DSM Case Study – Reinventing the Path Forward

Wendy Ryan, Managing Director of DSM who are based in Annacotty Co. Limerick

Founded in 1998, DSM (Data Storage and Management Ltd) employs 10 people and primarily services clients in the west, mid-west and southern regions. It is a company experiencing growth and will turn over a profit this year.

Based in Annacotty, Limerick, DSM stores boxes of ‘hard-copy’ data within its main warehouse. They also have an air-conditioned and fireproofed vault for the storage of media e.g. back-up tapes/discs and sensitive documentation such as deeds, wills and irreplaceable records.

DSM also responds to special customer storage needs i.e. scanning, shredding, on-line back-ups, storage of maps, charts, ledgers and x-rays.  Its unique online database system allows clients to access inventories of their own data, order retrievals online, track and trace deliveries and review the status of items of data at any given time.

DSM is the only company in this sector, outside of the greater Dublin area, to hold the Information Security standard ISO 27001:2005. They also hold the ISO 9001:2008 quality standard.

DSM has three shareholders, Murphy Ryan & Associates Ltd, Gerry Pierse and Derek Hickey. Shareholder and company secretary Wendy Ryan is also Managing Director.

We spoke to Wendy Ryan about the unique characteristics that define DSM as an organisation reinventing its own path forward.

Customer Service
“We are an extension of our customers’ business. Our relationship with our customers is built on trust given that we hold and retrieve confidential and sensitive data which is at the cornerstone of their business. Without our customers we don’t have a business. We shouldn’t ever forget that fact.”
Knowing your Market
“We are in business 14 years and while we have experienced economies in boom and bust, we haven’t changed our business model. We just do what we do, better. You must have an acute understanding of your market, your place in it, and your competitive advantage. We are a small indigenous company so we cannot compete with large multi-nationals, however we know what we do well and we focus on this. And it has worked very well for us.”
“As my own background is in HR, I place vital importance on building a team – both in terms of skills but also reward. Our customers know our staff extremely well and they have been working with the same faces for many years. So investing in your people will reap its own rewards.”
“We embraced technology. We didn’t fear it. I traveled to the United States in 2005 to review a new database system. Seven years later and we have just bought that system’s SQL upgrade, adding value to our customers with new features and functionality. Today we have 1.5 staff employed solely on IT. Our customers can access our database and monitor their data and track it when it’s on the move.”
 Quality Standards
“We hold two industry quality standards and our high expectations of ourselves extend to our suppliers. We are audited annually and due to the nature of our business, we are also audited by our clients. So we deliver and expect high standards at all levels of our business.”
Wendy’s view on Ireland’s path forward:
“It will be a slow recovery. However, we have to stop grumbling and just get on with the job in hand. Each one of us has to take individual responsibility and do what we can to ensure economic recovery. The blame games will achieve nothing.”

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