Building Your Business
PLATO Companies Get An Insight into McAvoy Group

4 July 2019

McAvoy Group Engineering hosts a PLATO site visit earlier today. Around a dozen PLATO companies visited McAvoy Group’s Lisburn-based Factory to gain a better understanding of McAvoys growth journey.

The Site Tour was led Orla Corr, family member and former Chairperson of the Company. Orla talked about the growth of the company through diversification and the importance of the company vision. Orla educated the PLATO cluster of companies on the skills shortages within the construction sector cross-referencing the Mark Farmer report, which essentially was calling for a new way of working to facilitate the massive constraints of labour within the construction sector. The MyAvoy Group read this as an opportunity to “Modernise or Die”.

Orla opened our minds to the possibility of the value of virtual reality and augmented reality as technological solutions to de-skilling the construction industry. Just imagine, homes made to the very highest certification in a clean factory environment, no more waiting around for plasterers and plumbers to finish the build. It is difficult to imagine so the PLATO companies were delighted to have the opportunity to see for themselves how the McAvoy Group has the logistics of new buildings down to a fine art. There were challenges along the way, the McAvoy journey to success was littered with challenges, getting on the UK procurement framework was only one. There were timely events enhancing their cause too for example the UK Vice-Chancellor indicating where possible construction would utilise off-site options, this suited McAvoys new way of thinking to “build boxes with architectural flair”.

The company’s risky strategy - according to the traditional thinker - enabled McAvoy to get ahead of the competition and as Orla rightly points out “it takes time to catch up”. Even those companies who were building pods were only willing to provide standard sizes etc whereas McAvoy were able to supply bespoke units customised to the needs of clients.

In the meantime, McAvoy, now a multi-award-winning company, was expanding its offices and depots rapidly in the UK and Ireland to facilitate its growth curve. And there were significant advantages to having multiple design teams enabled to work on open platforms (Open BIM) enhancing design and fit in real-time. This allows the client to better understand what their needs are and how to best accommodate any changes early on and inexpensively in the design process.

Orla Corr also talked about the importance of Research and Development and the value of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and investing in technology for instance the Virtual Reality Suite in the Coalisland factory.

The McAvoy Group journey to success is not over yet, McAvoy is now launching into large-scale construction of residential homes having a well-reputed background in large-scale construction of hospitals, schools, airport terminals etc.

The PLATO companies not only received a tour of the factory but were able to visit the finished article – a showhouse available on site. PLATO thanks Orla and the two Operations Managers for hosting the visit and wishes the company well, in its next growth phase.

  • Cavan
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghon