A growing need for flexibility and cost-cutting, coupled with a trend towards recycling are helping propel companies towards greater use of refurbished computers.

World Data Products (WDPI) is a company that has been established in the US for the past 18 years. According to the company’s UK sales manager, Will Richardson, the company had been already been making sales in Europe before it decided to establish a permanent base here.

Richardson said that the company could out-perform many existing suppliers in the used-equipment market through the size of its stock. “We have about $10m worth of stock available at any one time,” said Richardson. He added that customers could save between 40 and 60 percent of manufacturers' list price, according to type of product and current availability.

There’s no typical user, said Richardson. The company supplies to all vertical markets and offers a range of products from Dell, IBM and Sun servers to Cisco networking equipment. Richardson added that the resistance to refurbished equipment is diminishing as companies shed the “man in the white van” image and as users look for more flexibility from their suppliers.

It sources its product from many sources through a network of more than brokers. The company is also looking to expand its range by launching a maintenance and leasing service.

But there are other issues too. Companies are growing increasingly interested in recycling schemes. Hewlett-Packard has just announced a scheme for recycling computers. But that’s nothing new to WDPI, “we’ve been advocating recycling for years,” said Richardson, “that’s the nature of the business.”