The construction industry has showed real signs of recovery over the last 18 months or so and our capital Dublin’s skyline is awash with tower cranes, likened to what we saw during the Celtic Tiger.
Construction related firms that managed to make it through the recession are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel again.
It is no coincidence that those that managed to stay in business through one of the darkest periods in Irish history are companies with many years’ experience behind them.
The ability to either diversify into other areas or retract their business to suit the dwindling market during these years is something that is picked up through years of hard work and endeavour.
One such company that has shown where experience can get you is Dublin based McKeon Brothers Limited which was established by brothers Matthew and Mick McKeon in 1948.
Both men excelled in business and in sport, as Mick represented Ireland in boxing at the 1948 Olympics, while Matt was an accomplished footballer lining out with Bohemians and Shamrocks Rovers during a long career.
Located in East Wall, this family run business is one of the longest established construction related firms in Ireland with almost 70 years’ experience behind them.
The company focuses on providing a professional service in the field of Mechanical and Building Services installations. Their reputation for delivering an excellent service precedes them.
These days, the company is run by Matt’s son Robert who is the sole managing director of the firm and he spoke to Building Ireland about the past, present and future of the business.
“My father and uncle worked hard over the years the years to develop the business and also develop a reputation for providing an efficient and reliable service, which they managed to do,” said Robert.
“That is something I’m trying to carry on as we aim to give exemplary service to many of the best known names in Irish Business since that time. Tradition and experience count for a lot in this industry and fortunately we have both of those traits. This reputation is underlined by our excellent record of defect free maintenance periods on services provided.”
McKeon Brothers have worked for some of the country’s leading businesses in office development, manufacturing process and IT/communications over the years.
“Our work would be in the industrial and commercial sectors, while at present we have several major projects on going in Dublin.
“We have developments in UCD where student accommodation is being constructed, the refurbishment of KPMG in Harcourt Street and a new wing for the Merrion Hotel as well as the GPO 1916 museum, Clancy Quay (mixed development), a major fit out for Gateway in East Wall and a fit out for Irish Life
“For the last 18 months or so, business has certainly picked up. We were fortunate that we were involved in a number of projects when the recession hit and they kept us going, but from about 2011 until 2014, business was very quiet,” added Robert.
“We have undertaken projects in many areas of mechanical services, air-conditioning and process engineering for commercial, industrial, pharmaceutical and medical clients. The majority of these projects being designed by the leading consulting engineering practices.”
Quality is key to the success of any business and Robert revealed that the company has always strived to deliver on this front.
“For the best part of 70 years we have operated with a quality attitude and operate under ISO9002 as our quality management system to assist us in our efforts to maintain and promote quality in all we do.”
Of course, the success of any business would not be possible with a reliable and hard-working staff, which McKeon Bros Ltd are fortunate to have.
“Many of the employees would be with us for years and they are all very good in their areas of expertise. We offer a personal service and our clients would be on first name terms with a lot of our employees. We would have a lot of repeat custom, so the customers are familiar with all our staff.
“We ensure a continuation of the high standards of service offered to Clients by a process of constant training and improvement of our staff and the Company’s Quality System.
“We stick working with the people that we know. In this line of work, you are always taking a risk when it comes to new clients, but if you are not willing to take a chance, then it is very hard to succeed. It is all about trust at the end of the day and if we don’t trust someone or have heard bad vibes about them, then we will steer clear.”
Robert added that they do most of their work themselves, but when needs be, sub-contractors are brought in. These are firms that the company have worked with for many years as in the case with their suppliers also, they do it the McKeon Brothers Limited way.
“The control of our suppliers and sub-contractors is a high priority and they are all instructed to comply with our stringent quality requirements.”
Robert concluded by revealing they are happy with the direction is now heading after a few lean years and he stated that the future is bright.
“The outlook for 2016 is good and hopefully that can continue. We have a good bit of work on at the moment, while we are continuously tendering for work. We have the confidence in the business to know that we can compete with anyone in this line of work.”
McKeon Brothers Ltd
Unit 2 Portside Bus Centre,
Email: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland magazine, May/June 2016, Vol 2, No 2