Family owned and operated business Semiton Ltd., headed by Commercial Director Darren Murphy, Contracts Director Niall Murphy, Operations Director Arlene Murphy & Financial Director Gezz Bayliss, celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and one would think that a company with such experience would be happy to carry on the way they have been doing for the past number of decades.
However, that is certainly not the case as the Tipperary based construction firm looks to reinvent itself in the industry and open new avenues to take the business forward.
Semiton Ltd has been consistently profitable, despite trading through several difficult economic periods, and shareholders’ funds have steadily increased throughout the life of the company, providing the company with a strong equity base to trade from.
Semiton Ltd’s focus is very much on customer satisfaction and they feel that quality and value for money are essential ingredients to the service they provide to their clients. They retain a strong core of direct staff who know what their clients want and what they expect.
Commercial Director Darren Murphy spent eleven years working in the construction industry in California before returning home to become a director in the family business.
He revealed to Building Ireland that the focus is on transitioning the business so that it can compete with its peers going forward, while striving to maintain the quality of service that the company ethos has been built upon.
“Our 40th anniversary was very low key, and our aim is to move forward by developing a marketing strategy that can compete in different sectors of the construction industry,” said Darren.
From 2006 to 2016, Semiton Ltd were renowned for their work in the pharmaceutical industry and while they continue to work in this area, Darren added that they are looking to diversify into other sectors.
“While the pharmaceutical work has been good to us through the years, we have decided to open our options to other areas of commercial construction and within the residential construction sector. We are currently involved in a housing project for the Tipperary County Council and have ongoing works for food processing clients, as well as continued Pharmaceutical Contracts.
“It is a slow process making the transition, you have to show a great deal of patience but we are heading in the right direction. One thing, we don’t want to do is over-extend ourselves.”
As part of their re-structuring, Semiton Ltd scaled back on their work force and Darren feels that this was necessary going forward.
“The decision was made to cut back on the workforce as we felt that the work just wasn’t there to maintain the numbers that we had. The situation is that we really have gone back to basics without losing any of the quality or expertise that we provide.”
Semiton Ltd are actively tendering for projects as they look to enhance their reputation, in the residential sector and Darren is confident that they can progress the way they want to.
“We want to promote the company as much as possible. We have 40 years’ experience behind us, but we still face challenges on a daily basis.”
To keep the dynamic of the business, Darren added that they employ a number of apprentices who are trained to the Semiton Ltd standard.
“These days it is very difficult to find skilled workers, so we continue to train a number of apprentices to our standards, and we are always looking for more applicants with hunger and a desire to learn, while the industry experiences a major shortage of skilled tradesmen. It is not easy to get the right guys, but we are happy with the team that we have here at present. Some of the companies that we work for expect apprentices to be on the project, so it is important to have the numbers right.”
Semiton Ltd place a huge emphasis on health and safety. They have an excellent safety record which Darren states they put a great deal of work into.
Semiton Ltd also has its own training facility which provides Manual Handling, Safe-Pass and Abrasive Wheel training amongst others to both internal and external customers.
The Company reached a landmark of 750,000 hours 7 years without a Lost Time Accident which is a credit to the diligent efforts of Safety Managers Peter Hogan & Arlene Murphy, their dedicated subcontract supply chain and the customers they work with.
“The attitude towards health and safety has changed dramatically over the years. We have always focused on ensuring the safety of our employees and those on any of our sites. We are Safe T Cert approved.”
Darren admitted that this is a massive year for the company, but he believes that through hard work and endeavour, they can achieve their goals.
“We have taken our first steps into the residential market and are very pleased with our progress so far. We have a very experienced team here and we are confident in our abilities and of that of the sub-contractors that we use.”
Darren’s eleven years in the U.S has helped him get a better understanding of what is needed to bring the company forward.
“The construction industries in Ireland and the U.S are similar in many respects, but bureaucracy wise, the U.S would be ahead of here. ‘I worked as a Project Manager on a number of large-scale civil construction projects in California, so with that experience, I hope to help our company grow the way we want it to grow in the future.”
Address: Dungarvan Road,
Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Tel: 052 612 3111
Fax: 052 612 3032
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, September, Vol 5 No 9