It Does Compute: Northboro Computers is Everyman's Computer Store
Northboro Computers opened to give customers reasonable, affordable solutions to their computer needs. The company still sticks by that philosophy.
One day, in the early 2000s, Brian Russell, DM, was in a chain store. An elderly lady was in the same aisle, looking for assistance from a clerk on buying a device to back up photos of her grandchild.
That clerk, Russell said, was insistent on selling the woman a 1TB hard drive, which at the time cost $219.
"She asked again and again wasn’t there something less expensive for her to use," said Russell, "and the clerk geeked out on her and started talking to her about RPMs, the drive and data transfer rates. I heard about all I was willing to listen to and stepped up and asked the woman how many photos did she need to back up. I looked at the store clerk and reached beside him and picked up a 320GB eternal drive that was on sale for $49.99 and told the woman that this would hold a few thousand photos, and did she think that would be enough? Needless to say the clerk wasn't too pleased and started in on me. I quickly put him in his place, and flat out stated that he was guilty of trying to take advantage of the lady."
That incident, and others like it, prompted Russell to start his own business.
"That is when I decided enough of this," said Russell. "People need a place to go and get honest answers and advice. These chain stores are getting too greedy and the sales staff is driven by spiff programs, not client needs."
Northboro Computers LLC was officially formed in May of 2009 when the company formed the LLC with the state.
Northborough Patch: In a nutshell, what does Northborough Computers do?
Brian Russell: Going for a coconut sized nut and not a walnut, at Northboro Computers we perform all aspects of computer repairs, desktops, all in ones, notebooks, and laptops. We perform virus removals, tune ups, system upgrades data recovery services too. So whether it’s a slow computer, a broken hinge or screen, we can get you up and running fast.
We also stock a good selection of PC parts such as Motherboards, Drives, RAM as well we stock notebook accessories such as wireless mice, cooling pads, fan pads. We also stock new and used Notebooks and Desktop systems, laser printers, inkjets too.
NP: How do you stay on top of today's technology? It moves so rapidly that it seems like that would be the most difficult aspect of it.
BR: We stay on top of the market many different ways. First, our background is as a technology scout and manager for a large OEM pc manufacturer. For over 25 years I developed relationships with technology manufactures, learned the products they offered, the market trends for the products and find ways for them to fit our clients’ needs as well I would travel to factories and campus worldwide as well as trade shows. During this time I was also earning my degree , I have a multitude of degrees all in PC and IT related fields, MCSE, MSCI (Microsoft certified system engineer and certified instructor), BS - Computer Science, MS- Computer engineering, DM – Information systems + management. As well I’ve sat on design boards for products from AMD + Intel to Microsoft.
While the scope of the market I now serve is smaller, I still have my contacts and relations with top level marketing, engineering and executive sales teams.
I still maintain active participation in communications and programs with company’s such as Intel, Microsoft, AMD, Cisco, Western Digital, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Logitech, HP, Lenovo and more. We keep our eyes closely on what the technology trends are and where they are going.
NP: Northboro Computers recently expanded. Tell us about it.
BR: When Northboro Computers first formed at 38 Main St., we worked out of a dedicated room with a separate entrance to the house—the old Dr. Ball office from 1730 to be exact. It was a room abpout 12 feet x 15 feet 180 square feet, cramped, and we worked out of this space for a little more than three years until some office space opened and we made the move. We now occupy 800 square feet. We have a considerably larger show room area, a dedicated class room/meeting area, as well as a larger repair facility that still allows us to complete most repairs in one day.
NC: What's the key to your success?
BR: By educating our customers and taking the time to show them how to use what we sell, we help ensure that they have a great experience with their purchases and get the best value and service possible. I don’t think anything can be as frustrating as it is when you go to purchase something so technical that it becomes overwhelming fast. We break that mold and teach people in terms they can understand what “dual core with hyper threading is” or what “turbo” does for you.
When they get an understanding they can them make a better decision in what’s right for them.
We get asked daily what would I buy, or which one would I get; I do my best to not answer, but explain what the differences are, what model A has and what model B has, and the differences so they can decide. And if we don’t have a solution that meets a client’s needs and another store has it, we help point them towards that solution. Many times we’ve pointed someone to a deal at BJ’s or OfficeMax. We’ll still help get them setup, perform data transfers for them. It's all about getting what fits their needs.
But when we do sell a client a solution we support them for the lifetime they own the product. Yes, you read that right, we support you for the lifetime you own that product.
You have any questions or problems, simply stop in and we’ll help you out and answer your questions. This isn’t to be confused with lifetime warranty; the manufactures warranty is theirs, but if there’s a defect and it’s covered by the warranty, we’ll get in touch with the manufacturer, get the return authorization, box the item, ship it, and get it back for you. However, we won’t eat the shipping. You work for a living, and this is our living. We have the relationships in place with the manufacturers to return items for warranty so you don’t need to worry about that.
So when we say we’re here to help, it really is that. We keep it casual and friendly. We’re never too busy to answer questions when you stop in, and we may offer you a seat in the back room and chat with you while we work on something but we’ll still do our best to get your answers.