News & Insights
Insights: Mercury’s David Byrne featured in ‘Leaders in Construction’
David Byrne, Bid Director at Mercury, was recently featured in the ‘Leaders in Construction’ series in Irish Building Magazine. See the interview in full below, or click here to read the article in Irish building magazine (page 58-59). Also check out our advert on page 18.
An Irish contractor with reach across Europe, Mercury builds and manages complex engineering projects that reimagine how people work and live in the built environment. “We believe that real innovation happens if you’re willing to be brave,” says Mercury’s David Byrne. “Our determination and sharp focus enable us to deliver leading edge construction solutions across a range of key sectors, taking our clients to new territories they never thought possible.”
Mercury’s culture is also deeply rooted in its rigorous approach to health and safety practices. “We consistently implement our Quality, Environmental, Health & Safety policies and procedures to ensure industry leading project delivery and most importantly, the safety and wellbeing of all of its employees.”
David Byrne is the Bid Director at Mercury, leading a team comprising both estimation and a pre-construction team which when combined feed into the overall bid management process in addition to handling Mercury’s marketing activities. David’s career began in Mercury as an electrical apprentice in 1996. He worked in on sites for several years before relocating to Mercury’s head office as a Junior Estimator, eventually moving up the ranks to head up the function.
With almost 2000 staff and revenues in excess of €750m, Mercury is entering a new phase. As a company that strongly prides itself on having a staff that grows and evolves along with them, the management team felt that a new message was needed to articulate what sets their people apart and reflect their drive and hunger to execute exceptionally.
This was a key factor in Mercury embarking on a rebrand project – their first in almost fifty years of business in Ireland, with the official launch set for June 2019. “This has been a major undertaking and one of our key strategic objectives for 2019. A core element of the rebrand was the emergence of their positioning line ‘YOUR VISION. OUR DUTY’ to reflect the culture that has always existed within Mercury.
The line comes out of Mercury’s continued commitment to providing the best possible service to their clients, says Byrne. “This is something we were always doing, all we’ve done here is find a new way to articulate it. “The positioning line puts our clients at the heart of everything we do and positions Mercury as their strategic partner. It provides our clients with a sense of importance and recognises that they all have their own unique goals. It’s forward looking and implies agility, openness and an ability to stay aligned with their needs. It also welcomes challenge and suggests that there are no limits or restrictions – success is the only result”.
When considering their rebrand, the team conducted interviews with 30 stakeholders made up of both Mercury clients and employees to identify their company values. Their new values are based around three core beliefs, says David Byrne. “We thought long and hard about what set Mercury apart from our competition, and we decided on three values based on the interviews we conducted. Our first value is being dynamic, the idea is that it’s our agility that sets us apart – at Mercury, we’re completely unafraid of change because we understand its true potential.
“The second value is based around the fact that we believe you have to be brave to achieve incredible things,” he explains. “We’re proud of who we are and our plans for the future. We stand over everything we say and do. We’re direct and to the point because we respect our clients, their time and needs. With a generous spirit and vibrant energy, hard work’s made easy because we genuinely enjoy what we do.”
The third value is about making things happen, says the director. “No matter the client or sector, we always deliver. It’s our commitment and promise. Success is the only option for us. It’s our delivery, training, processes that make The Mercury Way. This relentless dedication earns a trust, security and assurance that is second to none. It turns clients into partners and builds relationships that grow and prosper with time.”
Mercury is currently acting as the main contractor on several large-scale Data Centre construction projects across over 10 locations including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, the UK, Ireland and the Nordics. Within the Irish market, Mercury has also recently delivered multiple projects across a variety of sectors including Healthcare, Life Sciences, Building Services & Fire Protection.
“In addition to our traditional services, we’ve also recently launched a new division called Technical Support Services or TSS for short”, explained David Byrne. “The TSS team provide a variety of highly specialised mechanical, electrical and ICT services to clients throughout Ireland and Europe, including structured cabling installations, data centre upgrades & fitouts, fire alarm & gas detection systems, facility maintenance and sustaining works”.
The labour shortage in Ireland is a challenge not only to Mercury but widely across the construction industry, suggests David Byrne. “Eoin Vaughan, our CEO, firmly believes in the value of people within our business and has invested greatly in Mercury’s Graduate Programme, in on-site training for our trades people and in the overall professional development of Mercury’s junior and senior employees. This has been key for us to remain competitive in attracting top talent to Mercury. We’re also investing in our Trainee Data Technician course and have now built a dedicated training centre for our trainees, which is something nobody else is doing in Ireland or even across Europe and internationally – at least that we’re aware of.”
While there is no escaping the simple fact that the construction industry is overwhelmingly male, Mercury feels that it is imperative that as an industry, continued strides are made to make women feel welcome throughout all sectors. “Mercury are leading the way here in making strides to both attract a high quality and diverse workforce and help to make the construction industry more female friendly,” explains Byrne. “As part of this, we’ve previously hosted ‘Women in Construction Week’ across Mercury, led by our HR department. The focus of that was to highlight women as a valuable component of the construction industry. We used the occasion to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in construction and to emphasise and encourage the growing role of women in the industry. We recognise the achievements of women in our company and hope that they will inspire others to follow in their footsteps and encourage other female employees.”
In terms of safety practices, over the last number of years, Mercury has focused not only on traditional construction safety but also emphasised mental wellbeing, health and fitness with initiatives which included car safety kits being given to all contractors on projects, driving safety toolbox talks carried out and had guest speakers coming to their European sites. “We’ve recently launched a wellness solution – which is an app for your phone – across the entire organisation including our trades,” explains David Byrne. “It’s very important to us. We’re huge supporters of wellbeing initiatives that improve the lives of everyone on our team. We work daily to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all our people. We seek their input and ideas, giving each other the respect that we expect, aware that we all have a significant part to play in developing Mercury.”
Digital construction and innovation are key for the team at Mercury, says David Byrne. “Embedding digital technology into how we operate for all projects and teams across our organisation is essential to Mercury”. In this regard, Mercury have continually invested in digital transformation initiatives.
“We have provided our employees with a cloud-based platform Mercury Share that allows them to connect with each other and share ideas across all our projects. Building on this success we delivered digital SOPs through The Mercury Way which provides the pathway of how we operate across all parts of the business. Last year we introduced our digital induction and onboarding platform The Mercury Experience that ensures that all new hires learn what they need from the right people during their first 100 days, so they can hit the ground running fast. We’re also currently piloting our productivity app on a pharmaceutical job in Ireland. This will provide our foremen with targets for both themselves and their crews. This is possibly our most important initiative yet as it moves the Digital Transformation closer to the coalface where our people are delivering for our clients”, says David Byrne.
So, what’s next for Mercury? “We strive to be the best company that we can be,” says David Byrne. “Our Group Strategy, “Mercury 2021”, was developed four years ago to pave a clear pathway for the company to achieve measured growth and continued operational success over a five-year period. With only one year left, Mercury is already planning its next brave strategy. “We’re going to continue to put our clients at the heart of everything we do as their strategic partner”, says David Byrne. “It’s our bold promise that Mercury will always deliver”.