Declan Smith started DS Gas and Oil Services at the relatively young age of 27. As his business enters its third decade, Declan now counts the children of some of his early customers as current customers.
Declan has grown his business, now servicing Dublin, Leinster and the North East. DS Gas and Oil Services is one of the largest and well-known independent contractors in the Leinster region. He is also one of the leading installers of Calor Gas in Ireland.
Over the last 20 years, customers have changed, according to Declan. “There is a greater focus on quality, price is still important, but families are looking for reliability and for an installer that they can trust. Everyone has heard of someone who has had a terrible experience by looking for the cheaper option and realising that it was a false economy. People trust us and they trust Calor, and that makes the difference.”
Declan attributes the success of the business to his strong team. DS Gas and Oil Services currently employs 9 people, including Declan’s wife Catherine.
“We have a very experienced team and we have been together for a long time. Everyone has different talents and we all know our part within our team. Each team members’ role is crucial, from electrics, to grounds work to the plumbing and installation.”
Declan believes that customer service is a key differentiator. Simple things, like making sure you answer the phone promptly or making sure you leave a house or garden looking as good, or even better, than you found it, are really important.
Declan works hand in hand with the Calor Home Energy Support Team. “We work very well together, we each gain business from the other. Calor is obviously an incredibly well-known and trusted brand. People like the comfort they feel when working with a company like Calor.”
In terms of advice to customers, Declan stresses the importance of planning and preparation to get each project right
“We take the time to work with our customers to figure out what they want and then explain how we can make that happen. I love that part of the business – meeting people and working through the options that fit their situation best.”
Twenty years on, Declan is proud of the business he has built, but he is very thankful at the same time.
“We’ve been lucky to build a great team, who all pull together. We’ve had really great customers, who have supported us over the years and who keep referring us on. Word of mouth is hugely important for us. My family has made it all possible, Catherine’s guidance and patience over the years has been unwavering, without that I wouldn’t have made it this far.”
For more information on Calor contact (RoI) 1850 812 450 or
(NI) 028 9045 5588.