Mercury Engineering knows what is important to multinationals looking to fulfil a high-tech building project. They can mobilise their people to work with them in the time required and in the location they want.
High-tech builds in the pharmaceutical and data centre sectors are generally large and complex, so multinationals need the reassurance that the construction and engineering companies they engage with have a strong track record in this area. They know that partnering in construction projects is key.
From its Dublin base, Mercury Engineering has been working on building projects for foreign direct investment companies in these sectors in Ireland for over 30 years – particularly US multinationals in the 1990s. The company has built up a culture of understanding the needs and priorities of such clients, which has led to repeat business in markets outside Ireland.
“If multinationals are spending a large amount of money, they prefer to do that with someone they have worked with before. More times than not, they want to see familiar faces or at least know the company has worked on something similar in the past,” says Mercury Engineering CEO, Eoin Vaughan.
“We worked on five data centres for a major data centre developer in Europe, which saw the same group of people show up in Zurich as in Amsterdam. These are teams based out of Dublin.”
Mercury Engineering employs 1,200-2,000 people directly, depending on how the business ebbs and flows with projects concluding and new ones coming on stream. It also has an extensive sub-contractor and supply chain base employing around 1,500 people.
A big part of the company’s culture is to invest in its people. Mercury Engineering is the largest employer of apprentices in Ireland and runs a scholarship scheme for apprentices. It enhances employee development through external and internal training programmes, while also providing incentives for them to work abroad.
“There is strong loyalty in our workforce. Most senior people have been here over 20 years and most senior positions come through the trades level,” notes Vaughan.
At any one time, Mercury Engineering is working on projects for a number of key multinational clients across four or five countries. “Our ability to ramp up our tradespeople to deliver multiple large projects demonstrates our scalability and that is something our competitors probably don’t have,” says Vaughan.
“We became international in the traditional sense with offices in jurisdictions and independent business units. A few years ago, we made a centralised change to enable us to mobilise for key clients that want us to work for them anywhere in the world.”
In all sectors that Mercury Engineering operates in, the time demanded to get to market indicates the client need that exists. “The windows available to complete projects are getting narrower all the time,” says Vaughan. “To deal with this, we have used off-site fabrication, advanced solutions and modules to bring a project to life much faster. A lot of work can be done on ensuring components fit before critical works begin.”
The use of building information modelling (BIM) has differentiated Mercury Engineering as a construction services company over the past 10-15 years, according to Vaughan. “We have continued to innovate in this area, recognising that clients want to use BIM as part of life cycle management and to manage facilities after they are built.”
“The next generation of BIM will allow the ability to order parts or check the service history of individual parts. BIM started out as more of a coordination tool, but now it is seen as a way of speeding up a building process.”
Vaughan notes that Mercury Engineering’s expertise in working on complex high-tech projects has been gained through hands-on learnings on the job throughout its 45-year history.
“As we learned and developed, we gained a greater understanding of clients’ priorities and needs. We have the ability to deliver complex projects in a planned way, prioritising the safety of the facility and people. Our safety stats over a ten-year period have been double the industry average.”
Irish construction and engineering companies have proven themselves to be trusted partners to multinational companies in the pharmaceutical and data centre sectors in Europe for many years. This is thanks to their adaptability and capability in terms of speedy and efficient delivery on complex high-tech projects.