The Inspiration Trust comprises of 14 academies across East Anglia that is committed to delivering academic excellence for the region’s young people, pairing the highest quality teaching with the widest possible opportunities.

The Trust is responsible for all procurement for each school, including the purchase of equipment and resources the academies require to provide the best level of teaching to its students. This includes ICT provisions such as computer systems, servers, laptops and tablets which are vital to how students learn and progress at school. 12 months ago, Michael Vaughan, Head of ICT at Inspiration Trust, was tasked with reducing the Trust’s IT infrastructure spend by 40% across all 14 academies, no mean feat by any standard.

“Many schools and colleges don’t realise that reconditioned machines can be provided in exactly the same spec and model as they’d get direct from a vendor such as HP or Dell”, said Bill Champness, Managing Director at Hardware Associates, an IT business that specialises in refurbished IT hardware and supporting equipment, “but at a much less cost. The machines we supply also come with a year long warranty, and post purchase customer service, just like you’d get if you buy brand new.”

“First, I carried out an audit of all computer equipment across each school, so that I could develop a replacement strategy that was in line with the 40% reduction target,” explained Michael.

“Based on the age and condition of all PCs across all schools, the estimated cost was £5 million. I managed to reduce spend by 20% from choosing different technology providers and platforms but the real game changer, which enabled me to reduce spend by another 20%, to reach my 40% target, was working with Hardware Associates. They explained the benefits of investing in refurbished computer systems and how our Trust could save a lot of money on our IT infrastructure, without affecting the quality of the systems we provide to our staff and pupils.”

The Trust purchased 200 desktops and laptops from Hardware Associates, paying 50% less on each unit. In total, this has saved the Trust a massive sum of £50,000. Refurbished computer systems are a great choice for schools, who are working to extremely tight budgets, while trying to provide first rate technology to enable young people to reach their academic potential.

“They look and feel brand new, and our staff and pupils have all been raving about them,” added Michael. “Our investment has already paid off, saving us a huge amount of money as our budgets are increasingly squeezed. We cannot fault the systems, and still can’t believe the like for like comparison between Hardware Associates’ refurbished systems and the brand-new computers.”

And of course the machines have proven themselves – helping to provide a positive, frustration-free experience for college users.