It is testament to the quality of service McElwaine Security provides that the all-Ireland based company was named Fire & Security Contractor of the Year at Ireland’s National Electrical 2018 Awards. Construction Industry News recently caught up with Jason McElwaine, Managing Director, to see what the achievement means to the business.
“We did not expect it at all so it was great to win, especially as it gives us a tremendous amount of recognition across the wider industry,” explains Mr McElwaine. “It really demonstrates that we’re on the right track, as you don’t win this type of award by accident. It’s also a pat on the back for the entire team who deliver our services so well. It shows that their hard work is appreciated. Without the dedication of our staff the award wouldn’t have been possible, particularly as we are a very customer-focused company. For instance, we strive to provide one point of contact for our customers whenever possible. This ensures high levels of communication and means that everyone is on the same page. This is crucial to delivering a strong service.”
Around 40 employees support McElwaine Security’s activities, which operate out of two sites in County Fermanagh and Dublin, enabling them to cover both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. “We are fully accredited on both sides of the border and can cover all elements of security services from intruder & fire alarms through to CCTV, access control, lone worker and emergency lighting,” adds Mr McElwaine. “What’s more, due to our expertise we can cater for everything from domestic and small commercial projects up to large industrial-scale systems that are created, installed and supported by our own specialist designers and service teams.”
The strong skills set within McElwaine Security has not come about by chance, with the company having a particularly strong emphasis on in-house training and staff development. “Ensuring the well-being of all our operatives is our priority of course, so we focus on the likes of general safety training and manual handling, but we also strive to keep up to speed with the latest products coming through. This is essential as we’re operating in a very fast-moving industry that is highly innovative. Thankfully we have very good relationships with our suppliers, some of which supply us directly. That said, we’re not beholden to any particular company and will always use the right product to suit each particular project. We’re always working to see whether the latest products will suit the customer’s needs better.”
Having hit upon such a successful award-winning approach, McElwaine Security is now looking to utilise the increased awareness it is seeing by increasing its momentum. “We’re definitely going to be pushing the award success, as it’s a great way of highlighting the standards we operate to. The aim is keep steadily growing the business in our existing markets rather than trying to take over the world. We currently experience a significant amount of repeat business with our customers, which is another sign that we must be doing something right, and we’re keen to continue along those lines.”
Despite the progress it is making and the award success, Mr McElwaine is under no illusions that there are potential pitfalls ahead. “One of the biggest challenges concerns the industry-wide skills shortage that is affecting all businesses at the moment, especially when you’re as customer-focused as we are. It is currently hard to recruit the calibre of people we need, which makes it all the more important that we continue to develop our existing members of staff so that they can meet their full potential.”
Challenges aside, with a prestigious award to build on, it is clear that McElwaine Security has plenty to be positive about moving forward. “We are confident about the future due to the strengths we have as a company, particularly with the team we have in place and the high level of customer service we can provide,” concludes Mr McElwaine. “We’re hoping to capitalise further on these strengths in the next 12 months by securing more business with our current customers, as well as establishing relationships with new ones too. It’s all about doing more of the same.”