With over 14 years of experience in construction, Colm McHugh, recently appointed as managing director of PERI Ireland, is confident that the global business’s newest base in Ireland will grow from strength to strength.
While PERI is no stranger to Irish customers, the company plans to make itself more accessible to the market. Managing director, Colm McHugh, says building strong partnerships with customers will enable the subsidiary to deliver the same comprehensive service as its global counterparts.
“We want to make sure that Irish customers have PERI on their doorstep,” he says.
Although it’s a contrast to how PERI previously traded in Ireland, Colm McHugh promises that the high-quality product offering will remain the same, with the addition of two new systems about which he is particularly excited.
Understanding Customers’ Pain Points
His background in mechanical engineering, coupled with a thorough understanding of the entire construction process through senior roles in various fields, means Colm McHugh is well-placed to understand the pressures and pain points many customers face, and work with his team to deliver the most beneficial solutions.
“What will change is our customers’ access to expertise and bespoke services, supported by a wealth of experience from the Ireland team and our global network,” he states. “Going forward, we want our customers to know that there is no formwork, scaffolding or engineering problem that cannot be solved with PERI Ireland as their partners, however simple or complex it may be. One of the main ways PERI has been able to achieve this all over the world is through customer proximity.”
Project Ireland 2040
The opening of PERI Ireland is timely as it coincides with the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan and the current demand for new construction, especially with ‘high impact’ transport and infrastructure projects on the horizon.
By providing healthy competition to the market, employment opportunities across a range of skillsets and strong engineering capability, the company aims to facilitate this growth.
“No matter what sector or complexity of the project, we have the products and expertise to deliver fast, safe and efficient solutions for our customers,” he says.
A New Team
This confidence perhaps comes from the fact that despite PERI’s new presence in Ireland, the formwork and scaffolding provider’s newest subsidiary has retained and recruited a lot of its talent from within the company.
“The team will allow us to hit the ground running,” says Colm McHugh. “We have a vast amount of experience and technical knowledge, as well as the support from the UK subsidiary and our global base in Germany, which has been involved in successfully delivering solutions for the global construction industry for over 50 years now.”
The subsidiary has focused on key appointments so far, making sure its sales and technical teams are in place to meet the demand for bespoke requirements.
Colm McHugh anticipates the Irish team will grow by 50% in the coming months.
The sales team includes a familiar face to PERI customers, Ronan Bailey, who previously worked for the company in the UK in both sales and technical roles. Joining Rona Bailey is sales engineer Paul Whitford, who has moved from the company’s Australian subsidiary and brings with him a wealth of product knowledge.
Support functions will also be up to speed, the Irish MD assures. John Comerford is the appointed head of finance, and Simon Smith from the UK will manage the company’s new 6,000-sq m yard, which is primed for growth over the next few years. The team’s experience also comes from further afield with a highly experienced formwork design manager, Sunil Kumar, from PERI Qatar, appointed to lead the new technical team.
“With the vast array of experience in place, we are ready to respond to demand and provide the high-quality and local service that a lot of customers are looking for,” Colm McHugh says.
DUO and MAXIMO Formwork.
Having a visible presence in Ireland will only strengthen the business’s core offering of reliable products and support services, especially with the introduction of DUO and MAXIMO formwork.
“PERI products speak for themselves in terms of quality and simplicity,” he says. “We feel that the respective strengths of these products will benefit our customers, in terms of efficiency on site as well as having a more targeted product for every situation.
“The benefit of MAXIMO is the system’s efficiency of assembly and disassembly. With DUO, this is the solution that will catalyse construction on smaller projects, where cranes are not available or when hook time is at a premium,” he adds.
In the near future, as part of the ‘partnership package’, Colm McHugh also foresees a full in-house engineering design suite to complement the subsidiary’s formwork and scaffolding offer. “This will include digital services such as BIM and 3D animation technology to facilitate the early stages of planning and decision-making, as well as fulfilling the growing requirement for BIM on public sector projects,” he says.
He also mentions the current services on offer to customers, such as the cleaning and repair facility, where regular maintenance of their PERI products will preserve the quality and enhance performance on site.
With the abundance of private and public investment around the country, it is clear to see why Colm McHugh feels the timing is right for PERI Ireland.
“We are well-positioned [geographically] to facilitate this growth and serve customers across Ireland,” says Colm. “The office is located on the Naas Road in west Dublin, which offers good links to other parts of the country and also enables us to access the city centre easily.”
The Irish business has already started to secure key projects since its opening in June 2019. The team is supporting BAM with the construction of a significant expansion of a global microchip manufacturer’s facility in Kildare, as well as acquiring a share of residential work in the centre of Dublin.
“Hopefully this is the start of customers seeing our offering and what we can do for them,” says Colm McHugh.
Following London’s example, the construction of high-rises in Dublin seems inevitable as space for new developments becomes sparse. He predicts, “The approval for Dublin’s tallest structure to date should be a watershed project, where we will see a move towards high-rise developments throughout the city over the next few years.”
With a ‘willingness to provide the best service to the customer’ along with the right expertise and products in place, it seems PERI Ireland is ready for the challenge.
To learn more visit www.peri.ie