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Braham Electrical – Highly commended for its experience and expertise

With nearly 45 years of operation under its belt Northern Ireland-based Braham Electrical has a wealth of experience and expertise to draw on, all of which was again recently underlined when it was Highly Commended at the ECA Awards 2016 within the Contractor of the Year (up to £20m turnover) category.

“First and foremost it was great to get shortlisted and to then be Highly Commended was really pleasing,” explains Chris Hickey, Director. “We were shortlisted mainly because of our quality and training skills, not to mention our health and safety record and the strength of our supply chain. These areas have all been absolutely integral to the development of the business over the years, particularly the continual progress we have been making on health and safety and staff development via training. This has been vital as we have always preferred to do as much as we can in-house rather than having to rely on outside contractors.

“The role of our suppliers is also crucial too, and we’ve developed really close relationships with many of them over the past 20 years of so we’ve been working with them.”

Originally founded in 1972, Braham Electrical became a Limited company in October 1977 and in 2004 became known as Paul Braham and Sons Limited trading as Braham Electrical. With a workforce of 100 employees, the company is a full-service electrical contractor serving the commercial, industrial and residential sectors of the construction market. This has allowed the business to establish itself as a leader in the electrical construction industry and enjoy a solid reputation for customer care and satisfaction.

“First and foremost it was great to get shortlisted and to then be Highly Commended was really pleasing. We were shortlisted mainly because of our quality and training skills, not to mention our health and safety record and the strength of our supply chain. These areas have all been absolutely integral to the development of the business over the years, particularly the continual progress we have been making on health and safety and staff development via training.”

Chris Hickey, Director

The company moved to new premises that were officially opened on 25 November 2004, located on Charlotte Street, Warrenpoint. In addition to its own directly employed workforce, Braham Electrical works with over 100 sub-contractors and self employed engineers. These employees, along with its fleet of 24 vehicles, are split over four divisions: Contracting, Street & Flood Lighting, Testing & Inspection and Maintenance, together creating a versatile team that has enabled Braham Electrical to go from strength-to-strength.

In terms of the main sectors in which it operates, whilst the majority of works involves maintenance provision, it also carries out a high proportion of public authority housing, education, health and commercial maintenance. Another part of the group also covers specialist street lighting and public realm lighting.

DSC01510Thanks to the infrastructure it has, Braham Electrical is able to operate across the whole of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well covering England, Wales and Scotland. This broad geographical spread enables the company to maintain a strong workload of business and public realm street lighting with motorway lighting currently proving particularly fruitful in terms of opportunities.

“We were recently awarded the new motorway upgrade in Scotland involving the 17km of the M8, the M73 that is around £3m in value,” adds Mr Hickey. “We’ve also just completed a very large manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland and have just finished three large schools in the last four months. We’ve therefore got a nice spread of work, supplemented by the business generated by our wholesale operation, Milltown Electrical, which is also part of the group.”

Despite the positive outlook for the Braham Electrical, there continue to be various hurdles that the company is having to contend with. “The biggest challenge we currently face surrounds competitive tendering because you can tender all day and all night and still get nowhere. It’s therefore all about making sure we tender to the right markets in order to maximise our chances of success. At the moment we are tendering directly to government departments and health trusts and hopefully by cutting out the middle man we will enjoy higher rates of success. The fact we have so many years of operation under our belt, coupled with the reputation we enjoy within the marketplace, certainly helps strengthen our arm, particularly as we are in better place financially. This in turns enables us to set our quality standards higher, as we’re not having to cut corners in order to compete.”

“The biggest challenge we currently face surrounds competitive tendering because you can tender all day and all night and still get nowhere. It’s therefore all about making sure we tender to the right markets in order to maximise our chances of success. At the moment we are tendering directly to government departments and health trusts and hopefully by cutting out the middle man we will enjoy higher rates of success.”

Chris Hickey, Director

Being Highly Commended at the ECA Awards demonstrates the standards to which Braham Electrical operates. As it looks to build on the accolade, the company is determined to target a wide area of the marketplace in order to keep the momentum going. “Moving forward we want to keep the spread of variation going across the different sectors that we operate so that we can maintain a full order book for the next two years or so,” concludes Mr Hickey. “It’s important we don’t put all our eggs in one basket and instead explore every available opportunity. We’re definitely looking more towards the mainland UK to forge new relationships within the marketplace. In addition, with the economy in the Republic of Ireland continuing to improve as it comes further out of recession, we’re also seeing growing opportunities south of the border too. There’s clear evidence that we’re seeing strong shoots of recovery coming through and we’re seeing some major projects coming through as a result.”

With the ECA Award success already under its belt for 2016, it is clear that Braham Electrical has plenty more to look forward to for the remainder of the year and into 2017 as well.