How Minpex uses Twocanoes Software Solutions for global sale
Searching for New Solutions
Minpex, an international wholesaler of refurbished devices based in Zwanenburg, The Netherlands, sells used MacBooks as part of their product line. Before 2020, they configured refurbished MacBooks with the now-unsupported DeployStudio. “It worked on a local server that ran on a USB drive,” says Gabriel, Head of Minpex’s Technical Department. “It had all these issues, all the time.” But last year, Minpex had deployment issues that couldn’t be fixed.
“In 2019, we were mostly processing older MacBooks: 2014, ‘15,” says Gabriel. “In 2020, we started doing ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19—all the newer types with the T1 and T2 chips.” As these newer models entered stock, and Gabriel had to configure the refurbished devices with his team, he ran into a big issue: DeployStudio only supports up to macOS High Sierra, and that was bound to cause problems. “With the newer Macs, if they came shipped with Catalina, you could not install High Sierra on it. It just wasn’t supported,” recounts Gabriel.
“After a while, when the newer Macs kept coming in with the T2 chips, you couldn’t even start off of USB, you had to start off through a network.” Minpex could use Apple’s in-house deployment solutions, but Gabriel noticed that some removed functionality from Apple Server. “That made customization impossible,” he says.
Normally, a lack of customization is just an inconvenience; for Minpex, however, customization was a necessity. Their uniquely international customer base required a configuration approach that accommodated for customization. “If you recover a Mac through the network, through the official Apple way, it uses your country’s language—in our case, it would be Dutch. But if we’re selling to Germany or France, that starting language would still be in Dutch. You don’t have a language selection.” Imagine opening up a computer you’ve just purchased to find that you can’t read anything on the screen: that was the situation Minpex wanted to avoid. On newer versions of macOS, “when you boot a Mac re-installed through Recovery Mode, it automatically picks a language for you,” Gabriel says. “Customizing language was a dealbreaker for us.”
Landing on MDS
Issues with using DeployStudio and Recovery Mode for deployment left Minpex in a tight spot. Gabriel says, “these changes and restrictions made me think, ‘This is not a good solution anymore, it’s time to find something else.’ So, I just kept searching, and that’s how I came upon MDS.”
Initially, MDS matched for the needs of Minpex’s Technical Department simply for supporting newer versions of macOS. Gabriel remembers seeing MDS mentioned on an internet forum discussing alternatives to DeployStudio. After some quick internet searches, he learned about how MDS handles deployment. “I saw it could be implemented through a network and I said, ‘Wow, this is—this is what we needed! We could’ve used this all along!’”
Beyond support of newer OSs and deployment through a network, MDS fit Minpex’s customization needs better than deployment via Recovery Mode, allowing for the language customization that Gabriel’s Technical Department sought. With MDS, “I was able to make images, my own images, with our own software and our own language packs,” he says.
Seamless Workplace Integration
It didn’t take long for Gabriel to learn MDS: according to him, “it only took me a day. From beta testing—if you want to call it that, to see if it actually worked—until using it was the next day.” From one day to the next, Gabriel learned MDS, tested it within company workflows, and implemented it department-wide for deploying each refurbished MacBook sold by Minpex. “It was really fast and I didn’t need to ask for approval, because we didn’t really have a similar system.”
While implementing MDS efficiently, Gabriel found that he could deploy multiple devices efficiently, too. Deploying via USB storage might be fast, but Gabriel says “I don’t think you can compare. MDS is run through our network, which is way, way better. With only one USB stick, I can only deploy one Mac at a time; through the network, I can do 10 at a time.” And if Gabriel wanted to, he could push those numbers. He says that since a recent router purchase, “we could probably do 30 or 40. We usually do 10, just to keep some space on the network for the rest of the technical department.”
Today, Minpex uses MDS to deploy dozens of MacBooks each week. Even without using full network capacity, MDS is flexible enough that it can accommodate variation in purchase orders incoming stock. “Sometimes we get 150 MacBooks a week, sometimes we get 50 a week. But in an average week, I would say we deploy about 100-200 with MDS.”
Looking back on making the switch, Gabriel says, “I’m really glad I found it! Now, the whole technical department is using MDS! It’s just super, super simple to use. Anyone can do it, really.”
Interested in what MDS can do for your company? Want to see the possibilities for deployment within your company or organization? You can get your hands on the same software Minpex uses: visit the MDS Product Page to try out MDS today!
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Want to purchase refurbished devices wholesale from anywhere in the world? Visit Minpex.com for refurbished MacBooks (deployed with MDS!), iPhones, iPads, and other smartphones.
Minpex also sells parts for the entire Apple product lineup and select non-Apple devices, repair tools, and accessories.
MDS, the MDS logo, Twocanoes, Twocanoes Software, and the Twocanoes logo are all copyright of Twocanoes Software, Inc. “Minpex”, the Minpex logo, and the wrench symbol are copyright of Minpex B.V., used with permission. MacBook, macOS, Apple, Apple Server, Recovery Mode, Mac, macOS, macOS High Sierra, macOS Catalina, T1 chip, and T2 chip are copyright of Apple, Inc. DeployStudio is the copyright of The DeployStudio Team.