Computer Renaissance in Lincoln Nebraska Closes its Doors

  • Comments: 4
  • Written on: November 24th, 2008

Computer Renaissance is a franchise that was built on a simple concept – why buy a new computer when we can build you a used one for a fraction of the cost.

But as the prices of new computer equipment fell dramatically over the past 10 years, that crisp, clean model was muttled, tweaked, and diluted.  In fact, the Computer Renaissance corporate about us page reads like a laundry list of services that were added each year without much thought to their overall product and service mix.

That cloudy message was part of the reason Lincoln’s Computer Renaissance location closed its doors and disconnected its phones on November 1st.

Why Did Computer Renaissance Fail?

The slide of the local CompRen franchise has been going on for years and is a testiment to any entrepreneur in the computer repair and service industry.

In a world where local service providers are pined under the oppressive marketing thumb of the Geek Squad – not to mention the host of me-too office supply stores selling outsourced Indian technical support – survival and successes directly attached to service levels.

Unfortunately, when you sell used equipment that is already beyond its mechanical life expectancy you are setting yourself up for a service nightmare.  If a rebuilt computer from CompRen failed, the failing component was replaced with another equally ised component that would limp the user through the end of the warranty period when they would have to pay to have it replaced yet again.

I can only imagine how it must have worn on the management of that store to have their customers so upset with them all the time.  I am sure that some people found a genuine value in the CompRen business model, but we sure do see a lot of their customers coming into Schrock Innovations who did not.

What Lessons Can Be Learned From This?

I personally know of a couple local competitors who rejoiced at the demise of Lincoln’s Computer Renaissance.  While there is no doubt that CompRen’s retreat from the Lincoln marketplace means less competition for us, I am not so interested in gloating.

When any company fails it is a tremendous learning opportunity for those willing to look at the situation with a close eye.

The lesson to take away from this is that in a world where computer parts are getting cheaper and low-cost leaders are abound it is foolish to attack the low-end of the PC market place unless you are heavily capitalized and ready to lose a LOT of money to put your competition out of business.

Only companies who realize they are selling the computer repair SERVICE and not the parts or new system will survive the coming PC repair consolidation.

That doesn’t mean you don’t sell computers or parts.  It just means that the sale of a computer or the sale of a component should be either seeding a future service job or satisfying a current one.  Let the Geek Squad Be the Geek Squad – do you really want the guys who install car stereos and hook up plasma TVs repairing your PC?

If you excel at service and genuinely BELIEVE that you are there to meet your customer’s needs you will survive to see many of your less flexaable competitors fall by the wayside over time.

  1. Ruby W said on December 2nd, 2008 at 7:38 am

    It’s sad to see such a brilliant concept fail. But I guess you have to also think of the validity of your idea in 5 to 10 years time.

  2. John S
    John S said on December 6th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Why did they close?

  3. Hair Extensions said on December 9th, 2008 at 12:51 am

    I am hurt to read this article about fall of such great computer business. Hope it will recover soon.

  4. Judy
    Judy said on December 17th, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Bought a new computer from them, was told on Oct 25 to bring it in for repair since it has not been working right since purchased. Guess what, stuck with comp that sucks and now no way to take advantage of the warranty. Paid over $700.

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