Data Marine Systems “reaches the parts other companies can’t or won’t” in the words of managing director Alan McLeod. Installing large telecommunications and IT systems for oil and gas industry clients, it carries out work on land or off-shore, anywhere from Siberia to South America. Anyone making a phone call from the QEII or an oil tanker, for example, will find their words transmitted via one of the company’s Spacetrack systems, a satellite phone that works in all weathers and sea conditions. Based in Aberdeen, the company has seen profits increase by 103% pa, from £573,000 in 1995 to £4.8m in 1998. Sales in the same period have grown by 32% pa to reach £26.1m, and it was named one of Scotland’s top 20 firms last year by Scottish Enterprise. McLeod attributes sales growth to the company’s customer service, including a 24-hour helpline. “We identify and remedy a fault before most people know it has even happened,” he says. High margins, he believes, flow from offering an end-to-end service, whereby Data Marine will offer both on-site installation of large systems and the communications hub through which data is relayed. Most competitors, McLeod claims, offer one or other of these services.
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