2019 marked Masterair’s 30th anniversary and the Dublin-based HVAC Maintenance Service company almost kept the celebrations going after it just missed out on a Facilities Management Awards 2020 after being shortlisted in the Specialist FM Service Provider of the Year category.
“We were very proud to be nominated, particularly as we were in contention with so many leading companies,” explains Paul Kane, Commercial Manager. “It’s a great indicator that we’re on the right track.”
While Masterair was originally formed in 1989 as a manufacturer of air handling units and evolved its offering over the years, it was a Management Buy-Out in 2014 that has really proved the catalyst for the company’s most recent progression.
“The MBO was led by our Managing Directors, Shay McConnell and Aidan Conway, with the focus of growing and evolving the Masterair brand. Over the last few years this has really taken shape, so to be recognised with the nomination from the FM Awards has really underlined the progress we’ve been making.
“We’ve been able to achieve substantial growth following the recession without compromising our company values, so to have gained recognition within the FM sector really justifies our approach and is a great boost to us as a business and to all our colleagues. It really reflects well on the quality of our staff and the service they help provide to our clients.
“For the staff and the colleagues we have here, although we have always had an emphasis on growth, at the same time we’ve had a determination to not lose sight of our company values. This is something we’re really proud of. We provide an excellent service to our clients, who we value and the trust they put in us.”
With over 70 employees, which includes both engineers and office staff, Masterair has developed a well trained workforce that been the foundation for the company’s ongoing success. Their level of dedication and commitment has been achieved thanks to a top-down ethos within the business, as Mr Kane outlines: “Our directors and management team are very passionate about the business and have worked extremely hard to develop a ‘team environment’. I know this borders on the edge of being a cliché but I genuinely feel that this is what we have within Masterair. We have a very strong team, robust levels of trust and open communication streams: all the aspects that you need in a business for it to become successful.
“It’s by no means a magic formula, as its traditional values like trust, honesty and reliability that the company has been built on and continues to be so. We always try and keep it simple, so if someone calls us then we answer or ring them back promptly. If they ask us a question, we get them an answer. If they have an issue, we’ll resolve it. Ultimately, it’s all about making the process as easy as possible for the client.
“I’ve had a sales background before I joined Masterair where sometimes the sales pitch is very much focused on selling the product or the service to meet targets or to increase revenue regardless of personal opinion. In contrast, with Masterair it’s a really easy sell for me because I believe 100% in what we offer and it’s backed up by what we provide through all our departments.”
Achieving a strong workforce is a challenge for any company but maintaining high standards over a prolonged period of time is equally difficult. Thankfully Masterair’s ongoing commitment to training and staff development has proven to be the right approach.
“We have tremendous levels of experience and expertise throughout the organisation and we’re always working at ways to share this knowledge across the company,” adds Mr Kane. “Our engineers go through all the industry training to secure the qualifications they require. They are therefore fully capable of carrying out their duties to a very high standard. We always aim to provide a professional service and this is only possible with a well trained, well presented and highly competent workforce. Our engineers are all uniformed and we have fully liveried vans to add to this level of professionalism.
“We also have a great deal of experience within our office staff, whether it’s operations, business or accounts, and once again the training is available for those individuals carrying out these roles.”
As befits a company with three decades of operation under its belt, Masterair has taken a long term approach that embraces the wisdom of bringing young blood into the business.
“As we’ve grown in recent years we’ve recognised the importance of recruiting young people coming out of college or that already work in the industry and sharing knowledge via training is vital to the process of ensuring they reach their potential with us.”
As it strives to make the most of its experience and finely-honed infrastructure, Masterair is now looking at opportunities in a wider range of areas.
“We have a refrigeration division and our next step in developing our offering is that specialist refrigeration aspect. We are very experienced and have 30 years of operation under our belt so we’re the leading industry name when it comes to HVAC service and maintenance coupled with mechanical and electrical installations alongside Mastertech Engineering our M&E Division, so the move into refrigeration is another major string to our bow. Our goal is to be a ‘one stop shop’ for these various different elements within the commercial arena.
“For 2020 our aim is to grow again and widen our customer base still further. The FM Awards will allow us to meet with some fantastic companies that provide facilities management services so this will be a great opportunity to possible generate new business. We want to raise awareness of what we can offer and increase our profile within the marketplace. We’re very confident that we provide an excellent and professional service, it’s just a case of letting as many people know about it as possible, both in the FM world and beyond. As part of this objective we want to not only tell prospective clients about what we can offer, we want to show them. What’s more, once we’ve secured a new client they tend to stick with us, which is something that we’re very proud of.
“Of course there will always be certain challenges to deal with, such as Brexit. However, as long as we remain focused on developing our own infrastructure through ongoing investment and training, we can remain future proofed and in a strong position to keep providing the quality of service that our customer base requires.
“Our anniversary last year was a great opportunity to take stock of how far we’ve come and now we’re committed to building on our reputation to write the next chapter in our history. We’re not looking for short-term gains, we’re in this for the next 30 years.”
This approach has obviously served Masterair Services well so far and is sure to do so again in the months and years ahead.