Multi-award-winning Dacoll celebrates 50 prosperous years of trading

Ours is an economic climate where many small businesses have Brexit jitters and other are finding it hard to compete against the big corporates. But, in contrast, one small Scottish company is looking forward to celebrating 50 prosperous years of trading in the IT service sector.

Dacoll Limited is a multi-award-winning IT Managed Services company that operates globally from an unassuming head office in Bathgate and has done so since 1972.

The company’s big break had come three years earlier, when Chairman Brian Colling spotted an opportunity to provide mainframe computer support to Glasgow University when bigger players in the field had passed it up. This was followed by other landmark contracts that assured the company’s foothold in the digital market-place. In the present day, Dacoll’s clients now include high-profile customers across Public, Commercial and Retail market places.

Yet, Dacoll remains an unashamedly family business. Three generations of the Chairman’s family currently work in Dacoll’s offices today, and it’s not unusual amongst staff to see parents and offspring pass each other in the corridor. Many people have worked there for twenty years and some, for thirty years and more. Among their number are senior personnel who are experts in their fields, from manufacturing, to software development and service provision. 

It’s this formula that Managing Director Allan Everington believes has distinguished Dacoll from its potential rivals. “There is a recognisable ethos that permeates our people in the company that’s very different from our contemporaries. At its core there is entrepreneurship, following a good idea through and an overall commitment to positive values. Those values have come right from Dacoll’s leadership, and its foundations as a family business. “Our customers recognise this too, and this results in successful long-term business relationships – often spanning decades.” 

Dacoll was a finalist in the Family Business of the Year Awards in 2017, was named Business of the Year in 2016 and has since won several awards that recognise its growth and the effort it puts into staff training, development, and career progression. There’s a distinct emphasis on enabling staff, and getting them to the role that fits best. To make this happen, and to sustain their current growth in new markets, the Company has prioritised training and development to help staff to take on new roles and identify emergent skills. It’s an environment that has attracted a skilled senior team, who in turn have helped Dacoll identify opportunities in fresh markets across the IT Managed Service sector.

Strong customer focus, expertise, sound values, and investment in its people has taken the Company far in their first half century. Dacoll are now a leading global marketer and manufacturer of Information Technology Managed Services, Software Applications, Network Infrastructure installation, Cabling and Electrical contracting and are the largest independent provider of IT Services in Scotland today. Dacoll now have a global reach, with customers from Ireland through to Portugal, Scandinavia, Australia, America, Singapore, Tunisia, Afghanistan, and more.

It’s a far cry from their beginnings in ‘break-fix’ IT maintenance and manufacture, the core activities of the business until recent years. Since 2015, Dacoll’s strategic move out of IT maintenance and into profitable, long-term managed services provision has paid dividends, attracting high profile customers who often choose the SME over the larger corporates. Such clients, like anybody, are looking for cost-effective and high-quality services, but – crucially – seek the added agility that SMEs provide to get things done quickly and effectively. 

But what makes Dacoll particularly agile when pitted against its competitors? Simply put, Dacoll has been able to wrap up its inherited expertise in manufacture and electricals with its cutting-edge skills in IT maintenance, to provide a seamless service that few can rival. Unlike competitors, Dacoll Group can offer an end-to-end solution for clients that’s unique in the market place. Avoiding the expense and complexity of corporate systems integrators, Dacoll Group provides the hardware, the software, and the people to make it work as one package. It’s an innovative delivery model that has given Dacoll a valuable edge in a fast-moving marketplace. What’s more, with all manufacture taking place in its own premises, there’s an added assurance for those clients who are nervous about Brexit unknowns. 

However, it’s perhaps Dacoll’s IT Managed Services that is the brightest feather in the company’s cap, offering other SMEs the ability to perform at peak without the expense of an in-house IT Service Desk. Far from just ‘keeping computers running’, Dacoll ensures that its clients have the IT resource they need, not just to manage and maintain their systems, but to undertake those strategic IT initiatives that will help those businesses continue to prosper in the future.

In keeping with their positive values, Dacoll’s IT Service Desk is a busy place that’s open 24/7, manned by real people with years of experience, who take time on their calls both to understand and to address their client’s issue, right from the HQ. In addition, a fleet of engineers provides hands-on reach throughout the UK, arriving at their client’s premises when a manual fix is the answer. It’s a face to face, very human, tailored service delivery model that other IT services often lack, and it’s entirely in keeping with the company ethos, and the legacy of Dacoll’s own journey. 

So, what’s in store for Dacoll in the next 50 years? The company has never lost sight of the fact that business transformation and prosperity is delivered by its people first, so investment in training and development will be a cornerstone for future plans. And as for its clients, Dacoll will continue to be an innovative, approachable, responsive and reliable provider in an ever-changing business world. Doing the right thing. Every day.

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