Founded in 2007, DT Fire Systems designs, supplies, installs, and maintains fire and security systems nationally, across large and multiple commercial sites. The last five years have seen the development of an end-to-end job management software system which differentiates DT Fire Systems within the industry.
Turnover was in decline and the business owner recognised the need for help and expertise to maximise opportunities in future growth. We identified a range of focus-areas for improvement:
- Overall understanding of business fundamentals and how to measure and manage these.
- Insufficient profit margins to allow for growth.
- Insufficient visibility over cashflow and financial performance and profitability.
- Operational management and cross-company processes.
How we helped address the challenge
Rathbone Results Partner, José Lehmani spent the first 12 months working with DT Fire Systems to identify a firm direction and vision for the company, with an action plan to achieve it.
Business fundamentals were reviewed:
- Restructuring financial information.
- Establishing management accounts and combining with other forecasting tools to provide visibility and understanding of turnover, gross profit, and overheads.
- Changing the company mindset from mark-up pricing to a gross profit mindset
- This required a redefinition of cost structure and the application of a relevant gross profit to achieve net profit goals – plus a process for project costing streamlining client proposals.
- This overhaul required changes within the operation management software (Simpro) and accounting package (Xero) to allow information extraction and reporting.
- In a COVID lockdown year, DT Fire Systems turnover was stabilised and after 12 months, runs at a 250% increase.
- We supported DT Fire Systems with government funding and R&D claims, to the point where net profit is positive and sits at 10 times the level a year ago – meaning DT Fire Systems is on track to achieve its vision.
- From the original discussions about how DT Fire Systems sees their business in 3 years, we have won 2 years.
Rathbone Results work with DT Fire Systems is ongoing and the action plan is still in delivery phase. The financial foundations are almost complete, KPIs are in process, and turnover growth now needs to be managed whilst maintaining USPs and high quality of delivery.
The next phase of challenges includes the recruitment of additional operational and support staff, the development of a marketing strategy and the liberation of top management time, to concentrate on business development actions.