Circular IT specialist recently rebranded and launched a core territory focus as demand for sustainable IT solutions continues to soar
December 10, 2020 – Flex IT Distribution, formerly Xeptor, was originally part of the Infotheek Group of brands which was established in 1991. The Netherlands-based, PE-backed firm rebranded to Flex IT Distribution on 21 January 2019 following a group-wide review, focusing on circular and eco-sustainable hardware solutions for IT resellers across Europe.
The firm has fast become the Circular IT supplier of choice in both the commercial and public sector and is well on track to hit its ambitious 50 per cent growth goals over the coming three years.
Key vendor partners include HP (Flex is a certified refurbishment and rental partner for the brand), Dell, Apple, Cisco and Lenovo from a laptop, mobile device, storage and server perspective, and it is also planning to significantly grow its partnership with Samsung.
Having worked at Flex since 2018 as director of rent and demo, Leon Timmermans was appointed to the CEO role in 2019, and has overseen a strategy refresh to focus on seven ‘priority’ countries including the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the UK. But Flex IT also has a presence in four other territories: Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden to cater for the Eastern Europe and Nordic regions.
“We wanted to create an identity and energise our people, and that involved making choices and renewing some of the processes around our strategy,” explained Timmermans. “For every Euro we spend in the company, if the choice is between circular or new product, I wanted everyone to always spend the Euro on circular. Everybody is fully on board with this strategy.”
The firm works exclusively through channel partners, with a core market of top 200 resellers, SMB partners, e-tailers and retailers across Europe, Timmermans explained. But it is always open to speaking to new potential partners.
He added that Flex IT also still buys new IT equipment for its demo and rental business divisions, but said all the kit is eventually absorbed back into the circular business [see bullet points below].
Flex IT currently employs around 350 people across the business, which includes 120 specialist Circular IT sales experts to help its reseller partners maximise the benefits of selling refurbished kit to their customers.
All refurb work is done by Flex IT’s own in-house teams and products come with a warranty which can range from one year to up to three years for the Approved Selection Line. Products are awarded different classifications to make it easier for the partners to make a product selection. These classifications range from ‘minus 10’ and ‘minus 1’ generations, the latter being just one iteration below the most recent models launched to market, and the minus 10 being older models.
Crucially, Flex IT has a number of different initiatives that resellers can take advantage of to get involved in the circular economy. These include:
- The Flex IT Circular Partner Programme – split into three different levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold – each level has specified revenue targets and additional benefits such as sales and marketing support, technical services and training, with Gold being by achieved by invitation only. [https://flexitdistribution.com/partner-program/]
- ITAD (IT Asset Disposition): This scheme allows firms to dispose of any old or unwanted hardware and use the residual value of the hardware to purchase new equipment at a discount. Flex IT carries out this service on behalf of its reseller partners and brings otherwise discarded devices back into the market, and bringing them ‘full circle’.
- Rental Aimed at firms looking for a ready supply of temporary IT equipment. Originally popular with trade fairs, exhibitions, workshops, seminars or large and small scale events, Covid-19 has pushed this particular strategy in a different direction – fulfilling the demands of firms whose staff have previously worked on premises using desktops, but who now need to hire large quantities of mobile devices to cater for remote working during the lockdown. The option to buy the kit is also included.
- Demo Flex IT has demo facilities in its core countries, which is used to demonstrate the latest vendor solutions to customers and facilitate sales for those vendor’s reseller partners. All the equipment bought and sold through this facility is also integrated back into the circular model once it is no longer required by those customers.
Flex IT’s multi-pronged strategy is definitely having an impact.
Timmermans explained: “Our first goal was to get 50 per cent of revenue through Circular IT sales, but the way things are going it could be up to 65 per cent. Our early focus last year was on the bottom line because we wanted to make a change and stop selling a lot of non-value-add product groups and focus on circular IT, but the bottom line and the top line are both growing now. We are already overachieving on our strategy.”
To find out more about Flex IT Distribution and to speak to them, visit their website here: https://flexitdistribution.com/