You are here

Sponsored Content

Illinois district discovers that quality control is key to buying refurbished computers

CDI's multi-step inspection and repackaging process results in used computers that look fresh from the factory

Before switching to CDI six years ago, Scott Willliams bought refurbished computers from an outfit that apparently had little, if any, inspection process.

"I don't think they even opened the box and checked them or cleaned them," said Williams, technical coordinator of the Fisher CUSD #1 school district in Illinois.

He says that's never happen with CDI computers.

"They come in plastic like a brand new unit,'' he said. "They're extremely clean because CDI has a detailed quality check. They're always improving quality control."

CDI has a rigorous 12-step refurbishing system that examines every single computer component.

It starts with a power-up test to ensure that there are no immediate or obvious failures, and it includes a dust containment process that uses pressurized air and suction technology to remove every last particle of dust.

Following surface cleaning and deep cleaning, units get a fresh server-loaded image. A Windows driver test ensures that there is no missing software and the computers can boot fully up to Windows. As a last step, the equipment is certified.

"They arrive in plastic wrap and they're extremely clean because CDI has a detailed inspection and cleaning system."

Most CDI computers come from corporations that lease equipment for only three years. When their time is up, they're still in good shape and are often higher-end than computers procured from other sources.

While there have been few glitches with the CDI equipment Williams has purchased, when problems do arise, he depends on CDI's support staff instead of contacting a manufacturer. He gets the service and advice he needs, he says.

"I just call my sales rep if there's a problem. She gives me a new unit as a swap for the old unit," says Williams. "If your product doesn't have the support to back it up, it doesn't really help you. So when I look at vendors, I look at the support. I'm very happy with the support from CDI."


Williams discovered that another advantage of using CDI's recertified computers is that he can easily order the same models for years without having to upgrade or switch programs before he's ready.

"As a tech support person, you want to minimize the number of flavors," said Williams, who orders mostly Dell Optiplex desktop units and laptops for his school. "For several years, I might be able to get the same make and model. With new equipment, you have to buy the most recent model and every time you need a new one, it's different."

Williams says the school has saved more than $200,000 since starting with CDI, and it hasn't sacrificed quality. "For my school, that's a lot of money," he said.

For Williams, pricing per CDI unit has been between $199 for the oldest units and $350 for newer models, a discount of up to 75 percent. With savings like that, he sees no reason to buy new computers, and he knows that others have reached the same conclusion.

"A lot more people have made that jump because properly refurbished computers can help solve the budget crunch," he said. "The tech geeks were the first ones to figure it out, but more and more people are coming around, especially in this tight economy."

For more information, visit