KCC Architectural is the leading provider of Architectural hardware, facades, partitions & doors as well as automatics and access control systems in Ireland and has been involved in many prestigious projects both on the island of Ireland and overseas. KCC was established by the management buyout of the Irish division of Ingersol-Rand in 1998
Amongst those involved in the buy- out was current Managing Director Chris Kilpatrick who spoke to Building Ireland about the services that the company provide and how they have achieved so much success in the last 20 years.
First, let’s take a look at how they got where they are today. Following the buy-out, the company went through a steady period of growth and in 2005, KCC acquired Skelly Doors.
With many years’ experience in the Irish market, this division is one of the leaders in its field of expertise in facades, partitions and doors and a market leader in fire glazing solutions.
Headquartered in Dublin, the company’s expansion saw them open offices in Cork and Belfast. A further takeover in 2008 saw the renowned MMF Architectural in Mullingar come under the KCC umbrella. It was in around this time that KCC took its dependency off the Irish market and opened up an office in Dubai
Through a rebranding and marketing exercise the three companies merged together under the name KCC Architectural offering a one-stop shop solution by providing an array of services including specification, manufacturing, supply, installation and maintenance of inter-related products that satisfy the particular requirements for industry, commercial, educational, pharmaceutical, health and housing sectors of the construction industry.
Chris revealed that those early years were all about growing the company into what it is today. “Following the buy-out, a lot of time and money were invested into growing the business to the level it is at today,” said Chris. “We have developed an excellent working relationship with our customers and clients, that is contractors and architects, and also individual end-users and we ensure that all of our products are produced and installed to the highest specifications.”
Of course, like all companies involved in the construction industry, KCC suffered during the recession and Chris admitted that at one stage they were worried if they would survive.
“We went from a turnover of €28 million to €14 million from one year to the next and we were certainly worried, there’s no point in saying otherwise. However, we had contacts in the Middle East and I went over there to source some work and we managed to get a few projects and that really kept us going. We are still doing projects out there to this day. “We also do a lot of work in Scotland and London, so even though Ireland is busy again, we are not as over reliant on it as we were back then.” In addition to sourcing work overseas KCC opened up a service and maintenance division which today is one of the fastest growing areas in the company. Also, KCC now offer fire door inspection services which is another growth area.
As stated, KCC Architectural work closely with their clients many of whom are architects and end users and KCC can offer advice on what products would best suit their clients’ needs.
Their computer-aided 360 scheduling programme allows them to generate schedules, specifications and data sheets for all of their products to satisfy the clients’ specification. “We work very closely with all our clients and we find that this is in the best interest for everyone as it has helped them place their trust in our technical knowledge and expertise.”
Site surveys are another service supplied by KCC and this is not only applied to supply and install projects, technical advice is also offered on-site. Their design team use in-house CAD system to ensure that all details of bespoke products are fully checked and approved prior to initiating production.
Installation and maintenance are key areas of the business and their highly trained team of employees will make sure that any product is installed to the highest standard.
Chris revealed that business was going well at the moment with a number of projects ongoing here in Ireland at present. This year the company’s turnover will be in the region of €26 Million
“Ireland has certainly picked up in the last couple of years now. Some of the projects we are currently working on include the ESB headquarters, Capitol Docks, Centre Parcs Longford, Central Bank, Royal Hospital and the Ulster Hospital in Belfast. We also have work ongoing in London and the Middle East too. In addition, KCC are in the final stages of acquiring a timber door company in Northern Ireland which will add considerably to their turnover going forward.
“In recent times, we worked on Pairc Ui Chaoimh for Cork GAA, the refurbishment of the National Gallery in Dublin; Beaumont Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and Belfast Boys Model School to name just a few.”
Chris added that the success of the business would not have been achieved were it not for hard work and dedication of their skilled workforce. “The majority of our employees are graduates, and we also carry out continuous in-house training for all of our staff. We have a good retention of employees, many of who have been with us a number of years.” Unfortunately, during the Recession, a number of staff had to be let go and it speaks for itself that most of them have re-joined the company as the market improved.
KCC partner with leading manufacturers to ensure that they receive the best quality products. They work with the global leaders in order to be the most innovative supplier of total door opening solutions in order to deliver safe and convenient security solutions that provide real added value to customers. “All our manufacturing partners produce high quality products and they know that we demand the highest quality and they deliver every time.”
Chris admitted that they would approach new work with a more cautious attitude than they would have done before the recession and if they feel margins are too tight, they won’t take it. He has often been heard to say ‘‘sales growth is for vanity, profit is for sanity’’.
Having suffered bad debts of €3.4 Million during the recession a very tight rein is kept on credit control to ensure minimum exposure for the company. If in doubt the company are prepared to walk away from a project regardless of its size or value.
Tel: +353 (0)1 456 7421
Tel: +353 (0)21 435 1200
Tel: +44 (0)28 9046 9914
Tel: +971 4 429 5815
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, December 2018, Vol 4 No 11