CET Connect is Ireland’s premier provider of structured cabling and data centre infrastructure services. From its inception in 1999, the company has successfully delivered a wide range of major infrastructure projects across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe. We connected with their Clonmel, County Tipperary HQ to find out more.
Over the past 19 years, CET Connect has established itself as a proven market leader in the crucial fields of structured cabling, data centre infrastructure, fibre optic services, network design, fluke testing and network M.A.C.S.
With offices in Clonmel, Dublin. London and France, CET boasts a strong client base including infrastructure projects spanning everything from data centres to schools, hospitals, financial institutions and offices, embracing a wide range of market sectors including commercial, manufacturing, residential & leisure, life sciences, food, retail, healthcare, education, the public sector and utilities & energy.
CET has amassed a wealth of experience in the design and installation of local area networks, including both fibre and copper backbone cabling. Clients appreciate their responsiveness and welcome their ‘can do’ attitude.
Pragmatic, professional, proactive and flexible when it comes to project delivery, CET Connect has built up an impressive client base over the years, based on quality workmanship and a commitment to achieving complete customer satisfaction.
A high-quality installation is guaranteed every time and each team member brings professionalism, expertise and experience to every project. All of this emanates from their vision statement to ‘consistently provide a high-quality level of service and value for every customer, through a culture of flexibility and operational excellence throughout our organisation’. Taking their commitment to teamwork further, CET believe in a partnership approach, working hand in hand with clients, understanding what the customer values and ten delivering it.
This is further cultivated by means of collaboration filtering down through the project’s supply chain with two members only last week visiting a manufacturer’s plant in Europe to engage with their R&D and Engineering departments. This was a workshop covering areas such as cable presentation for install, to how to cut non-value add (NVA) days out of the delivery process. The company sees this as pivotal in delivering successful projects and facilitates the manufacturing team to do a virtual Gemba walk through the medium of video footage re-enacting potential issues on site. Through this collaboration CET Connect are able to utilise the R&D and Engineering expertise within the factory environment, and in reciprocation the factory gets vital data for its NPD department.
As proven experts in structured cabling, CET are highly experienced in CAT 5e, CAT 6 and CAT 6a systems in both UTP and FTP, in complete end to end solutions from leading manufacturers. They invest in the specific brand training and the most up-to-date testing equipment, which is vital to ensuring that a quality installation is delivered.
Wholly vendor independent, CET are certified installers of Brand-Rex, Commscope Netconnect Excel, Fibre Fab, Nexans, and Molex cabling solutions, to mention just a handful. A 25-year manufacturer’s warranty is offered and all installations comply with the highest industry standards including ANSI/TIA/EIA 568-B, BS EN 50173-1:2011 & IEC 60794.
Data centres are large groups of networked computer servers used for the remote storage, processing or distribution of large amounts of data. Over the last five years and more, CET have been involved in multiple new data centre builds across Europe for a number of clients. In addition, they are currently consulting with new customers who have recognised their ability in this sector in regard to delivering a quality installation and the successful deployment to facilitate the smooth transition into a new region for the customer.
In 2017 they tested over 400,000 fibre cores alone, along with installing over 1.5M mts of copper cable, both depicting the volume of their throughput along with the capacity to regularly deliver over 3000 hours of technician site time on a weekly basis, all adding up to a significant amount of experience and expertise for their clients to draw down from.
As the company moves purposefully towards its 20th anniversary, Building Ireland touched base with managing director Sean Maher, “The company is going from strength to strength, we have diversified over the past three years and we’re in a phase of year on year growth, with some very exciting opportunities coming up across Europe and beyond”.
To meet this demand, the company is an advocate of lean philosophy, based on end to end solutions, critical thinking and respect for people. Sean believes this is a strategic move that enables the company stand out from the rest and allow the company to scale up further explaining, ‘Lean is about identifying value from customer’s perspective, if a customer won’t pay extra for a product or service, it has no value. Why then would we continue to carry out NVA process steps? We have done a lot of research and development in lean tools and thinking, the tools show obvious gains, but it is the philosophy and behaviours that really interest us. This is what develops our culture which in turn is a measure of our behaviour as an organisation, and to quote the old maxim; we are judged by our actions not our intentions.”
Lean tools are evident in the visual management on display, 5S, pareto charts and 5 why for root cause analysis coupled with the philosophy exhibited through quarterly town hall meetings for the whole company, respect for people and voice of the customer all directing activity. Interestingly this organisation’s core business is about delivering cable networks for the distribution of data, whilst all decisions required to do just that are data driven. One gets the sense there is very little left to serendipity in the daily operation with every detail considered in the decision-making process. When questioned on this Sean explains that as an organisation they tend to focus on the process, not the person when an issue arises. With an empowered culture there is a no blame policy, as this encourages issues to the surface early leading to a quick resolution without further waste or incorrect behaviour escalating. However, he is quick to add that there is accountability.
On the issue of re-investment into the company CET Connect is not left standing, with a recent investment of €60k on further test equipment alone to enable the company to speed up their process of uploading data tests onto the cloud. In addition, another significant investment is planned for early this year on a bespoke ERP system to allow information to flow and allow accurate reporting to further increase throughput of the company. Sean points out that the thousands of manhour experience attained every week leads to a significant amount of tacit knowledge, it is vital therefore for an ERP system to make this explicit. More evidence of the level of communication in the company is the morning ‘safety huddle’ conducted by teleconference with every site supervisor dialling in with management to report on current state issues.
Customers seem to like this approach with some of the larger international customers opting to avail of these services by entering into a framework agreement ensuring that the company can truly deliver value from the customer’s perspective, through collaboration and detailed deployment planning. CET Connect have invested in a complete new department delivering this ‘smoke jumper’ offering, and have identified that larger international companies have the requirement for standardisation in their deployment and the need to build this into their own supply chain. CET Connects’ international offices obviously play a part in this. Whilst not all customers require this level of involvement, the company still has a strong emphasis on identifying the value stream on every project and are passionate about the aggregation of marginal gain. Sean further explains “there is no silver bullet in operational excellence particularly in a service offering, a bad system will beat a good person every time, but if we can improve by just 1 % on any given task, they all add up over the long term.”
4 Doctor Croke Place.
Tel: 052 618 2499
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, April/May 2018, Vol 4 No 4