For the second time in three years, Dublin-based KMCS was named Fit Out Project Management Firm of the Year at the 2018 Fit Out Awards which took place at The Convention Centre, Dublin on Thursday, November 1 last.
The largest Fit Out Awards to date featured 27 different categories as the biggest names in Irish design and architecture came together to celebrate and honour those who have excelled in the industry over the past year. Recognised as one of Ireland’s leading construction project and cost management consultancies, KMCS was shortlisted for the Fit Out Professional Consultancy of the Year and Fit Out Project Management Firm of the Year awards, and was delighted to come out on top in the latter category where Divine Design and Turner & Townsend provided strong competition.
“It’s a great event for the industry every year and it was brilliant to be among the winners,” enthuses KMCS Communications and Business Development Executive Fiona Mullally, who joined Managing Director Nigel Spence in accepting the prestigious Project Management Firm of the Year award from Trevor Schwer of sponsor The Interiors Group.
“We won the same award in 2016 and maybe we’d now be celebrating a three-in-a-row had we entered last year. Our submissions in both categories focused on innovation, our ability to adapt to our clients’ needs, our ability to support and understand their needs, as well as the end result. To be Project Management Firm of the Year again is great recognition for our company, our staff and also reflects well on the service we provide.”
Built on experience, KMCS was established in 1954 by Tommy Keogh and Walter McConnell as a quantity surveying practice. Barry Keogh took over from his father Tommy in the mid-1970s, with Nigel Spence joining the company in 1978. Following Nigel’s appointment as Managing Partner in 1989, the company became known as KMCS (Keogh, McConnell and Spence). It embraced a project management and client representative role in 1993, emphasising the wealth of experience and expertise it can draw on.
Today, the international multi-discipline construction consultancy firm employs 50 full-time staff across a range of disciplines, including project management, cost management and M&E cost management, which was established in-house to assist in providing a full cost service. With its business rapidly expanding, KMCS relocated in 2014 from its long-established base in Rathgar to 54 Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge.
“It’s been a good move for us because it has brought us closer to the city centre where a lot of our clients are based,” explains Nigel Spence, who became Managing Director in 2010.
“Our key clients include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, PayPal, eBay, Airbnb, Dublin Airport Authority, Primark, Symantec, Coca-Cola, Riot Games, Fyffes, HSE and Department of Education. We’re involved in a number of market sectors, including retail, technology, public sector, social media and data centres. We’re currently working on Facebook’s new data centres in Clonee, Co Meath, Odense in Denmark and Lulea in Sweden acting as construction cost controllers on all projects.
“We’re also providing cost management and quantity surveying services to Primark who are opening new stores across Europe on an ongoing basis. The Primark work accounts for about one-third of our overall business. We have dedicated teams looking after our projects for Facebook – office-based and onsite.”
He continues: “Looking beyond Europe, we have close business links with the West Coast of the US and represent the likes of Facebook, Indeed, Twitter, eBay, Stripe, Airbnb and Symantec over there. Between 60 and 70 percent of our workload is outside Ireland at present.”
With such an impressive list of clients, it’s essential that KMCS not only delivers excellent quality, but also high levels of consistency. While not as reliant as it once was on the home market, the company nevertheless remains a big player and is currently providing project management, cost management and M&E services to a mixed-use development for McGarrell Reilly in Charlemont Square, Alexandra College in Milltown and Banking Payments Federation of Ireland.
With affiliate offices in San Jose and London, KMCS has a deep understanding of the cost and feasibility of construction costs in a wide range of sectors. A range of additional consultancy services enable it to tailor a solution to meet each client’s needs and preferred method of working supports the core services. These add-on services are also available on a standalone basis.
KMCS’s vision is to help clients develop and deliver exceptional projects and to build a great company that attracts, develops, excites and retains exceptional people. Delivering complex projects requires the best people. KMCS builds its company around the belief that the best people will be drawn to the opportunity to work on complex projects.
“Our people have the knowledge, experience, education and training to take on the most complex and challenging of projects. Many of our team are graduates of WIT and Bolton Street, which we sustain an excellent relationship with. My involvement on the education committee of the SCSI (Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland) and as chairman of the APC (Assessment of Professional Competence) allows me to identify the best young talent in the sector.”
Working alongside clients, KMCS adopts a value-driven approach to defining and articulating business and project objectives before identifying the most effective means to deliver them. Sectoral specialists offer a flexible and highly bespoke service based on class-leading robust and well-proven methods for delivery. The company provides a full spectrum of project management services from the preparation of business cases and the development of organisational frameworks to straightforward procurement, design, construction, delivery, move management and commissioning.
Implementing quality assured, transparent processes and working in partnership with its clients and design teams from concept to completion, KMCS delivers multi-disciplined and multi-phased projects across diverse sectors. KMCS’s disciplined approach combines leading edge technology and proven work practices that enables it to accurately plan, analyse and deliver projects on time and within budget.
A chartered surveyor by profession, Nigel Spence combines his Managing Director role with the delivery of a number of major projects, focusing on the front-end feasibility, procurement strategy and project management elements of these projects. One of the most high-profile projects he was associated with was the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road (Aviva Stadium), for which he headed up the cost management team. Other key personnel in KMCS include Chairman Gerard M Morrissey and Directors Colm Larkin, Andrew Gargan and Eileen Finn.