RSM Australia

Case study: Datatel Communications

"In the past we’d considered changing our company structure to employ an operations manager to look after the day-to-day running of jobs and the team of technicians, but with RSM's strategic plan we fast tracked that and now we’ve got Michael, our new operations manager. I focus on winning the work and Michael and his guys get the work done".

- Paul Johnson, Director


Datatel Communications, a leading electrical and data communications contractor in Western Australia, appointed RSM as its adviser just four months ago but already the business has restructured and is gearing up for growth.

RSM moved swiftly to develop an action plan for the business, according to director Paul Johnson, "we had a brainstorming session and wrote a lot of stuff on the whiteboard and out of that RSM came back with a hit list of all the various things that had to be done and who had to do them and by when.

"In the past we’d considered changing our company structure to employ an operations manager to look after the day-to-day running of jobs and the team of technicians, but with RSM's strategic plan we fast tracked that and now we’ve got Michael, our new operations manager. I focus on winning the work and Michael and his guys get the work done".

Business planning Datatel Communications

Paul is delighted with the results, as the sales pipeline is already building after just six weeks. "Yes, there has been an impact. I’ve made contact with clients I haven’t spoken to in years and we’ve already picked up work. In the past we didn’t do marketing or business development. As the work came in, we’d get it done. But now, having the time to decide what sort of client we do want and target them has been excellent!"

With more time to concentrate on the strategic direction of the business, Paul says the directors are becoming more selective about how they channel their resources. "There’s been various opportunities that have come up in the last two or three months. Instead of shooting off on a tangent, it’s been “Okay, let’s grab the idea. Does that fit in with our strategic plan? Does it tick all the boxes?” We’ve actually eliminated a couple of opportunities already, we’ve gone ahead with some and we’re exploring a couple of others. Before this, we would have gone on gut feel, been side-tracked into spending a lot of time on what seemed like an exciting new opportunity and not moved ahead with our overall plan".

Relationship with RSM

Even though it is early days in the relationship with RSM, Paul is excited about the prospect of developing formal planning processes in the business: "What’s happened so far has been excellent and we’re excited about moving forward with this. We call it turning it into a 'proper' business in inverted commas, where we have a board reporting on results every month, not just the profit and loss, looking at more than that, planning the business".

Paul has already recommended RSM to a colleague because he is so convinced of the benefits of the firm’s advice. "He’s a one-man-show plumber, and he’s not thinking big. I said to him the other day he should organise to sit down with RSM and run through what his long term goals might be for the business, and put something in place right then. If we had done that 13 years ago, we could have fast-tracked things significantly. What we’ve done in 13 years we could have easily done in five years if we had a plan for it!".


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