Innovation and partnership approach drive EPS Group to succeed in water sector Cleantech High Tech Construction

Innovation and partnership approach drive EPS Group to succeed in water sector

March 12, 2018 No Comments

EPS Group is one of Ireland’s most successful environmental businesses, designing, constructing and operating water and wastewater treatment systems and pumping equipment to industrial, commercial and municipal customers across Ireland, the UK, and the Middle East.

EPS Group is also one of the few genuinely “end-to-end” service providers in the global water sector.

Innovation has been central to its success. In the 50 years since it was established, the group based in County Cork in Ireland, has grown from being a modest electrical and pumping services business into an internationally-exporting product and service provider, focused on the water, wastewater and clean technology sectors.

Headquartered in the town of Mallow, with locations in Ireland, the UK and Jordan, today EPS Group employs more than 450 people.

It is Ireland’s largest, privately owned Design-Build-Operate (DBO) partner for the delivery and operation of water and wastewater assets. Current long-term operational concessions cover over 300 treatment assets serving more than one million people.

The company has held contracts with all 34 water authorities in the Republic of Ireland (now transferred to the national utility Irish Water), as well as a significant share of the trader sub-market.

Innovation in action at EPS Group

EPS Group continues to innovate, recently winning a Digital Technology award at the European Business Awards for a submission that focused on the company’s newly opened Euro 4.5 million, 40,000 sq ft Centre of Design and Manufacturing Excellence.

The first of its kind for the water sector in Ireland and the UK, the new high-tech centre allows EPS to work in collaboration with clients and partners across the globe using multi-dimensional design platforms, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and digital demonstrations.

“A key differentiator for EPS Group is the fact that we have developed all of the skills the sector requires in-house. While our competitors, in most respects, outsource various activities, we are an end-to-end solutions provider, looking after every aspect of a project from concept through to aftercare,” says Patrick Buckley, managing director of EPS Group.

This breadth of expertise, allied to experience, gives EPS Group a key advantage, as does management’s commitment to always ‘take things a step further than our competitors,’” explains Buckley.

For example, EPS designs and preassembles plant, “to ensure we get it right first time on-site,” Buckley continues.

EPS is committed to ‘lean’ manufacturing, moving its design team onto the factory floor so that designers, fabricators and assembly teams can liaise for optimal efficiency. “Lean methodologies enable us to keep costs down, ultimately delivering value for our customer over their entire project,” Buckley says.

Why treating clients as strategic partners is key

The Group has a turnover of Euro 80 million and growth of around 10% per annum.  “Our development strategy is based on partnerships both up and down the supply chain,” adds Buckley.

This includes collaborative partnerships with customers and end users, for example with Tier 1 water treatment company Stantec Treatment, with whom it has a UK joint venture vehicle, MEPS.

EPS also forges collaborative partnerships to drive innovation, such as its licensing of sustainable waste water treatment process Nereda from Royal Haskoning DHV in the Netherlands, for use in Ireland and select projects in the UK and further afield.

“Existing biological wastewater treatment technology is over 100 years old. This is new technology for a new generation,” says Buckley. “Nereda is another example of the way in which EPS Group uses strategic partnerships to differentiate itself in the market. Whether by building such partnerships, or by investing in businesses that fit the profile of our growth strategy, it’s all part of our strong focus on growing in a sustainable way.”

Central to that is to only seek out projects where EPS Group can add value. “We go where customers value what we bring,” he says. “It’s a slower burn but it’s a more sustainable approach to business growth, as we continue our digital delivery journey”.

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