Since 2005, McGuinness Plumbing Ltd has been a leading plumbing and heating contractor throughout Ireland.
The family run business has earned a reputation for delivering the highest standard of work possible to a client base that includes many repeat customers.
Tom started the business having worked for his uncle Sean McGuinness from an early age in the plumbing and heating industry, gaining valuable experiences in the sector of how to run a successful plumbing and heating business.
In 2016 MGP moved into their current premises in Newry consisting of modern offices with a large store and self-enclosed yard, conveniently located just minutes from the M1 to Dublin.
Added to their Newry office has been a second office in Donabate, Co Dublin, MGP moved into these premises at the end of 2018, these premises were required to help cope with the demand for their services in the capital.
The Donabate hub is akin to Newry with modern offices and a large store. McGuinness Plumbing Ltd now employ 50 people direct, while they also use a core of tried and trusted sub-contractors when needed. This is a far cry from when Tom started the business.
“We have grown considerably over the years. I started in 2005 but went to Australia for a year before coming back and focusing solely on the business in 2012. The recession had hit at that stage, but we were fortunate to pick up a housing development in Dundalk and then into a few school projects and they really kept us going during that period.”
Slowly but surely, McGuinness Plumbing was earning a reputation for being reliable and efficient at their work and their ability to provide services in the residential, industrial and commercial sectors allowed them to tender for an array of jobs.
This in turn saw them attract more work, which allowed them to expand and the social housing sector is an area that Tom and his staff are very busy in at the moment.
‘Due to the current housing crisis in Ireland and the governments action plan in Rebuilding Ireland we are currently involved in 14 live residential developments. For example, we have just finished 112 houses in Dundalk which started November ’18, a further 106 houses in phase 2 are just about to start. We have recently commenced works on 80 units in Dunleer, 109 units in Clondalkin and 46 units in Wicklow which have all started in the same week. We are also mid-way on an exclusive large apartment development in Rathfarnham for Sisk to name just a few. More and more of the projects we are involved in are rapid builds, we have created a programme for these works that leave us in most cases ahead of the schedule.”
Despite being happy with the workload, Tom admitted that they are continuously looking for work, although he added that they are more selective in what projects they tender for these days.
“Definitely we would cherry pick what projects we would even quote for. I think that is something we have learned from the recession; you have to choose your work more wisely and we’re lucky to be in a position to do so now.
“We have developed a reputation for producing a high quality of work and being reliable, which our customers appreciate. We work for many of the same companies, local authorities and state bodies over and over again. For the second year running we have been nominated for Supply Chain Partner of the Year at Sisk’s Annual Supply Chain Awards, which we are thrilled about.”
McGuinness Plumbing place a great emphasis of keeping a good dynamic in the business and by this we mean, they have skilled workers and apprentices on their books, “We believe in upskilling all our staff, we offer courses continually such as CIF Site Supervisor Safety Programme, Unvented and Gas courses to name a few”
“We would regularly take on apprentices. There are a shortage of skilled workers out there following the recession, so we not only do our best to keep the guys we have, we also entice the apprentices to stay as well.”
“To do this, we have a Quality Control Manager who oversees all our apprentices and visits them on site on a regular basis to see how they are getting on and get some feedback off them. Each month we run a scheme for an apprentice of the month who in turn receives €300 voucher which can be used to build up their tool collection. Our Quality Control Manager picks the winner based on feedback from their on-site supervisor, college tutor and current progress made on site.
The company’s vision has always been to focus on delivering top quality workmanship, delivered by skilled, motivated and ambitious staff to the highest standard on time and budget.
This vision is articulated to staff through MGP’s 5 core values: Integrity- on all projects MGP undertake to ensure the company’s strong moral values remain throughout. Accountability- MGP do not shy away from responsibility when undertaking any projects. Diligence- MGP ensure all employees remain thorough and meticulous both on site and within the office. Perseverance- MGP have instilled tenacity within all operatives which is vital when working on site. Discipline- MGP ensure all employees adhere to MGP site rules and MGP office guidelines.
Health and Safety is a key issue within the company and Tom revealed that they have their own Health and Safety Officer who ensures that the staff follow all work practices and carry out their duties in a safe manner.
“The attitude towards health and safety has changed dramatically over the years. Operatives are more self-conscious of it and there is no need for anyone to do being anything that could put their health at risk, no job is worth that. We all want to go home to our families at the end of the day.”
Tom could be forgiven for resting on his laurels now that the business is thriving, but that is something that he will never do.
“All in all, we are very happy with how the business is going, but we are still looking at ways where we can improve our service and I think the day you stop that’s when you are in trouble. McGuinness Plumbing is a productive, efficient business and we follow the highest of standards, we have recently become ISO certified in ISO 9001, 14001+45001, we believe this helps distinguish us a professional business. We have also recently appointed a BIM Manager as we can see how construction projects are developing with technology and we hope this will enable us to qualify for more complex projects in the future. This is testament to MGP continually trying to improve our service, after all our aim is to continue giving good service and keep ahead of the programme, while ensuring that our customers receive the level of service that they have been accustomed too.”
Dublin HQ Newry
Unit 18 Unit 7
Roseville Industrial Park Loughway Business Park
Turvey Warrenpoint Road
Co Dublin Co Down
Tel 028 3083 9111
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2019, Vol 5 No 10