M&P Mechanical

Mark O’Rourke and Anthony O’Conaill share their views on the industry, what makes the business successful and the importance of getting your hands dirty…

Anthony O’Conaill, Chief Operations Officer and Mark O’Rourke, Managing Director.

What was your industry background prior to M&P Mechanical?
My background goes back some 40 years, when I started my apprenticeship working long hours and gaining experience in business from all walks of life.
Anthony: I started as an apprentice plumber, then completed a two-year night course for accountancy and to round it off, went on to study engineering for three years.

What are your biggest challenges as MD and COO of M&P Mechanical Ltd?
Mark: My biggest challenge was taking the road that took me on the challenging yet rewarding journey that has led me to where I am now.
Anthony: Every day the challenges are different. On any given day, whatever the client needs sorting out is the only challenge that matters at that time. 

What inspires you to go to work every day?
I love my work and every day brings its own challenges, achievements and rewards.
Anthony: I like the challenge of trying to do things that others won’t. In the industry now, nothing is impossible, as long as you can think it out, plan it out and have the right team to deliver.

How do you keep your team/staff motivated?
Mark: I would like to think it’s because I am always very fair and hands on with all my employees and not afraid to muck in and get my hands dirty, if necessary.
Anthony: We talk daily, and try to keep things casual. We encourage everyone to put ideas forward. If they feel they’re making a difference, it motivates them and brings everyone along together.

P&H: What are the major challenges facing your industry going forward, in your opinion?
Mark: Higher material costs and higher living costs which will have an impact on labour costs to employers, and of course, the huge changes to green energy regulations and requirements.
Anthony: Staffing is an ongoing battle. Also, I think the demand for overly detailed method statements and how to plan has removed some people’s willingness and ability to think on their feet and work problems out

How have Covid-19 and Brexit impacted your business strategy?
Mark: We experienced losses in turnover and revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic period and also major price increases on materials due to supply shortage and additional import duties and taxes as a result of Brexit.
Anthony: Yes, we have had to change our working model and operational approach to projects. It requires a lot more planning and this is always on a knife edge.

If you could employ anybody from the worlds of business or sport, who would it be and why?
Mark: Frank Fahy, Shannon Homes. He is so well respected in the construction industry; has a wonderful forward vision and always get his business plans across the line.
Anthony: Elon Musk. The belief he has in his ideas and his commitment to seeing it through is unmatched.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
Mark: Take it step-by-step and get to know the people you are working for. Keep the business small at the start and grow your business with the people you know and trust.
Anthony: Don’t burn your bridges, because everyone makes mistakes and you always need to be able to ask for help.

What have been your company’s highlights over the past years?
Mark: To complete the first 10 years in business, with the support of my very patient and understanding wife and family who are all now involved in the business. We should have no problem meeting new challenges and goals for the next 10 years.
Anthony: To see the company grow to where it is – and see so many people still with us. What we are doing is working, but not just for the company, but also for the employees and their families.

What’s next for M&P Mechanical Ltd?
To continue doing what we do best – maintaining a good relationship with our staff and very loyal customers and delivering an excellent service to them all.
Anthony: We have plans for the company and things we want to see happen over the next five years, but that really depends on the market, Covid and the government. Right now, we have two road maps and in the next six to twelve months we will be going down one or the other. 

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Read all about M&P Mechanical in Ireland’s Plumbing & Heating Magazine

M&P Mechanical