As a vibrant and innovative further education establishment at the heart of the community, City of Bath College is among one of the most successful colleges in the West of England and is highly committed to the learning, training and development of its students.
With high quality teaching, continuing professional development of students and a harmonious and purposeful learning environment, City of Bath is a good college with outstanding features. Excellent learning facilities and resources further support the college’s innovative approach to preparing students for the 21st century workplace.
With a relationship spanning over 10 years, City of Bath College now has over half of its desktop estate made up of Stone devices with almost 600 Stone desktop PCs actively in use.
In order to get the most value out of the PCs, once they come to the end of the 4 year warranty that comes as standard on the Stone PCs, instead of being disposed of straight away the college use them for a further 2 years as part of their PC Maintenance courses. This allows students to get hands on and understand what is involved in building and maintaining PC hardware.
After further use over the extended two year period as part of the PC maintenance course, these PCs are almost 7 years old and are beyond economic use and so need to be disposed of. Due to the auditing that takes place for the recycling process at the college every year, the disposal of the outdated IT equipment must be done so in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. It was because of this that the college needed a vendor they could trust who could take away their end of life IT hardware in an ethical, secure way.
Despite having a well-established relationship with the UKs leading ICT solutions provider, Stone was never a vendor the college had thought to turn to for their recycling needs.
The Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) framework offers a compliant and competitive procurement route to market for colleges. For City of Bath College, this meant that they could find a vendor who could meet their IT hardware requirements as well as their IT asset disposal needs and dispose of their end of life IT equipment in a legally compliant and environmentally responsible way. It was only after the college realised that Stone were on the CPC framework that they were keen to find out more about Stone’s recycling offering and turned to the Stone Recycling Services team for more information.
Speaking on this process, Mark Besley, ICT Administrator at City of Bath College, explains: “As a college we always purchase through the CPC framework for the supply of our IT hardware equipment. The transparency of the framework ensures that we always feel comfortable with the services we are getting so when it came to finding a vendor who could also help dispose of our redundant hardware we knew that trying to source this through the CPC framework would be the best decision by far. Stone were one of just two or three nationwide suppliers on the framework who could also assist with our recycling needs and given that we have a well-established relationship with them from a purchasing point of view, we were keen to find out more about their recycling process.
“It was important for us to find an organisation that was not only compliant with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive but who were also recognised by a nationwide framework – Stone fit the bill perfectly.”
It was Stone’s compliance with the WEEE legislation, alongside a number of other factors that weighted heavily on the college’s final decision to choose Stone as their IT asset disposal vendor of choice.
“In the past Stone was never really a vendor of choice for us when it came to recycling. However, the fact that they were on the CPC framework and could provide a recycling service as part of their offering gave me confidence that their recycling processes and knowledge had improved greatly and from that point choosing them as our recycling vendor as well as our IT hardware supplier was a no-brainer,” explains Besley.
“The recycling messaging and marketing was far better than in previous years and it was obvious that Stone had invested heavily in its recycling centre. We could see a vast improvement in Stone’s ability to safely and securely dispose of redundant, end of life IT equipment and were thoroughly impressed with the service provision on offer. Mix that with their presence on the CPC framework, the existing relationship we already have and the knowledge that they could provide total IT lifecycle management for us helped form a clear cut decision to choose Stone.”
Stone operate their own in-house recycling and refurbishment facility, fully licensed by the Environment Agency, and is ADISA certified to distinction level against the enhanced ADISA 2012 ITAD Standard – the only hardware manufacturer globally to have achieved this exclusive status. Alongside this, Stone maintains an Environmental Management System (EMS) and is accredited to ISO 14001 in order to monitor, control and continually improve environmental performance.
Speaking further on this, Besley explains: “My role at the college involves dealing with total asset management, from purchasing IT equipment to the safe and secure disposal of the hardware at the end of its economic life. The recycling aspect is a major responsibility and very important because the college gets audited every year, as part of national requirements, on its recycling process to ensure we are disposing and recycling our IT assets in an environmentally responsible way. Ensuring we have the correct paperwork and documentation as part of this is vital. The fact that Stone provide us with the documentation we need gives us total peace of mind when we are audited that our redundant IT equipment is being disposed of or re-used in an environmentally responsible, sustainable and secure way.”
The decision to choose Stone as not only the college’s IT hardware provider but also their IT Asset Disposal vendor means that the college now recycles approximately 1 tonne of IT hardware every year. Commenting on the process, Besley explains: “We now recycle our entire fleet of end of life IT equipment with Stone, regardless of brand. We stock our old kit until we have enough to warrant a collection from Stone and where possible we try to tie this in with the delivery of our new IT equipment to also help reduce environmental impact and limit carbon emissions from the amount of deliveries and collections we have. I am extremely impressed with the entire recycling process and service that Stone provides.
“I cannot fault the admin process either, from the booking in and collection of our IT equipment to the delivery of the paperwork. The on-line recycling request form on the website is very convenient and one I now use every time. This process is very quick, efficient and easy. You simply fill in the request and within one or two days, the recycling team contact you to arrange dates for a collection. This is high quality service that I cannot fault and only further justifies the decision to choose Stone as the right one. They provide us with a total lifecycle management solution and overall service that at present no other vendor can contend with.”
“We have been dealing with Stone for over ten years now and the service and support they provide is second to none. They are very highly thought of within the education space and very good things are always said about Stone. That, coupled with the excellent experience we have had with them over the last decade, shows their true commitment and dedication to providing first class service and support to the education sector.
It’s the level of service and support together with the longevity of our account managers and engineers that has helped to build trust and form a strong relationship with Stone. That single point of contact is very important and this is exactly what we get from Stone. We know that if there are ever any problems we can go straight to our account manager who will always endeavour to help; they know and understand your needs and requirements and work to meet them as best as they can. It is things like this that add extra value over and above competitive pricing and other aspects of the purchasing process and form the continuation of our relationship with them year after year.
Stone now provide us with the total package and end to end solution for ICT in the college. From the supply of IT hardware right through to the environmentally responsible and sustainable disposal of our outdated equipment, the service we receive is incomparable.
Having Stone as our IT Asset Disposal vendor of choice as well as our IT hardware provider has only helped strengthen the relationship. They do what we expect and provide a very efficient service which makes the deployment of new kit and the disposal of the old far easier and less time consuming. We have never looked back on our decision and are proud to have Stone as our vendor of choice for the total lifecycle management of our ICT.”