people have lost their jobs (their lives even).  However, from a business perspective we've had a successful year.  We didn't have to furlough any staff, everybody worked tremendously hard and thankfully nobody got ill.  From a financial point of view, 2020 has been our best year yet.

You’ve recently been acquisitioned by Singaporean recycler and asset recovery firm, TES-AMM. What does this mean for the future of Tech Si? 

The acquisition has brought many new opportunities to our table, as well as major financial investment in the business.  Early Q2 next year we'll be relocating to a brand new 102,000 sq ft facility in nearby Cannock.  This will allow us to majorly expand on the services that we're able to provide our clients in the retail sector (as well as increasing our processing capacity for our key lines).  We're talking product categories outside of mobility and computing, so watch this space!  
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