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Vendor support gives districts confidence in using recycled computers

CDI’s long-term warranties and personalized attention instill a sense of security

If Bob Henderson had any doubts about purchasing recycled computers for the Lake Park Audubon school district in Minnesota, they vanished after he saw CDI’s three-year warranty.

“That’s what they offer instead of 30 days, like most companies,’’ said Henderson, technology coordinator for the schools.

Eight years later, the district is still a CDI customer.


"We investigated other companies before we went with them. But their name kept coming up. People were very happy with them," said Henderson. "They have good pricing, good equipment and excellent service."

Although CDI’s computers are lightly used, Henderson discovered that they’re far from technological fossils. “You buy the same machine you would buy new, except it’s just one or two years older,’’ he says."They perform really well. There’s no difference in reliability."

CDI has a rigorous process of cleaning, inspecting and testing its machines. Each component of the computers is scanned with diagnostic software to ensure that everything is working and all units have their original components.

"They're interested in what's going on in the district, what's happening with our schools."

Once a unit is sold, it’s removed from the shelf and subjected to the same testing process before it's certified and shipped out. As a result, the failure rate for a CDI-certified computer isn’t much different than it would be for a new one.

In addition to the money the Lake Audubon district has saved, Henderson found that refurbished computers have another advantage: programming flexibility. Instead of opting for the latest version of Windows, the district asked CDI to provide computers with Windows XP, to ensure that all machines in the district were using the same operating system. “If we had bought new, we wouldn’t have been able to do that," said Henderson. “They can put anything you want on it."

But the service the district gets from CDI is the main reason why he’s stayed with the company. Representatives are attentive and proactive, never pushy.

"Our rep will check in on a weekly basis but it’s not a hard sell, it’s just, 'how are you doing? Do you need anything?'" said Henderson. "They answer all our questions. They’re very knowledgeable. And they deal with you on a personal level. They’re interested in what’s going on in the district here, what’s happening with the schools."

CDI is focused entirely on the educational K12 market and makes an effort to learn what’s important to customers so it can tailor its products and services to their needs.

For Shelly Bailey of the Treynor Community School District in Iowa, CDI’s customer service and an ongoing relationship with staffers instills a sense of security.

"We get approached by other companies but I feel like, 'I don’t have a relationship with you. I don’t know you,'" said Bailey, the district’s tech coordinator. "I feel like I know CDI and trust them."

Although there have been only a few glitches with CDI computers since the district hired the company three years ago, when something does go wrong, CDI offers a spare machine as back-up for every 50 units purchased. "It’s really nice to have that one on the shelf, ready to go," she said.

The 40 percent savings the district has accrued since it started using CDI three years ago has convinced her there’s no reason to buy new computers again.

“We can use that budget for other things,” she said. "The difference between using CDI computers and brand new computers is minimal. I can’t imagine paying full price now."

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