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Peer Review: DCS Netlink

Rice Lake, Wis.
Specialty: Technology solutions provider

Business Problem
DCS Netlink started in 1991 as PC to Go, a retailer of computer hardware and software, and a network solutions provider primarily for small companies. We've evolved into a technology solutions provider, specializing in networking, e-business, application services, wireless services, IT training and network support services.

For part of the recession, DCS Netlink was essentially insulated from much of the economic strife due in part to our strong community and customer relationships. It was only as customers themselves started to feel the economic strain that we began to feel the pain. Long-term projections made it apparent that for DCS to thrive, we needed to take some strategic actions in the short term.

Knowing we were in an economic crisis was one thing, but formulating a plan on how to extricate ourselves proved to be quite another. Because our staff is our greatest asset, it was of utmost importance to us that every decision resulted in no undue harm to either our company or our community.

I had also decided to make a run for the Wisconsin State Senate, a time-consuming process that would require some changes in the day-to-day and week-to-week management of the business.

In early November 2009, I attended the Heartland Technology Group (HTG) conference in Orlando, Fla. Being well aware of the economic crisis both across the country and within our own community, I shared my concerns and observations with HTG Founder Arlin Sorensen and other trusted HTG peers. Arlin suggested strengths/weakness/opportunities and threats (SWOT) visit. He personally volunteered to the lead the SWOT.

Our three-member team of SWOT advisors was at our doorstep within two weeks. They clearly outlined their expectations and objectives in advance of their arrival. During their two days here, they directed all discussions. Time was scheduled for each person and level of management to accurately gather all pertinent data in an effort to give their best counsel. They left no stone unturned.

DCS Netlink

Dane Deutsch, CEO
Company Vitals: 15 employees
19 years in business
Annual revenues $1.7 million



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