- Techbuyer celebrates its recent achievements and awards including:
- 1. Listed in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league for the second time, achieving 187th place!
- 2. A Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2020 which was accepted at the Harrogate office earlier this year, as well as our Gold Stevie Award at the International Business Awards.
- 3. Techbuyer is proud to be a full research partner on the EU funded CEDaCI (Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry) project, along with only 5 other experts, which was made possible through our own investment in a dedicated Sustainability and Research Team.
- 4. The Techbuyer UK ITAD team has retained its distinction within the ADISA accreditation thanks to the great work carried out by the team there! We have also been awarded the Sustainable Electronics Reuse and Recycling (R2v3) Standard accreditation in the USA
Astrid Wynne is the sustainability lead at Techbuyer, a global specialist in the provision of sustainable IT solutions, a chartered environmentalist, and full member of the IEMA.
As a sustainability specialist, Astrid’s work centres around increasing sustainable business practices within the Techbuyer group and advocate for positive change within the sector.
Kevin Towers is the CEO of Techbuyer, a business that provides sustainable IT solutions to organisations across more than 100 countries, with offices and engineering facilities in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA.
Kevin applies a simple, well-worn but powerful approach to business - don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today! With a central belief in a waste not, want not ethos, he has a positive 'do it now' mindset which has served him well in the successful development of the Techbuyer business.
Techbuyer started life in 2005 in Kevin’s parents’ garage with the simple idea of refurbishing IT hardware systems & parts. Techbuyer now does much more than that! The company provides fully sustainable enterprise IT infrastructure solutions from the likes of HPE & Dell to businesses large and small - and employs more than 250 staff globally.
Techbuyer has evolved and developed using it's own resources and is privately owned. The core of the business remains focussed around the reuse, reconfiguration and refurbishment of IT hardware. However, the company now delivers both new and refurbished enterprise hardware & software solutions to the full spectrum of businesses and organisations across the globe.
Additionally, Techbuyer now advises governments & academics on sustainability across both sides of the Atlantic. Representatives of the company were invited to the House of Commons BEIS Committee Roundtable in 2020 to share their views on the UK Government’s current industrial strategy, and how businesses are dealing with the impact of Covid. In the USA, Techbuyer is proud to have been part of the latest revision process of the American National Standard for Remanufacturing as approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), demonstrating the company’s leadership and expertise on such issues.
Techbuyer's ongoing research, in the areas of sustainability and energy efficiency has resulted in the publication of an IEEE whitepaper which was approved and launched in the Journal of Sustainable Computing. The paper was the culmination of a 2-year research program with The University of East London and led to the production of a world-first software tool named Interact. This machine-learning, SaaS tool is proven to reduce IT infrastructure cost and carbon footprint, as well as increase energy efficiency in data centres. More details about Interact can be found on our website.
Under Kevin’s leadership Techbuyer and Interact have become leading industry voices on sustainability, innovation, and the circular economy.
Over the last 17 years Techbuyer has expanded from Yorkshire to Europe, the US, and APAC, displaying incredible maturity and growth whilst remaining true to its local beginnings.
The business is currently in an exciting growth phase, expanding products and services, including the ongoing development of its Enterprise Solutions capability. Meanwhile the company continues to beat the drum for the circular economy and sustainable products in all the markets it operates in.
Kevin and his team have made a real success out of spotting an opportunity and developing it into a full-scale successful business, which for its customers also serves as an ethical and economical way to acquire and dispose of IT.
Despite the global pandemic and the challenges of 2020/21, Techbuyer Group's turnover has remained very strong, with an increase from £42m to £55m for the financial year (Oct 2020 – Sept 2021).
The next 12 months continues to see an aggressive growth plan with targets which will extend reach into different global markets and increase revenue targets by 21%.
Techbuyer is evolving quickly, but Kevin and his team continue to think and operate based on long-term sustainability and growth. The company is spearheading innovation in the industry and investing in its own home-grown leadership team – as well as bringing in industry professionals, with similar cultural mindsets, to aid development and growth.
There will always be challenges ahead, but as a business the approach remains truly optimistic and focused on the ability to continue to adapt and prosper - this is down to the fabulous team that has been cultivated across all roles and locations.
Investing in people has become a hallmark of Kevin’s leadership approach. At Techbuyer, he’s been happy to ‘lead from the back’, standing firm on the idea of bringing in young, inexperienced people who want to work hard and progress, and training them in the Techbuyer way. That means giving individuals and teams the support to make autonomous decisions on how best to approach a business process.
He would define himself as an “enthusiastic leader” who believes in leading by example, happy to help and support every role, but even happier for others to receive their deserved credit.
Taking a long-term investment and training approach to employees has developed a culture and drive that separates Techbuyer from its competitors.
First and foremost, Kevin sees his job as maintaining this positive culture. That has been difficult as the business has grown, especially globally, but Kevin is clear that an underlying culture and the right reward structures is fundamental to creating success.
Kevin says, “I believe my role to be the facilitator of good things – whether that be to facilitate good relations between all staff; facilitate developments of one sort or another within the business – or to enable people within the business to make their own decisions and be entrepreneurial.
When we were a team of five or ten people, we worked literally side by side for 12, 13 hours a day, making collaborative on-the-spot decisions between the warehouse and with sales, accounting and purchasing. Obviously when you’ve grown to 250 people that style of working can get a bit unwieldy!
There is more structure and distance now. So, we need to make sure everyone feels valued and has a plan. There is a massive emphasis on team and a heavy focus on ensuring that everyone is communicating, rather than having siloed operations.”
Kevin Towers attended Harrogate College, where he gained a BTEC National Diploma in Science with Distinction.
After college, Kevin started a Chemistry degree course at the University of Sheffield but left after the 3 months – landing a job working for Peter Wilkinson (founder of the UKs first free internet service provider Freeserve – as well as Planet Online, Sports Internet, InTechnology, and others). Working for Peter and his team, Kevin learnt a great deal about entrepreneurial thinking, teamwork, and customer service.
Having never been on a management course, Kevin attributes his success to having worked for both great and not-so-great leaders and being a very keen listener.
He’s clear that his biggest achievements are firmly rooted in being able to help others grow, develop and progress.
“It amazes me how many super smart people we have at Techbuyer – real experts in their respective fields – some ‘home-grown’ (who started with TB as young adults up to 14+ years ago) and some ‘recent transfers’ (experts recruited from elsewhere).
This, alongside the development of new ideas & concepts, is what keeps things interesting & exciting at Techbuyer”.
Listen to Kevin Towers's Leaders Council podcast.
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