Delivering projects the ‘Kirby Way’ has helped Kirby Group Engineering grow business across Ireland, the UK and continental Europe for more than half a century, tripling its annual turnover to a current figure of €167 million over the past number of years.
Founded in 1964, Kirby provides full mechanical and electrical engineering contracting services, as well as specialist high voltage (HV) and medium voltage (MV) design and construction services, to clients across several key sectors. These include data centres, life sciences, industrial manufacturing, commercial, petrochemical, and substations and renewables.
“We have developed an in-house integrated project execution process, called the ‘Kirby Way’, which involves creating and sharing value through working collaboratively and deploying highly-skilled and dedicated project teams who are committed to the success and delivery of the project,” explains Group Managing Director, Jimmy Kirby.
Kirby values and continuous improvement
As a company, Kirby embraces the following core values:
- Safety – keeping you safe through safe systems of work and a safe place of work
- Quality – eliminating waste by getting it right the first time
- Delivery – project delivery through relentless execution discipline
- Value – creating and sharing value through collaboration, innovation and operational excellence.
Project delivery is ensured through relentless execution discipline and highest safety and quality standards. Value is created, and shared with clients, through a combination of collaboration, innovation and operational excellence.
“Our clients trust our integrity. They experience director-level involvement, characterised by a proactive approach to the projects. BIM, offsite fabrication and innovative technology have also been central to our success with lean practices becoming key components of our project delivery, bringing significant value both to us and to our customers,” says Jimmy Kirby.
“We also operate an Innovation Suggestion Scheme, with participation encouraged right across the workforce, which fosters a culture of innovation. This helps to continuously generate the kind of innovative and lean ideas that bring efficiencies into the business through cycle time reduction,” he says.
Recent completed projects include electrical works for 18MW data centre in Dublin, which involved the conversion of a former manufacturing facility to a modern Tier 3 data centre facility, as well as full civil and electrical turnkey delivery of the 110kV transmission connection.
In Scotland, Kirby was awarded the contract for the electrical infrastructure requirements for Kilgallioch Wind Farm, a 94 wind turbine generator site capable of generating an output of up to 289MW, to be exported to the grid network.
For the Solvay Group in Wales, Kirby delivered full mechanical, electrical and instrumentation, as well as process piping services for a new purpose-built adhesive manufacturing facility, with significant involvement from project initiation right through to handover stage.
By successfully applying lean construction principles, Kirby designed, prefabricated offsite, delivered in modular sections and installed a fully loaded pipe bridge at the same time as the building steelwork. This early activity greatly assisted with front-loading the schedule, reducing onsite construction hours, and ensuring maximum efficiency.
Over the past number of years, Kirby has tripled its annual turnover to a current figure of €167 million. To meet this growth, the direct employee numbers were significantly increased to 700 including 100 apprentices. Kirby opened its first international office in 2008 and today the company has seven offices across Ireland, the UK, and continental Europe. In 2010, Kirby secured its first European project and since then it has continued to develop and grow its international operations.
The company has recently announced a further expansion in its international operations to include the new geographical area of Sweden. “Expansion into the Nordics market is proving to be successful for us, having secured high-profile data centre projects, with more projects in the pipeline,” says Jimmy Kirby.
Kirby currently has the capability to execute projects in Ireland, UK, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, and Belgium. To meet growing demand for its services, the company is also developing the capability to execute projects in Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
“Currently our key focus is on data centres, life sciences, industrial manufacturing, and substations and renewables,” says Jimmy Kirby, who has overseen significant growth at the company in recent years.
Earlier this year, Kirby was awarded gold accreditation against the Investors in People Standard, the international standard for people management, demonstrating their commitment to high performance through good people management, which is a critical component for a growing business. Kirby also made a significant investment in senior management and announced a number of key appointments at senior level to support its growth and success.
“The company has excellent future prospects due to the strength of our management team, our staff and associated capabilities, our strategy formulation and implementation capability and our customer value proposition,” Jimmy Kirby concludes.