Since its establishment in 1999, Skyline Scaffolding Ltd has built itself a proud reputation for providing its clientele with an excellent service with a strong emphasis on safety. While a comparatively small company, Skyline Scaffolding Ltd punches above its weight and Building Ireland learned more from Kevin Walsh, who is one half of the Co Tipperary-based company’s directorship.
“From an early stage” Kevin explained. “we recognised that we needed to find a way to differentiate ourselves from others who were providing similar services.”
This led to a strategic decision by the directors, Kevin Walsh and Roisin Mellett, which changed the company’s focus from the house building side of the construction industry to the provision of services to the industrial sector – specifically in chemical, pharmaceutical and food manufacturing companies. “It almost happened by accident, in that we won a contract for provision of scaffolding in a chemical company and that opened my eyes to the opportunities and the challenges that were there.” Kevin explained.
Accidental or not, it was a brave step at the time to turn the company from focusing on the house building sector which was booming to such a comparative niche. But that decision changed the nature of the company’s operations for good and has been a key factor in the company weathering the recession and now being poised for future growth.
In targeting this pharmaceutical sector initially, the directors in Skyline Scaffolding Ltd recognised that in addition to providing best in class scaffolding, the service provided to clients would also need to be exemplary. This decision influenced every stage of operation, from the move away from quickstage scaffolding to tube and fitting scaffolding; to changing storage facilities so that all scaffolding is stored indoors as well as staff training and upskilling. In particular, the company invested heavily in safety, through staff training and investment in safety equipment – going above and beyond the minimum standards required. As Kevin acknowledged, it was a risk – but a calculated one. “We trusted ourselves, our team and our approach. It was a serious investment but one that has paid off.”
This ongoing commitment to safety was recognised with the company achieving Safe-T-Cert in 2013 which is a certification scheme for the Safety Management Systems of contractors working in the construction industry. In 2014 and 2015, the company achieved a “B” grade Safe-T-Cert, a recognition of the continuous improvement ethos of the company. In 2016, the company was attained an “A” grade in the Safe-T-Cert, and this achievement was formally recognised by a presentation to the company by CIF Director General, Tom Parlon at Construction Industry Federation Head Office in Dublin.
With over 25 years of experience working nationally and internationally in the construction industry, Kevin has developed an impressive list of contacts which has been instrumental in ensuring that Skyline Scaffolding Ltd can access expertise as required, be it in scaffolding design or enhancing the Company’s safety standards. “As a small company”, Kevin says “we can’t afford to have this expertise in-house, so a critical success factor for us has been to know who to use and when to use them!”.
Kevin also points to his staff, many of whom have been with him for over ten years, as a critical factor in the company’s success. These skilled staff embody the company ethos of service and safety, a company culture where everybody knows what they have to do and the standard to which they have to operate. An enviably low turnover in staff ensures that the investments made in staff training and equipment pays dividends.
Additionally, Skyline Scaffolding Ltd used its size for competitive advantage with a stated objective of extreme responsiveness to client requirements. “In ways”, Kevin noted “our size means that we are agile and can respond quickly and our customer service ethic is a critical component of everything we do”. This approach is reflected in the impressive list of companies for which Skyline Scaffolding Ltdworks. Currently, Merck Sharpe and Dohme, Dunreidy Engineering, Radley Engineering, PM Group, Jacobs Engineering, Office of Public Works, Suir Engineering, CBRE, Glanbia and Grants at Tullamore Distillery are all clients. It also helps that the company is centrally located in Cahir, Co. Tipperary with good access routes to both Waterford and Cork as well as the M8. As Kevin explained, this geographic location supported the company’s ability to respond quickly to client needs with Cork, Kilkenny and Waterford, all less than an hour away.
With its team of highly trained and hand-picked staff, the directors of Skyline Scaffolding Ltd are looking forward to the future. In continuous pursuit of excellence, Skyline are now examining the option of expanding into Layher Scaffolding. This revolutionary scaffolding approach is renowned globally for quality, safety and efficiency and is a good fit with Skylines Scaffolding Ltd’s ethos. In Kevin’s words, “We can’t stand still – we were recently invited to attend the latest Layher Open Day in the UK. It was a chance to meet Layher personnel from both the UK and their parent company in Germany and gave us an opportunity to see what’s being done elsewhere and to learn from the best.“
With this progressive attitude, where there is an appetite for continuous improvement in all aspects of the business, there’s even better times ahead for this firm.
Skyline Scaffolding Ltd
Address: Unit C1, Cahir Business Park,
Tel: 052 744 3219
E-mail: [email protected]
Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, January 2018, Vol 4 No 1