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Exclusive Interview: Katy G., Marketing Manager at Graepel Perforators & Weavers Ltd.

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Exclusive Interview: Katy G., Marketing Manager at Graepel Perforators & Weavers Ltd.

Exclusive Interview: Katy G., Marketing Manager at Graepel Perforators & Weavers Ltd.
February 01
09:00 2024

In our ongoing series of insightful interviews with key figures in the Irish construction industry, we turn our attention to Katy G., the Marketing Manager at Graepel Perforators & Weavers Ltd. (Graepels). As the proud sponsor of the National Construction SummitGraepels has been a pivotal player in the industry for 65 years, contributing its expertise and innovative metal solutions to various sectors.

Here is a glimpse of the interview: 

Question: What are the key trends in the market sectors in which the company operates and how is it responding?

Katy: There’s a growing emphasis on sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in the construction industry. Manufacturing companies like Graepels are adapting to this necessary demand by looking at the longevity of materials and finishes, and energy-efficient processes. We at Graepels, recycle all our scrap as part of the ‘In process waste’.

Integration of advanced manufacturing technologies, such as automation, investing in modern machinery, innovation, R&D and in our in-house tooling department. Collaborating with universities and apprenticeship programmes, up-skilling and training our team. Collectively these elements continue to enhance our efficiency and precision in metal product manufacturing.

Expanding the use of drawing software programs that our engineers are proficient in which aid in the production and programming of machines and manufacturing of our products. By incorporating digital tools, we enhance collaboration, streamline processes, and improve project management.

Clients often seek unique and customized solutions. Our focus at Graepels is on innovative design solutions and offering tailor-made products to meet specific project requirements as well as standard solutions depending on each customer’s requirement. 

Adherence to specific regulations such as ISO and UKAs quality, CE EN 10.90 and our in-house quality is crucial for safety, environment, and quality standards. 

Building strong relationships with the community and engaging in local projects.

Question: What do you identify as the key strengths of the Irish Construction industry?

Katy: Ireland attracts substantial foreign direct investment, particularly in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors. This investment often translates into infrastructure development and commercial construction projects.

The Irish construction industry benefits from a skilled and well-educated workforce. The country’s emphasis on education and training in construction-related fields ensures a pool of qualified professionals.

Ireland’s strategic location and well-developed transportation infrastructure make it an attractive hub for international business. This global connectivity contributes to the demand for commercial and industrial construction.

Question: What are the chief weaknesses of the Irish construction industry?

Katy: While the Irish construction industry benefits from a skilled workforce, there have been periodic concerns about shortages in certain skill areas. Meeting the demand for qualified professionals can be challenging, especially during periods of rapid growth.

The industry is susceptible to supply chain disruptions, which can be caused by factors such as material shortages, transportation issues, political events like Brexit and even global events affecting the availability of construction inputs and prices.

The construction industry is often cyclical, and Ireland has experienced periods of boom and bust. Economic downturns can significantly impact construction activity, leading to reduced investment and project delays.

Question: What do you regard as the main challenges facing the industry at present?

Katy: The industry has experienced shortages in skilled labour, including craftsmen, engineers, and project managers. Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is crucial for project success.

Access to funding and the stability of government policies play a crucial role in the industry. Uncertainties in funding and policy changes can impact long-term planning and investment of companies and construction projects.

Rising construction costs, including materials, labour, and regulatory compliance, can impact project budgets.

Question: What are the solutions to these problems and what role will new technology play?

Katy: Skills Shortages:

Solution: Invest in training programs, and apprenticeships, and attract new talent to the industry and other areas of the supply chain.

Technology Role: Augmented reality (AR) for training, project management software for project efficiency, and investment in tooling and machinery for tasks requiring precision.

Government Funding and Policy:

Solution: Advocate for stable funding mechanisms, and engage in policy dialogue with companies directly involved in the supply chain including manufacturers.

Technology Role: Data analytics for evidence-based policy decisions, and transparency for funding allocation.

Cost Escalation:

Solution: Financial incentives, low-interest loans, tax credits and deductions for manufacturers such as credits for research and development expenditures or deductions for investments into new technologies.

Technology Role: grants and subsidies for manufacturers, especially for projects that contribute to innovation, sustainability, or job creation. Digitalization Support: Offer programs to help manufacturers implement digital technologies and Industry 4.0 practices to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

Question: What products and services does your company offer and what role does it play within the Irish construction industry?

Katy: Graepels is a family-run Company with locations in Ireland and the UK. The company specialise in the manufacture of Engineered Metal products and caters to a diverse range of industry sectors, notably in Architecture and Construction. With a 65-year history of supplying the Irish construction industry, Graepels has continually expanded its capabilities and services. This growth involves increased product knowledge, collaboration with key decision-makers, and a commitment to meeting evolving market demands.

Our customers include Main Contractors, Subcontractors, and End Users seeking Engineered Metal products, manufactured from Perforated Metal, Woven Wire Mesh, and Laser Cutting technologies. Whether it’s intricate tailor-made solutions for small bespoke projects or contributions to large-scale Architectural Projects, Graepels approaches each endeavour with the same dedication to innovation and expertise.

Graepels’s engineered metal products have found application in diverse areas such as building facades, interior designs, and more. They contribute a modern and visually distinctive element to construction projects, spanning interior screening, bespoke solutions, ceiling tiles, flooring, fittings, fixtures, and ventilation.

Today, Graepels continues to offer a diverse range of quality engineered metal products. Our focus lies in delivering top-notch construction products to the market, addressing customer needs through design services, industry knowledge, engineered metal innovation, in-house research and development, education, training, compliance with regulations, and community engagement.

Committed to compliance with local and national regulations, Graepels ensures its products meet necessary standards, contributing to the overall integrity and safety of product applications in various projects.

This dedication extends to creating a built environment that is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally robust. Our role involves manufacturing and supplying products for public, private, and industrial projects. From concept to creation, Graepels emphasizes that the only limit is one’s imagination, showcasing our commitment to creativity and innovation within the Irish construction industry.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Katy for generously sharing her invaluable thoughts. We appreciate her time, expertise, and commitment to shaping a vibrant future for construction in Ireland. 

As we delve into the nuances of the Irish construction industry with Katy G., it becomes evident that GRAEPELS is not just a sponsor but a dynamic force driving innovation and sustainability in the ever-evolving construction landscape. To gain more insights and engage with industry leaders, join us at the National Construction Summit on April 18th, 2024, at Sport Ireland Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin. Secure your free tickets here.

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