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The transformation of Tradery into a systems-based business

The owner of TRADERY, a small plumbing business with an underperforming team, approached Intelligent Directions for help in late 2020. At the time, he was spending so much time trying to ease constant bottlenecks and staff issues that he had no time to work on his business. This case study reveals how working with Anthea Stevanovic and her team over 12 months led TRADERY to grow and thrive when others were collapsing and how it supported the owner to fulfil his vision of transforming his plumbing business into a multi-trade operation.

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Jul 04, 2023

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4 mins read

Starting as a small plumbing company, TRADERY operates today as a multi-trade business after the owner expanded its proposition and worked with Intelligent Directions over 12 months to make it happen. The company is owned and operated by Cameron Holmes. His sister Stephanie Holmes is General Manager. As a plumbing business, Cameron and his team of eight shared an office with two other businesses.

The Challenge

With an underperforming team, Cameron’s business relied so much on him that a bottleneck of lined-up jobs was being created, and he was unable to take any time off. The business was also highly disorganised. The team didn’t know what they were responsible for or what they needed to do. This meant that effective staff were proactive and working harder than they should, while unproductive staff were getting away with doing very little, as Cameron and Stephanie had no visibility of work scheduling and allocation.

Cameron was also spending all his time working in the business rather than on it, as they had no documented systems and processes in place. Consequently, while Cameron and Stephanie had employed people to perform various functions, they were doing most of the work themselves when they should have been leading the team and strategising to plan for future growth. The company was stuck and constantly hitting its ceiling.

The Solution

After hearing about the results Anthea and her team at Intelligent Directions had produced for other clients and gaining a deeper understanding of their services, Cameron and Stephanie recognised the need for their help.

Intelligent Direction’s Business Booster Program was identified as the best solution for Tradery at the time. The holistic program supplies and implements the right systems and processes and offers ongoing support and accountability, the latter being seen as particularly beneficial by Cameron and Stephanie.

As the ‘engine room’ of the business, Stephanie immediately appreciated working with Anthea and her team as they were process and systems-focused. She finally had the support she needed. Both leaders enjoyed having Intelligent Directions as a sounding board and appreciated their real-world answers, flexible approach and adaptability to what they needed throughout the one-year journey.

‘We didn’t just create the processes; we created the right ones that are going to see the business grow and scale,’ says Stephanie.

Importantly, the Business Booster Program delivered the accountability and focus lacking in the business, with weekly meetings to track progress. 

‘Creating the vision and showing them what the business is actually capable of was a real turning point for them. We set them up to be able to handle growth and scale quickly and established the right systems and processes to give Cameron and Stephanie more time to actually run the business,’ says Anthea.

Intelligent Directions also supported Cameron and Stephanie in implementing a thorough hiring and onboarding process for staff to help build the right team. This process was supported during their second year of working with Intelligent Direction, this time adopting their Management System Program and Outsourced Candidate Profiling Service.

The Outcome

As a result of the support provided by Intelligent Directions, TRADERY was able to thrive and grow. Not only has company turnover increased significantly, but the leadership team also believes the value delivered to the business is intangible because they know the ongoing benefits will fuel exponential growth in turnover, size and potential.

Not long after completing the Business Booster Program, Cameron said, ‘The value Intelligent Directions has brought to our business is at least five times more than we have paid, and it’s only been six months since we completed the initial program.’

Ongoing benefits include:

  • Staff now have clarity about their role and responsibilities.

  • Inefficient silos have been identified and dismantled.

  • A staff review process has identified who should stay and who should be replaced.

  • The leaders now have a framework to review, train and mentor staff and performance manage them when required.

  • Cameron and Stephanie have the time and capability to look at the business critically and be more strategic in their decision-making.

With newly established structures and strategies in place to expand the business, Cameron felt more confident in his decision-making. Most significantly, it showed him that he could finally realise his vision: to transform TRADERY into a multi-trade company.

TRADERY operates today as a multi-trade operation offering plumbing, electrical, water extraction and handyman services with ten highly effective staff members on board. Ultimately, it has become an incredibly resilient, agile and dynamic business that has the potential to grow exponentially. 

If you are experiencing similar challenges to those faced by Cameron and Stephanie or are curious to know how Anthea and her team at Intelligent Directions could support you, contact Anthea here.


BusinessLeadershipTeam CultureTransformation

Anthea Stevanovic
Anthea Stevanovic

About The Author

Anthea has a real passion for business, instilled in her from an early age, while growing up in the heart of a family business. Being part of a family in business meant she was completely immersed in its culture. It was not a job her parents did that finished at 5pm. It didn't take holidays – it was always on. She loved every minute of it. Anthea couldn’t wait to start work, and found a job as soon as she was able. She loved to work, to learn, and generally be involved with business and its people, soaking up as much of their expertise and experience as possible. She always knew she wanted to help people and make a difference in the world. This quest took her to university to complete a degree in social work, before gaining a Bachelor of Business and Commerce, majoring in Management. After gaining some amazing and invaluable management experience, with a variety of outstanding Australian companies, she established Intelligent Directions, which has allowed her to combine my two passions of business and helping people. Anthea considers herself fortunate in that every day she gets to work with some truly incredible and inspirational business people and support them to grow, scale, transform and triumph. It all starts with a conversation, and develops into a close collaboration to reveal and deliver a winning strategy for business success. Her work is truly a labour of love and she treasures every minute of every business day.

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