Business floods in at TechRestore

Business floods in at TechRestore

WHEN floods and earthquakes hit the Bay of Plenty in July, staff at Gen-i’s TechRestore centre in Hamilton did not realise that they too would be geting by on little sleep.

In the aftermath, insurance companies in the region were facing a crisis of their own as claims for damages began pouring in.

In anticipation of the need to boost its processing capacity to handle the claims, one insurance firm called for the immediate shipment of 150 pre-configured PCs from TechRestore to its Whakatane branch.

As a TechRestore customer, the insurance company, which doesn’t want to be named, retains a stock of machines at the centre as ready replacements for PCs that may fail at any of its North Island branches. In case of a failure a PC is despatched overnight from Hamilton to be swapped with the faulty machine, which is returned to TechRestore to be repaired, tested, re-configured and returned to storage until needed to replace another failed machine.

This is the normal procedure for the TechRestore team, which ships around 30 replacement units a day around the North Island, according to Gen-i infrastructure services manager Gary Ilton.

However, staff went into overdrive for two days to supply the additional machines needed by the insurance company, while still carrying on with usual business.

The TechRestore centre was established in Hamilton three years ago and combined disparate services offered by various Gen-i branches into a single process under the guidance of operations manager Grant Nicholson.

Hamilton was chosen as the site for the centre due to its proximity to Auckland, and lower property rates. It is also a courier hub for the North Island and Gen-i already had logistics and repair staff in the city.

Ilton says a simple set of processes has evolved to manage the IT infrastructure assets, such as desktops, monitors, notebooks and printers, of five large Gen-i customers in the banking, insurance and transport industries. “Between those customers we support between 20,000 and 25,000 users,” says Ilton.

Initially TechRestore serviced its clients around the country from the Hamilton centre, but high courier costs to the South Island led to the opening of a second centre in Christchurch last year.

“The cost of running the Christchurch centre actually worked out as less than couriering across the ditch and we have been able to pass that saving on to customers,” says Ilton.

Machines for some clients are also stored at key locations around the country to allow for delivery within four hours of a failure, while units have also been shipped to customer sites in countries as far afield as Germany and Japan.

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