'Your new truck, sir, complete with sprung mattress and a fridge'
Family-owned Irish Commercials has been in business for almost 40 years. The company is a main dealer for Volvo Truck & Bus and has a number of other businesses, including a driver training academy and the agency for Geesinknorba, Europe's largest provider of refuse collection vehicles and waste compactors. Irish Commercials employs more than 85 and has facilities in Naas, Co Kildare, and Oranmore, Co Galway.
• what's your own background?
I spent a number of years working in marketing in the publishing industry in the UK and returned to Ireland almost 10 years ago. Since then, I have worked in a number of sectors including law, finance, construction and now commercial vehicles.
• what does your job involve?
Where do I start . . . I have full marketing and PR responsibility for Irish Commercials Volvo and our other businesses. This includes websites, online marketing, social media, press advertising and coverage, corporate and social responsibility, brand identity, sponsorship and exhibitions.
• what do you most like about your job?
The variety and the fact that there is so much potential within each business area for me to market.
• what's the most difficult part of your job?
There are not enough hours in my days to do all that I want.
• who are your typical customers?
Our customer base is broad and represents everyone from individual owner- drivers to haulage companies with international fleets in excess of 100 vehicles. We also have a considerable client base in the bus and coach industry. Our customers span the private and public sectors and we have worked with many of them over a number of years.
• how is the market for heavy goods vehicles holding up?
We have been experiencing challenging times and anticipate a difficult market until the end of 2013. However, we are working closely with our customers to regain stability in the market for 2013 through customer-focused cost-saving initiatives.
• are there any particular trends you notice because of the downturn?
A marked increase in customers opting for contract maintenance on their vehicles. This enables them to choose a level of contract most applicable to their business and their budget. We have also noticed that customers are investing more in telematics software such as Dynafleet, as it enables them to monitor running costs and improve the efficiency of their fleet in a much more precise fashion.
• what was the most unusual item asked for on a volvo truck?
As trucks double up as living spaces for the drivers, we are used to fitting a long list of creature comforts from sprung mattresses to fridges and multimedia units.
• if you had a limitless budget, what would your dream car be?
My needs are simple. It would be either a Jaguar XF or BMW 5 Series, and for those 'Thelma & Louise' moments, a Volkswagen Carmen Ghia in a classic pastel colour.