‘A strong brand partnership between family-run companies’
Laois Hire has won the agency for Selwood pumps in Ireland and has already placed a significant six-figure order. That order reflects what Paul Mann, Client Director of Selwood describes as, “the revival of the Irish construction sector – both public and private.”
Laois Hire has already grown Selwood’s Irish business base and this is set to continue with high-profile contract wins most notably large-scale road building projects such as the M17/M18 Tuam to Gort motorway in Galway, the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy motorway as well cleaning rivers and canals with Waterways Ireland.
Founded in 1946, Selwood is now a £50m turnover company employing 420 staff throughout its nationwide network of branches and is one of the largest privately owned companies serving the water, environmental and construction industries. Selwood has designed and manufactured mobile site pumps since 1953 and is now acknowledged as one of the UK leaders in this field with 75% of units being exported through a worldwide distributor network.
Laois Hire, headed up by Michael Killeen, is one of Ireland’s largest and most well known hire companies. From humble beginnings in 1992 to now employing 250 people on the island of Ireland, the company has a remarkable back-story and an even brighter future. Laois Hire joined the international HSS Hire group in 2005 experiencing vast expansion under the leadership of Killeen who took over as Managing Director for business operations in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.
More recently, Laois Hire assisted Enva Ireland Ltd in pumping crude oil from a million-litre holding tank on a project along a 3km pipeline out to an awaiting ship, using a Selwood high head pump which has the capacity to pump 200 tons of crude oil per hour
Michael Killeen says, “The pumping job was a complete success with Enva Ireland Ltd completing the project within the tight timeframe given and peace of mind with the reliability and level of safety that the Selwood pumps offer.”
Selwood say they chose Laois Hire as their Irish partner because it has a remarkable track record, holds a dominant position in the hire sector, but also because of how well the business is run.
Paul Mann says, “It’s no secret that Selwood is proud to work with family-owned companies. That’s our own story too and having researched the hire market in Ireland for three years, there was no competition. Laois Hire is focused, sharp, innovative and progressive. Michael Killeen leads from the front and has internationalised his business very successfully over three decades. They have a commitment to quality brands and so adding Selwood to their portfolio makes sense, and it also opens up new market channels both in Ireland and internationally.
“We are seeing quarries gear-up which has been swiftly followed by construction gearing up. This is reflected in the growth in our pumps division and there can be no doubt we are seeing signs of rapid construction growth, lacking for the past seven years in Ireland, and so it’s fair to say our partnership with Laois Hire is timely.”
Opening up the European market
Selwood is planning a Europe-wide move, working with new distributors, within the European Union including Laois Hire. Selwood recently acquired a minority share of their French distributor’s company, “and this will aid our expansion plans into mainland Europe,” says Paul Mann.
Pumping new business Laois Hire’s way
Laois Hire Managing Director, Michael Killeen says, his sales teams are selling brands to customers that instinctively recognise quality and Selwood will add greatly to their hire portfolio. “Already the reaction is very positive. Not only do they want and ask for Selwood, they know that in Laois Hire we have the network established to support them at hire and right along to parts and servicing. Put simply, we’ve built our business on trust and we choose brands that our customers trust and which we can deliver.”
Michael Killeen is an astute assessor of business. “Researching Selwood was part of our positioning too, we had to be sure they would be the right fit and they are. We have already won major contracts on the back of the Selwood agency with our engineering clients. This has also led to 10 new high-end and specialised jobs being created and we expect hiring to continue in the short to medium-term.
“We find that Selwood are a great company to work with, they are professional, friendly, they have supported us 100% and we are extremely happy with the progress to date, The mobile pump units we have purchased take time to come on stream. But our first batch has arrived, the next batch is on its way and next batch is currently being manufactured,” says Killeen.
Cleaner, quieter and more efficient pumps
Laois Hire customers are also benefitting from the Selwood Agency win. Michael Killeen says it’s about “clean, quieter and more efficient mobile pump units – all features being demanded by our customers that working on large-scale projects.”
- Eco-friendly, reducing the project’s carbon footprint;
- Fuel efficient, saving money, requiring less maintenance and less down-time;
- Super silent, health & safety – no noise pollution for people working and living in the immediate area, plus a team working on the site;
- Visually attractive, creating a good impression, enhancing the contractor’s brand.