“Now the sky is the only limit?”
LMC Group – the rapidly expanding consortium of companies headed up by Martin Lydon and Stephen McConnell – finished our last encounter with “Now the sky is the only limit!” and now we know why ……The pair have recently launched a new manufacturing business LMC Modular Ltd to produce the modular bathroom and kitchen pods that are currently in high demand on construction sites across Ireland.
The manufacturing business is the latest venture for LMC. The company already has a thriving engineering and facilities management business and the owners believe that the company has the existing ability to transform the market for these products. McConnell explains that the new business has been in the pipeline for some time.
“It is something that we had first talked about 10 years ago: we knew that a manufacturing arm would give us a more diversified company – plus it would also give real synergies to the existing business. The nature of the contracting industry is that business can be irregular, you can be flat out the door for two years, but then have a lull for a few months after a big project finishes. A manufacturing business not only works to our strengths as a company, but it also strengthens the group as a whole with regular cashflow,” says McConnell.
However, exactly what the new business would manufacture has not been in place for that long. LMC knew that they wanted to manufacture an added value product that they could market to other engineering firms as well as use on their own projects and they also wanted a product that would play to their strengths in design and process management. Lydon says that after exploring the options that modular designed pods were the obvious progression.
“We knew from our engineering firm that the demand for offsite manufactured spaces has exceeded the supply for some years now, particularly with the advent of purpose-built student accommodation. As contractors fitting and connecting to these Pods for almost 20 years, we know the shortfalls in what is being offered to the market at present – from a technical point of view, from a mechanical and electrical point of view and from a traceability point of view,” says Lydon.
The company is primarily manufacturing bathroom pods for the student accommodation residential and hospitality sector, but McConnell says that there are plans in place to expand the range to encompass one-off designs from its dedicated factory space in Birdhill Co Tipperary. With business booming in the first six months, they are already making plans for further expansion.
“We initially bought a factory space that we thought was huge, but we outgrew it within three months. We then bought the building next door to expand production and last month we took a lease on a third building. We have essentially quadrupled our capacity since we started the company 6 months ago, we have been inundated with enquiries and made a decision that we would “go for it” due to the demand for the product, we are not in the habit of saying no to our clients. We are now producing 40 pods per week, but we are aiming to increase that to 80 per week by Q1 of next year,” says McConnell.
“The feedback is very positive, which is very uplifting. We have the capacity to produce high quality units that are fully certified structurally, electrically and mechanically. Each pod is produced to an exceptionally high standard and tested before it leaves the factory. Our process is fully certified to ISO9001 providing a fully traceable and quality assured product. This process ensures a level of guaranteed quality to a market that is not used to these exceptionally high standards. Architects and clients that have visited the factory are astonished both at the process and the quality of the production,” says Lydon.
“We design everything in-house, we certify everything in-house and we only use proven supply partners. We don’t ship in container loads of cheap sanitary ware from China and we only source parts and products in Europe that carry a CE mark. We are dedicated to making sure that we produce the best quality products on the market and our clients really appreciate this fact. It is not just a well-designed pod that we are supplying: it is peace of mind that the parts are easily sourced and that the production source is just down the road – not thousands of miles away.”
“With our Facilities Management and Contracting Companies within the group we can now offer clients the full package, from an expert in house design service to a fully integrated construction solution that combines Mechanical and Electrical Building Services with a POD manufacturing and installation service, through to a fully integrated Facilities Management programme for our clients” Says McConnell
Lydon and McConnell are hugely confident that they can bring a new dimension to this market, both have a strong background in design and over the next twelve months they have very exciting plans to change the way modular construction is used within the construction industry.
With business rapidly expanding on all fronts and with LMC Modular set to double in size again in the next six months, LMC Group certainly looks set for an exciting 2018.
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