Operating out of Cashel in County Tipperary, LMP Ltd. offers unrivalled slipform kerbing, civil engineering and construction solutions nationwide. We caught up with founder Liam Maher to find out more about this exceptional, client-conscious operation.
The roots of LMP Ltd. date back to 1990, when Liam Maher Plant was established. For a quarter of a century thereafter, the eponymous Liam accumulated a wealth of experience working in the construction, civil engineering and kerbing sectors. From small, humble beginnings – originally operating in the local catchment area – the business grew to meet the needs of a developing economy.
Already established as a veritable byword for excellence, the business was rebranded in 2014, a symbolic rebirth to coincide with a new upturn in fortunes as the trials of the economic downturn abated and the County Tipperary based firm set its sights on a brighter and broader future.
The rebranding also reflects the organic development of the company and the change in services offered. Today, LMP carries out an array of works within the building and civil engineering sectors, with prestigious projects completed on time and to budget throughout the country.
“I shortened the name to LMP and changed the company colours from green to orange,” Liam confirms. By rebranding, he has breathed new life into the operation, going forward with a new identity but also a proven track record for excellence.
He’s started investing again, too, which is always an encouraging sign. The fact that he’s renowned across the industry as a fair, flexible and professional man to deal with also works very much in Liam’s favour. He works hand in hand with his clients, whom he chooses carefully.
Liam Maher Plant Ltd. experienced its first surge of significant growth in 1996 as new contracts were secured and long-term working relationships established with existing customers, with plant and labour numbers increased accordingly to suit demand.
Around this time, Liam realised that with the increase in the size of the business, there was a need on particular jobs to have the services of a civil engineer. He made the decision to further his education as a mature student and successfully gained his Building and Civil Engineering qualifications. Bringing these new skills to the business facilitated the natural progression of the company during the years that followed.
Not long after diversifying into civil engineering projects, Liam identified other niche areas where he could provide key services: the plant fleet was enhanced by the procurement of two state-of-the-art Gomaco slipform machines, a departure which has subsequently allowed the organisation to be involved in some of the country’s most prestigious road projects.
Reflecting on the genesis of the operation, Liam reveals: “I was originally a farmer and then I started doing some agri contracting with my father-in-law. From there, I got into plant, a small bit at a time; then we started doing the slipform kerbing.”
As well as two slipform machines, Liam also operates a fantastic concrete barrier paving machine, which was put to work on the Limerick Tunnel just before the recession kicked in. Having come through the downturn intact, LMP is one of only a handful of Irish companies offering slipform kerbing services. At the time of writing, Liam was busy across all departments of the business, with slipform work priced in County Galway and steady demand for the high-quality solutions provided.
“We’ve just finished work on the new Aldi store in Roscrea, where we did the civil work for Stewart Building Contractors, and we’re also coming towards completion of another Aldi here in Cashel,” says Liam. “We’re also working on a housing estate in Limerick – 30 ready-to-go houses at Evanwood in Castletroy – for Liam Neville Developers, which will take twelve months to complete.”
One of the newest additions to LMP’s impressive fleet of owned machinery is a brand-new Takeuchi 1140 excavator, which was purchased from Breens Farm Machinery in Cashel for around €100,000 and is the first of its kind to be sold in Ireland. A second-hand, 2009-reg rubber duck was also added last year as Liam continues to expand his fleet to ensure that clients receive the best-possible service.”
All in all, it is clearly a case of onward and upwards for LMP as the founder continues to broaden his horizons and take on different types of projects: “I’m currently working on a new school in Midleton in Cork, where we are doing all the concrete work, all the shuttering and all the civil works. This is the first time I’ve taken on all the concrete work and it’s a very significant departure for us going forward. Again, this is a rapid-build school, with a very tight deadline for March, 2016.”
Regarding the strength of his operation and how he navigated the recession while many other companies went belly-up, Liam states: “We took on a lot of very hard, labour-intensive, physical jobs to keep us going during the hard times. We were fortunate in that we owned a lot of our own equipment and had very little debt. The kerbing was busy and kept us going. We had to sell some machinery to clear our debts and we downsized a little and tightened our belts. We’ve been dealing with the same bank for 25 years and we are also grateful that a lot of clients have stuck with us over the years.
“Last year, we paid off the last few pound we owed and we started to invest again. The plan now is to buy two new machines per year. Thankfully, we’re pricing a lot of work but I’m not going to take on any more than three major contracts at a time because we don’t want to overstretch ourselves. When you are doing a project like a 33-week rapid built of a school, you have to watch it closely and give it your full attention.”
Liam has completed kerbing work for Tipperary County Council, Carlow County Council, Portlaoise Town Council and other local authorities nationwide. “We did a school in Tramore for BAM in 2013 and were working on a road-widening project for Wills Bros at the same time,” he recalls.
At present, LMP provides direct employment to a team of 14 as well as seven subcontractors. Depending on the volume of work at any given time, the number of employees – direct and indirect – can rise to 23 / 24. Liam is optimistic that he can continue to move the business forward in a positive manner:
“I can see a bit of positivity coming back into the market again,” he concludes. “At least there are jobs coming in to price again. We make sure we only work with good people, to eliminate the risk of not getting paid. For example, I’ve been working with Stewarts in Galway since 2009 and they are great people to work with. I tend to have a crew with them all the time, now. I did my first Aldi in Glanmire, County Cork in 2014 and we’ve worked on a number of stores since then.”
Offering solid workmanship and proven expertise across a range of specialist areas, LMP Ltd. is the ideal partner of choice for any type of kerbing, civil engineering or construction project.
Tel / Fax: 062 62058
Mobile: 087 2460295
Email: [email protected] lmplimited.ie
Taken from Building Ireland magazine, Spring 2016, Vol 2, No 1