End of another successful month of operation, with exciting opportunities and several changes in the pipeline.
A whirlwind month, with a great directors away time, a week in Summer in the UK doing year end and a whole new refocus for the firm. Add to this the upgrades to our existing GNSS equipment and software and you have a mixture set for success.
Directors Time Away
Thanks to Bandile Edwards and Sipho Bhembe for their commitment and dedication to running an ethical and top notch firm. The time away was a time of reflection on where we have come from, where we are at and where we wish to go as a firm. So often these times away in companies can be a whinge session. Instead, the three of us directors saw this time as one of reflection and rejuvenation. A time to touch base and to look forward.
We met early at Ithala Game Reserve, with Bandile and Sipho driving in from Swaziland and Martin flying in from Durban. The reserve is set in the Northern Natal middle veld area, with Rhino, Elephant and many different cats and buck. There is a lovely tar landing strip nestled up near the escarpment and a great service of pickup and game drives. The chalet we shared had several bedrooms and was well appointed. The food was generous and the whole setting allowed us to relax and get on with the work of vision for the firm.
With the firm being in operation for 21 years in March just past, and now being appointed to do work in Papua New Guinea – making it 41 countries of work experience – we wanted to change our modus operandi to be more global and to better serve you, our clients.
By ensuring we have the right equipment and the best possible staff, we can mobilise at short notice and have the most effect on projects. To do this we have invested several thousands into standby GNSS equipment and have embarked on international training input in key staff members… more below…
A Week in Summer
As lovely as the time in the UK was, it was also busy, client meetings, accountants and lawyers and banks and business. A good week that was productive and filled with very competent people. Definitely the right support teams to our business. A big thank you to Accord Accountants and to Paris Smith LLP. Both firms have given us the most amazing advice and helped set the course for the firms future.
United Kingdom Export Finance
Partnering with the most amazing team of people in the UK and world wide in this industry, Roughton International, RGC is embarking on the exciting journey of offering not only survey support, but also financial support, to large projects at a national level. Please see United Kingdom Export Finance for more details.
Thanks to Terry, Chas and Joe at Accord accountants. What a dynamic and energy filled team of great folk. Chas gave me the best advice yet in this industry and for that I am very excited to partner with him and his great team. RGC has now migrated to Quick Books and will be registered VAT payers in the very near future. With opportunities both at a company level and personal for loans and working capital, we see RGC being able to not only get over the blow of theft dealt early last year, but to excel in the years to come.
You, our clients, can further benefit from our accounting being taken to the next level by now being able to claim VAT from our invoicing, being able to rely on our cash flow and also to appoint us to larger projects as we provide you with bonds and sureties that were previously outside of our grasp.
Paris Smith LLP
Helen Brown and Crispin Dick have shown their metal in various aspects of our firms growth. They have provided solid legal advice that comes with a wealth of experience and professionalism. Very impressed. This is a professional practice that can be proud of its members and proud of the service they deliver.
Contracts and memorandums of understanding that protect not only ourselves, but the interests of you, our valued clientele, are being looked at project by project by these folk. Pitfalls and catches that previously we have not seen coming can now be caught and discussed at the outset of projects. With the larger value attached to UKEF funded projects, this is critical. It allows for a transparent foundation for all dealings that ensures no come backs as projects progress.
HSBC has, once again, stepped up to the mark. They have shown that they are truly an international business bank, with an online and telephone banking system that speeds up business and takes time consuming administrative functions away from us their clients. This allows for our firm to be more financially sound and less focused on admin and more focused on service.
Special mention of Sophie-Anne Martin at their business banking sector for her excellent work on the companies facilities change. Quick, concise and clear – excellent work. Ms Martin and her team of business bankers make HSBC look good.
Clients and Joint Projects
As we embark on change and new ventures, it is always good to know that we are not operating in a vacuum. With being able to touch base with Roughton International (one of our oldest clients of 20 years now) and other UK based firms and individuals, we are sure of our direction. Whilst on the subject of clients, it is with great relief that, having had the privilege of interacting with Roughton International all these years, we see them starting to come back from the difficult times faced in the 2008 economic slump. A great firm, with great people!
In all that we attempt or put our hands to as RGC, we put SERVICE as our number one priority. So to all those met with and interacted with over the week that Martin de Beer was in the UK, a big thank you for your input. Every aspect of what was discussed forms part and parcel of our vision.
Your needs are our target.
Re-focus for 2019/2020
Every year we try and improve on the way the company is run. One year we added a BBBEE level 1 certification to our company portfolio, the other we added additional directors. Not all decisions are successful, but all are part of the journey and none are wasted.
This year we have looked at the addition of financing large projects as part of the UKEF team. In addition we are investing heavily in drone hard and software as well as training of key staff in the international application thereof.
We feel that as the world is becoming less “data collection” orientated and more “data manipulation” orientated, we stand idealy positioned as door keepers to data. We can ensure accuracies in information gleaned through easily accessible data sources, ensured this data is tested and fit for our clients purpose. Clients can use our services to ascertain the legal status of land information, the accuracy of imagery and mapping as well as assistance with training and systems integration at every level. With the new drone platforms introduced, we can collect mass data that previously would have been inaccessible due to high costs. However, more than this, we can now integrate this data with larger satellite imagery information as well as high accuracy ground surveys.
The training of the international staff is centred around mobilising on site, identifying, employing and training local support teams, running local surveyors and data quality checks. We believe in local manpower opportunities and skills transfer. Wherever we are in the world, skills transfer is critical. Our aim is to grow the pie larger and keep our percentage the same. We want to have apiece of a large pie, not a large piece of a small one.
As the world is becoming more online orientated, the field of survey and the need for remote information is growing. We thus stand between the “boots on the ground” and the cloud data space and provide the interface for clients needing quick, accurate and, most of all, local survey applications. Internationally.
We have invested in both hard and software to match the training of our staff and look forward to the coming financial year.
July 2019 has seen changes that lay the foundation for a truly exciting future for Route Geographic Consultants. Old hangers-on have been discarded and fresh input has been embraced. Thanks to the ongoing support of our valued clientele, we can now continue forward and grow the business.
Martin L de Beer