In the latest instalment of our education procurement executive interview series, we sat down with Kim Lovatt, Founder and Director at IT asset disposal specialist My Laptop Shop Ltd UK about her company, industry opportunities, challenges and career advice…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
Since 2015, we have been collecting and repurposing end of life and out of date technology from across the education sector. We then lease the devices to students in schools in Ghana, with local IT support, as we have an ongoing contract with Montessori schools there.
As an accredited Microsoft Refurbisher, we offer a number quick, data compliant options, with free collection, that may be of interest:
- Profit share models (some technology has resale capability if tested as working).
- Fixed price purchase (we give you a price based on model / age/ condition).
- Responsible recycling – working & non-working devices, with asset list, certificate of data destruction supplied.
- Hardware refurbishment and software upgrades – extending the life of existing devices!
What have been the biggest challenges the Education Procurement industry has faced over the past 12 months?
Organisations who look to sweat their Laptops and PCs over many years have found they have needed to upgrade. As of January 14, 2020, devices running Windows 7 still function, but Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates or security updates or fixes. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on an older device, it is not recommended.
We have been helping schools and organisations save money and fulfil requirements by supplying much newer refurbished devices where required, and also providing free, certified secure disposal for the redundant machines – with cash back in some cases.
Data Protection – organisations are carefully selecting suppliers that adhere to industry requirements in the wake of GDPR guidelines. We hold ISO 27001 and provide certificate of Data Destruction.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
The demand for responsibly refurbished equipment in schools developing countries overseas is huge and we have large orders to fulfil. We a seeking end of life devices available from across the education sector in the UK, however small the collection may be! (Working and non-working devices!) The education sector here has an opportunity to support a scheme that fulfils their own internal CSR and Green agendas, while providing a service which is required, no doubt at least once a year…whether a site needs a good clear out of e-waste from a store cupboard or as part of a scheduled upgrade during the holiday.
What is the biggest priority for the Education Procurement industry in 2020?
The Green Agenda and looking at ways of reducing carbon footprint is huge, it’s never been more topical. The British Council states in their Green Agenda, a key focus is to implement recycling and reuse initiatives wherever possible. Hopefully our support for schools and organisations will continue to impact positively on operations and activities regarding IT asset disposal (and the repurposing of) across the education sector.
Which person in, or associated with, the Education Procurement industry would you most like to meet?
I would love for Heads of IT or Procurement within UK Academy Trusts, School and Colleges to engage with the ‘One Laptop per Child’ concept and in Ghana as we look to fulfil the demand. Organisations will have a truly demonstrable circular programme for reuse of all their end of life devices. I’d like to then extend partnerships beyond just IT hardware exchange to share teaching and learning experiences across UK and African schools, between teaching staff and students, using technology as the basis.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Receiving newsletters from Schools in Ghana where our laptops, tablets and PCs, are making an impact to the teaching and learning, fully supported by the parents and knowing what we are doing is making a difference. We did get a mention in the national Ghana press!
And what’s the most challenging?
I often get involved in building the pallet boxes, preparing the pallets and preparing the containers. It’s better than a gym work out!!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Put yourself out there and show others what you’re working on! Approach it with humility, grit and determination.