JFC Manufacturing Co. Ltd

Submission Date 26th February 2004-02

National Certificate in Business Studies

Year 2

“Rotational moulders providing State of the Art Tool design
and fabrication facilities transforming your ideas into
Quality Plastic Products.”

JFC - An Introduction and Background

JFC Manufacturing Co. Ltd is an Irish based company, which manufactures plastic products for agricultural, domestic and commercial use. A family-owned business, JFC Manufacturing was set up in 1987 by founder and managing director, John Concannon, to supply specialised plastic products to the agricultural industry.

Based in Tuam, Co. Galway, the company has since grown to employ 65 people and now sells to a variety of sectors based in thirty countries worldwide, with exports accounting for 60 per cent of the company\'s total sales. JFC Manufacturing has sales offices in Britain, Holland and Poland and plans are already under way to build a second manufacturing plant just outside Warsaw to coincide with further expansion into the eastern European market.

"We have a design team working on a new product range suitable for the Polish and eastern European markets," said John Concannon. "The products required for these markets are completely different to what is required in Ireland due to the climatic differences."

John Concannon was nominated for an “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Award in 2003. At present his plans include the expansion of the firm\'s Tuam-based headquarters over the coming months. He expects the 20,000-square-foot extension to the existing manufacturing facility to be completed by next February.

When Concannon initially set up the company, he employed just three people to produce one product - a specialised plastic ‘multi-bucket’ feeding system, which allowed farmers to feed three calves simultaneously. Concannon has since expanded his product-base substantially to supply a wide range of clients in the industrial, medical, equestrian, hospitality and recycling sectors. International client companies include Bombardier, Vextrex and PD Rotomouldings.

Expansion Of The Company.

John Concannon’s first task was to assess the needs of the market. He accomplished this with the help of his diligent production and design teams. John travelled throughout Europe to various farming events and exhibitions in every country, Hanover, Germany, Barcelona and many more. John marketed his products by emphasising the quality of the products and having customer satisfaction as his principal concern. Farmers from Finland to Spain were familiar with the JFC products and had every confidence in their performance. Because of his research John was able to design products for farmers across the length and breadth of Europe, where there were significant differences in climates and methods of farming.

JFC produces a wide range of mainly agriculture products. They trade mainly with co-operatives and agri-merchants and are represented by many Sales Reps in the market, which they have divided into three regions. At present the domestic market accounts for just fewer than fifty per cent of the companies sales.

JFC has had an office in the U.K for many years. The company opened its first office in 1993 in Reading, England. The company at present employs eight people in its office. It is from this office that the products are distributed all over the U.K.

In May 1997, JFC set up a shop in Holland. This expansion came just ten years after the establishment of the company, and was a considerable achievement for the company as it had now expanded to the greater European Market. “The opening of its first European office in Marum in Northern Holland…will surely be the first step on the company’s march across Europe” (The Tuam Herald, 31 May 1997).

“For a small Irish company to capture a share of the European market and be able to service it with quality products is a major achievement. Instead of simply servicing the market the firm set out to establish greater global sales for its unique product range. In the first 5 years of operation the company has generated a lot of confidence in their capabilities on the Irish and U.K markets and as a small company built up a confident and dedicated sales team” (The Tuam Herald, 31 May 1997.)

Preparing For Europe

In 1995, with the help of the Irish Trade Board, JFC put together an all-inclusive marketing plan. It took two years for the company to establish a name for