Managing and procuring hardware is an essential aspect of IT operations. In saying that, I’m sure you’ll agree that acquiring, organising, and maintaining hardware requires significant resources and expertise. There are few businesses so self-sufficient that they have everything available internally to get the job done. Without the necessary in-house expertise and experience, IT teams may find themselves making suboptimal purchasing decisions, increasing costs, disrupting productivity, and wasting time that would be better spent on higher-value strategic activities.
This is why so many businesses turn to procurement partners who have the specialised resources to purchase and ship hardware from multiple vendors, and bring additional value to the process. A good partner should optimise the procurement lifecycle and integrate it seamlessly with strategy and management, so that the right devices and hardware are put in the right hands at the right time.
Not all procurement partners are created equal though. Here at Data#3, we should know – we’ve been honing our services and solutions for more than two decades. In this blog, I’ll explore the capabilities you should have on your procurement partner wish list, and how Data#3’s flexible and comprehensive service delivers what many can’t.
I’ll start with the least offered but arguably most valuable benefit that a good procurement partner should bring – distribution and integration centres.
Data#3 operates four centres around Australia – in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. All up, they cover 6,349m2 of warehouse space with the ability to store 4,142 pallets. Each centre is state-of-the-art and kitted out with everything needed to manage, store, design, assemble, configure, test and ship IT-related hardware, including devices, network and server appliances, storage and racks.
Our centres offer everything from design and procurement, to assembly, customisation, delivery, warranty and repair services, and have been the secret sauce behind some pretty impressive feats – for example, organisation-wide roll-outs with hundreds of devices ready to go right on day one, or overnight deliveries that have devices ready and waiting for staff by the next morning, just to name a few.
Let’s look at what exactly goes on behind our centres’ doors.
Let’s be honest – managing multiple vendors and coordinating orders from different suppliers can be messy. Negotiating prices, coordinating deliveries and tracking expenses across different procurement activities requires careful planning and expertise. These multiple dealings increase the risk of miscommunication, create unnecessary delays, and often results in fragmented shipments.
We eliminate the need to place multiple orders with different vendors. Instead, our cross-docking method for order management gives a seamless IT purchasing experience. With our approach, you can purchase a wide range of IT products and brands under a single purchase order. From our facilities, we consolidate your entire order into one tidy shipment (or can arrange partial shipments if you’d prefer).
Timely delivery of hardware is non-negotiable when it comes to meeting project deadlines, maintaining operational continuity, and keeping staff productive. We understand this and have used our vendor and customer insights to perfect our forecasting and stock holding processes to ensure that we have the necessary hardware readily available when you need it.
As a customer, the improved lead times from our vendors and swift centre turnaround times means most stock is on-hand when you need it. We then ensure stock is ready to go just-in-time for your specific delivery requirements, across Australia and internationally. For shipping, we can leverage our own logistics network, or work with yours if you’d prefer.
You don’t need to order and have your products shipped immediately either. Sometimes, you may need to reserve inventory for consignment if your site, or users, are not yet ready for delivery. We offer the flexibility to purchase, pay, insure, and store goods for up to 90 days (with extensions available) – giving you full control over your inventory until you’re ready to dispatch.
Our purpose-built integration centres have the capability to preload images, ensuring that your equipment is ready to go right out-of-the-box with all the necessary apps, configurations, and security policies. In fact, we already pre-image over 10,000 hardware items each month! You can also choose from a staff-initiated onsite cloud deployment that can be triggered once your team member receives their device. Or, if you prefer a little more control, we can offer a hosted image solution that acts just like an onsite deployment server so devices can be imaged within your own virtual environment. There’s also support for operating system installation, software configuration, and firmware updates.
From all our centres, we can also facilitate server builds, including component, server blade, and chassis installation, along with burn-in testing services to ensure flawless performance. When it comes to communications equipment, we can manage module installation and configuration for uninterruptible power supply devices.
IT hardware and software have finite lifecycles, and managing their lifecycle stages is essential. This includes activities such as asset tracking, maintenance, upgrades, and eventual disposal. Without proper lifecycle management, staff may be working with outdated technology and security vulnerabilities risk going unchecked.
From our integration centres, we can manage the entire service call process, ensuring that faulty devices are repaired or replaced before delivery. And when it’s time to sunset your hardware, we offer a secure and environmentally friendly disposal service, that safeguards your business data and adheres to strict environmental regulations. To learn everything and more about our commitment to a better future for our customers and planet, check out our latest ESG report.
By considering a procurement partner with dedicated warehouse and integration centres, you can lean on your partner to take your IT procurement process from unwieldy to seamless. You get efficient consolidation, stock availability, flexible inventory management, and value-added imaging services. These services come together to address the complete logistics chain from placing orders, to delivery, and end-of-life support. With Data#3, you not only save time and effort, you also free up your IT team to focus on higher-value strategic activities, ultimately helping your people work better and drive meaningful digital change.
Get in touch with our team to discover how Data#3 can be the perfect partner for you, for procurement and beyond.