We speak to Brendan Coffey, Kirby’s Operations Manager for the Leinster region, as he celebrates nine years with us. He joined Kirby as a Senior Project Manager in December 2014 to manage the Telecity data centre project in Dublin. He reflects: “The company was much smaller at that point; we turned over around €165m. At the time I was working abroad for another contractor and wanted a role closer to home. Kirby has always maintained a presence in Ireland; it makes Kirby attractive to those who want to travel for work, those who want a role closer to home, and those who want a balance of the two.”
Brendan now oversees all electrical and mechanical projects in the Leinster region, with almost a significant percent of the projects in the region for data centre clients. Based in Dublin, Brendan spends the majority of his time on site with his team and our clients.
“Some companies have slogans, rather than values, but not Kirby. People is our core value and that is one of the reasons I chose to grow my career here. I have been supported on my journey from Project Manager to Operations Manager and want to carry on the tradition of growing our talent, and training our people up to be the best they can be. That is one of the reasons why I spend every day on site, I want the people in my team to feel like they have my trust and support, to be in the background, but to support them when they need it,” adds Brendan.
“We are very open and genuine people in Kirby. We treat our colleagues in the same way we treat our clients, with dignity and respect. Most of our senior leaders started their careers as apprentices, project engineers or project quantity surveyors. They know what it is to be on site, to work hard to ensure a project’s success, and we all carry that ethic with us as we conduct ourselves day to day.”
We ask Brendan what his typical day looks like, smiling he says, “No day is the same, but I am always up and out of the house by six to get to a site, with the majority of projects located in the greater Dublin area. I might work with the estimating teams on a tender or attend site meetings with a client. I usually start my day by checking in with our project managers. Open communication is key to developing a close working relationship with the team.”
We talk about Kirby’s approach to bidding, delivery, and aftercare. Brendan explains: “A project manager is appointed as a project sponsor from the beginning of a tender to work with the estimating team. They are heavily involved in the issuing of supply chain packages and reviewing the designs. On project award, they will then take the project through preconstruction, and into the construction phase and support post completion. By using the ‘Kirby Way’ project delivery process, that person will be the lynchpin on the project, ensuring that everything is set up for success. This approach allows them to set up the job how they want, and by the time they get to site, they know the building and the packages like the back of their hands, so they can hit the ground running. It’s an approach that sets Kirby apart in the construction industry.”
We ask Brendan about his hobbies, and life outside of work, he says: “I have a strong interest in music and sport. I have a little girl, so much of my spare time is spent dedicated to her. Family is really important, not just to me, but also to the company. I like to think that at Kirby we see the whole you. Not just the person you are at work, but your life as a whole. I think that perspective makes Kirby a nice place to work.”
As we wrap up our interview, Brendan talks about his memories of joining Kirby nine years ago, and about the feeling he got from Kirby in his first interview. Brendan says, “I want everyone I work with to feel the same way I have felt since I joined Kirby nine years ago: trusted, valued, and appreciated. I want them to feel good about where they work, which tends to help them perform better. An open and honest culture not only empowers and motivates people to be the best, but also helps the company become better, more agile and driven by people who want to succeed. Kirby has grown significantly in nine years, and that is in part thanks to its trust in and investment in its people.”