Established in 2008, JF Electrical is an electrical contractor which provides a reliable, responsive and trustworthy service for its customers. Building Ireland spoke with Managing Director Jason Fitzsimons to learn all about the Co Cavan-based business – from its origins to the state of business today.
These are busy times at JF electrical and the plan for Jason Fitzsimons and the rest of the team in Virginia, Co Cavan is to try and keep things that way right through to 2023.
Employing 30 full-time staff, the company currently has 12 service vans on the road with designs on further expansion this year.
Jason himself started the business with a single van on the road and has seen considerable expansions over the past decade-and-a-half or so, with his wife Martina (Accounts) and brother Eddie (Office Manager) becoming an integral part of the team along the way.
Building Ireland touched base with Jason recently to find out more about the company which continues to have an impressive growth from its base alongside the Meath border.
“We’re predominantly electrical contractors and also a one-stop shop for our customers’ electrical solutions,” said the Managing Director and founder.
“My brother Eddie would put the tender together for a project and, if we win it, I myself would be on it for the client.”
That personal touch is something which JF Electrical’s clients have come to appreciate and it shows, as repeat business down through the years has been key to the company’s growth.
With projects in the domestic, industrial and commercial sectors, the wide range of services the business has on offer include fire alarms, emergency lighting, security, hospitality, agriculture, PAT testing, nightclub (audio & lighting), heating upgrades – renewable energy, stage & event, data installations and thermo-frost.
It’s all a far cry from where Jason started off 14 years ago but, in saying that, it was always the future he envisioned for his venture.
“When I started off, I did my apprenticeship with Tony McDonnell in Seneschalstown in Global Electrical,” he explained.
“I went out on my own then in 2008. It would’ve been a tough time to start but the business has grown since and we’re actually still doing jobs together with Global Electrical, so the relationship between us remains strong to this day.”
The past two years have been ones like no other for the Irish building industry, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns which followed in order to try and combat the spread of the virus seeing many projects shutdown overnight during 2020 and 2021.
JF Electrical saw some of its projects grounded to a halt during the lockdowns, but they still remained busy nonetheless according to Jason.
“We haven’t missed a day since the pandemic hit really,” the MD outlined.
“Obviously our non-essential projects would’ve stopped during the lockdowns, but we’d a couple of HSE jobs that kept us going throughout them.
“So, we never stopped and right now we’re busy with a handful of projects between here and Dublin.”
Indeed, the projects seem to be coming thick and fast for JF Electrical, and it’s no coincidence, as its wide range of services sees them with solutions that are tailored to their clients’ specific needs.
“We just completed a full fire alarm upgrade for the Heineken brewery in Cork City. Not to mention a large warehouse in Citywest with Kercon Construction.”
The company is in the process of starting work on a project for Sport Ireland in the capital while, closer to home, it has on-going maintenance work with Virginia Park Lodge – an award winning country house by Michelin star chef Richard Corrigan.
“We’re about to start a job in Sport Ireland in Ballycoolin for Cumnor Construction,” explained Jason.
“We’re currently in Glasson Lakehouse in Athlone for Press Up Hospitality Group and we have on-going maintenance work in Virginia Park Lodge.
“There’s also a couple of fit-outs in Blanchardstown that we’re working on at the moment, renovations in a couple of warehouses and we’re also doing work for Paul Elliott in the Elliott Group.
“We are currently working on a large residential development with Monami Construction in Galway city and are about to begin the new chic ‘Blackrock Cottage’ restaurant on the Salthill promenade with McHugh Property Holdings.
“So, business is good right now and we’re hoping it will stay that way for some time to come.”
So, all of that considered, what has been the secret behind JF Electrical’s growth and continued success over the past 14 years?
For Jason, he credits the excellence and attention to detail provided by its staff day in, day out.
“I think it’s because we have an extremely good structure in place and a lot of it’s down to the office staff and the incredible electricians that we have here,” he said.
“We never miss a deadline and we must be reasonably competitive with our prices as well.
“Our clients also know how reliable we are and that they can trust us to get the job right and on time for them.”
At JF Electrical, they are always looking for new staff and new apprentices to join the team and the intention is to take on 10 more new members in 2022.
Looking towards the coming months, Jason is hoping for more of the same and perhaps the opportunity to expand even further next year as they get set to mark a decade-and-a-half at the company.
“The hope is that we retain all of our staff because the company wouldn’t run without them. It’s as simple as that really,” he said.
“There’s a saying that if you surround yourself with competent people, it makes life much easier. That’s what we try to do here.
“Hopefully in 2023, we’ll be in a position to expand again all going well.”
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This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, May 2022, Vol 8 No 5