Relationship building, knowledge sharing, making ourselves as accessible as possible to get our clients’ queries answered quickly requires work, effort and of course, someone leading this internal business culture commitment.
Olan joined us over 5 years ago as operations manager, after completing his MBA from the Australian Institute of Business while also holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Structure Engineering from Cork Institute of Technology. He has over 12 years’ experience in the surveying/engineering industry, with particular expertise in the rail industry sector.
On a day-to-day basis, we will see Olan feeding critical client information to the McDonald Surveys operational team to plan, to aid in financing, and to execute all projects whilst also ensuring that our staff and equipment resources are appropriately deployed to deliver a successful project for our clients.
Critical to the success of the business, Olan is positioned to address our clients’ feedback and requirements and manage all their expectations and targets to build that long-term, successful relationship we are proud of. Olan focuses on company development and growth using experience and relationships to guide strategy and positioning in the ever changing market on a long-term basis.
We go behind the scenes with Olan to find out “what it takes to be chosen guardians of successful projects?” for McDonald Surveys.
McDonald Surveys: Can you start by letting us know what got you interested in surveying and then client management with McDonald Surveys?
Olan: After moving to Australia I wanted to try the FIFO life and experience the Pilbara. Surveying was a great way to do that. When I first joined McDonald Surveys, I spent my first year developing the dilapidation side of the business. After finishing my MBA, it was the perfect environment to begin to use the tools I had gained and the lessons I learnt on the importance of relationships and constant improvement from Sally Ann and Andy. I then moved back into the survey side of the business to use those skills again and focus more on long term strategy and relationships in the industry. It’s great to work with a company that recognises this as a key component of growth.
McDonald Surveys: How would you define successful and long-term client relationships? What does it look like and/or result in?
Olan: What you notice more as you spend more time in the industry is that every interaction is important on and off site. The first handshake and a smile 10 years ago can be instrumental today in getting a contract over the line. Developing long term relationships means that no matter where those people are or who they work for, they are on your team and willing to help.
McDonald Surveys: What are your top three must-haves – skills, attitude or technology – required to build successful, long term relationships between McDonald Surveys and our clients?
Olan: I think you need to be patient. Developing relationships takes time but if you adopt a good attitude and treat everyone with humility, it happens naturally. You need to demonstrate to the client that you can consistently deliver, this develops trust. On and offsite, it’s a can-do attitude, an ability to think outside the box, and having the best technology for the job is critical to success.
McDonald Surveys: What has been an initiative or innovation that you are most proud of which has helped strengthen the relationship with clients at McDonald Surveys?
Olan: I think in the last few years we have had the industry and our clients recognise McDonald Surveys as “Rail Engineering Surveyors,” which has changed the landscape in WA. Through our technology and above all people, this has been a very positive step forward for everyone.
McDonald Surveys: Lastly, what are you most excited about for the future at McDonald Surveys?
Olan: Looking back over the last 5 to 6 years you would have to be excited about the future. We have come a long way through some very tough times. I am looking forward to developing my own skills, developing the skills of our young surveyors and seeing our senior staff step up and lead projects. Perth is the best place in the world to be a Rail Engineering Surveyor right now.
Thanks Olan for sharing your insights into client relationship management and building a proven track record for McDonald Surveys as “guardians of successful projects.”
Get in touch if you need to connect with Olan. Or, you might also see Olan out and about, outside of McDonald Surveys, performing a range of traditional Irish and Australian music around Perth as he is an accomplished musician!
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