BDO Limerick Define Characteristics Required to Survive Austerity

Dr. Stephen Kinsella, Lecturer in Economics at Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick was speaking at an event to unveil the characteristics of a high performing Irish organisation which were illustrated in a specially commissioned online video and digital infographic.

“A recession separates high performing organisations from those built on staggered planning. Applying astute strategies to your business will ensure your survival and in many cases growth. This is not merely academic theory this is borne out in the companies showcased by BDO Limerick.”

Dr. Kinsella was keynote speaker at “Reinventing the Path Forward, hosted by BDO Limerick, who also announced the addition of five new partners and 50 new staff to their business. BDO Limerick profiled three client companies who have used experiences learned from the recession to reinvent themselves and drive forward.

The companies profiled are Limerick-based DSM, Shannon-based Bolgers and Tipperary-based McHale Plant Sales Ltd.  All three demonstrated unique characteristics which set them apart as high performing organisations in Ireland’s greatest recesssion.

Denis Herlihy, Managing Partner at BDO Limerick explained why they decided to take a closer look at companies who thrive during the recession. “The recession hit Ireland with a bang in 2008. It struck companies hard and unfortunately it doesn’t come with a manual. We have just witnessed our sixth austerity budget so we decided to take a closer look at companies who are successfully navigating their way through the torrid economic waters.Internally at BDO Limerick we are seeing a strong level of positive trading and we uncovered the unique charactistics of companies who have successfully survived the recession, made the necessary adjustments and continue to grow going forward.”

Partner at BDO Limerick, Ger Holliday says, “Organisations must confront the big issues that face them now. Business in the current climate is about the short to medium term. So when there is a problem, fix it. You must remember that big victories are made up of little ones.”

The companies profiled by BDO Limerick explain the characteristics that define their success in Ireland’s worst recession.

Wendy Ryan, Managing Director of DSM who store and manage data for companies in the west, mid-west and southern regions says, “We are in business 14 years and while we have experienced economies in boom and bust, we haven’t changed our business model. We just do what we do, better. You must have an acute understanding of your market, your place in it, and your competitive advantage. We are a small indigenous company so we cannot compete with large multi-nationals, however we know what we do well and we focus on this. And it has worked very well for us. We have also embraced technology.”

Bolgers specialise in precision engineering and have continued to grow year on year since their formation 32 years ago.  Joint Managing Director Ian Bolger says, High performing modern Irish organisation’s ought to have an orientation towards ‘internationalising’ themselves if they can. Ireland as a market is just too small.  Bolgers had a focus on regional and national in the early days but it was when we entered international markets that we saw substantial growth. Today total exports account for 78% of our business, which is done in UK, NI and the US. ”

McHale Plant Sales Ltd is the sole distributor of Komatsu in Ireland. It is a leading supplier of excavators, bulldozers and large class wheel loaders. Managing Director Michael McHale Junior says, “When our market collapsed overnight in 2008 by 90%, we had no choice but to restructure. The Irish market was small and restricted so we looked at the international marketplace. We sold pre-owned plant hire to Africa and the Middle East. We also moved into agricultural equipment and became an importer for Zettor – another strong brand. We also dramatically cut costs. We cut hard and we cut deep, it’s not pleasant but it’s the only way to be kind to your business.”

Describing modern Ireland as a country where ‘going back to basics is key,’ Ger Holliday says, “The receission has made everyone very lean, so, if and when the bounce comes, all new business wins should drop to the bottom line. So go back to basics and look at what characteristics define your company and its success.”

Meanwhile Denis Herlihy says, “companies that have strategies aligned to their people are notoriously successful. Coupled with sharp communciations and quick decision-making, businesses become leaders in times of recession. But you need to understand your place and implement the strategies to copperfasten your future there.”

The case studies of DSM, Bolgers and McHale Plant Sales Ltd along with the online video and infographic can be viewed here: