Scottish Computer Recycling Firm Hits £10m Turnover
Kirkcudbrightshire tech firm ETB Technologies has hit a significant turnover milestone selling reconditioned computing hardware.
ETB Technologies, a computer kit recycling firm based in the rural village of Dalbeattie, has hit a turnover of £10 million this year, selling recycled computer parts to major manufacturing companies across the globe.
Previously the bulk of the company’s exports were to firms based in Africa and Eastern Europe, which made up 44% of its sales to 69 countries, but this has shifted with an increase in the number of UK companies requiring resale equipment.
ETB is benefiting from a booming market, estimated to be worth several billion pounds per year, by meeting the growing demand for repurposed computer kits. Major cloud based companies are investing heavily in huge international data centres for Big Data and are upgrading their tech every one to two years, according to the firm.
As a result of this constant upgrading, much high-demand tech becomes available, which can be reused by other businesses that do not require the very fastest digital response. After the equipment has been refurbished it can be sold on for a fraction of the original cost. Reusing this equipment contributes to the Circular Economy and helps lower carbon emissions.
80% of EBT’s equipment is Dell, however the company also handles Cisco and HP kit, and comes with a three year warranty. The firm is one of the biggest private employers in the region.
Founder and managing director, Nick Stapleton, told Business Insider: “We’re selling right across the world to organisations of all sizes from independent law firms who need a switch or a server for their business, through to major consumer goods manufacturers.
“I’ve enjoyed building this company with the team, which now has a wealth of experience. To think that we’ve built the company in a small rural town in south-west of Scotland is absolutely brilliant. Nobody knows we are here because we don’t do any local business.
“We’re selling to UK companies, including major banks because people don’t need to buy servers that are brand new all the time. Some of our kit is only three months old but, on average, it’s around three years old, which means there is still another three to five years left in it.
“In the first year we had revenues of £125,000 and we are heading for over £10 million this year. Our challenge over the next few years will be to increase sales and we might need funding for this, but our growth so far has been organic. We will be looking at investment opportunities perhaps acquisitions to help us grow in the future.
“We’re now in the process of reinvesting for the future. My ethos is to grow and reinvest and make this a sustainable company. We’ve been experiencing year on year growth since 2002 and in the last seven years the company has started to take-off exponentially. I’m really happy where we are and how we are driving on.”
Sales manager Pete Miller said: “We’re always looking for Scottish partners. In 2015 we partnered with Digital Six, an Edinburgh-based e-commerce web developer, who helped us launch a brand new e-commerce site. It now accounts for 20% of direct revenue and 50% of sales lead generation. The website has been so successful that we will be launching an upgraded version of the website in partnership with Digital Six.”