In the last of a four-part series looking at the finalists for the Cork Company of the Year Awards 2018, Padraig Hoare casts an eye over those competing in the Corporate category.
Abtran’s 2,300 workers committed to business and their community.
Abtran describes itself as a provider of outsourcing services to clients across utilities, financial services, and government sectors.
But the company has developed into much more than that in the Cork psyche, becoming one of the most important job creators, and employing thousands over the years.
Established and headquartered in Cork since 1997, Abtran has grown from a start-up call centre to a successful Irish business process outsourcing (BPO) multinational, growing employment to more than 2,300 people across centres in Cork, Dublin and Southern India — including 2,000 in Cork.
For 20 years Abtran, based on the Model Farm Rd, has consistently and successfully competed for and won multi-year, multi-million-euro business to business (B2B) contracts in the global BPO marketplace.
Abtran has built an award- winning service business, powered by people, enabled by technology, providing a range of services to Irish and UK clients in highly-regulated sectors within utilities, financial services and Government.
Clients include television giant Sky, Electric Ireland, Greenstar Energy, and the Road Safety Authority.
Corporate social responsibility, diversity, and inclusiveness form major parts of the Abtran way.
Its People in the Workplace and Our Community schemes are testament to its commitment to CSR.
Initiatives include the Mind Ur Buddy Scheme, working with Pieta House to provide an internal and confidential support network for staff. Abtran’s Charity Club organises fundraising events to support staff through local and national charities Pieta House, Marymount Hospice, and Irish Guide Dogs.
Its school visits and work experience schemes give groups of schoolchildren the opportunity to experience life at Abtran and in a working environment.
Wellbeing days promote a healthy lifestyle through both physical and mental wellbeing.
It is currently engaged with ESB Innovation Services to create energy efficiency across its sites, and reduce its carbon footprint.
Regarding inclusivity and diversity, Abtran utilises programmes such as Inspire, which trains and develops leaders of the future.
It also encourages flexible working and engages with Turas Nua to support people looking to get back to the workplace.
Its employee forum, run by workers, aims to generate positive change and share know-how with all.
Abtran chief executive Pat Ryan said the nomination was an honour for the firm. “It really is an honour for Abtran to be finalists this year in the Corporate category of the Cork Company of the Year Awards.
“This is definitely something we would not have been able to achieve without all the hardworking and dedicated staff across our five Irish sites and also our site in Mahe, India. We are looking forward to a great night hosted by the Cork Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
Boston Scientific employees change lives at home and abroad
Transforming lives around the world through work done in Cork is an impressive accolade for any company’s workforce, but the 890 employed at Boston Scientific have also run up a hugely impressive record in raising funds for charities.
Coming up to 21 years in Cork, Boston Scientific Cork manufactures a diversified portfolio of medical devices, supporting four global Boston Scientific divisions.
In Cork, Boston Scientific manufactures a wide range of products for four divisions — peripheral interventions, endoscopy, interventional cardiology, and urology and pelvic health.
Some seven patients per minute around the world will be positively impacted by products shipped from Boston Scientific Cork in 2018.
The Boston Scientific site at Model Farm Rd has an annual output of 6m units, supports a workforce of 890 employees, and is a zero-landfill site.
In its own words, the vision is to be the highest performing global medical solution provider. Its record speaks for itself , and in 2016 it received the prestigious Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence.
Five examiners visited the Cork site, interviewing more than 400 people during the assessment. It is an exceptionally difficult accolade to win. Boston Scientific in Cork was one of only two in the world in 2016 to take the prize, the other being a Mexican company.
It is one of the most coveted prizes in manufacturing.
Commitment to corporate social responsibility and local community is also imperative for the employees of Boston Scientific in Cork.
Some €40,000 is raised every year for its annual charity partner, chosen by employees. Shine Centre for autism in 2017, Helpful Steps in 2016, and Pieta House in 2015 have been the most recent beneficiaries. Some €600,000 has been raised for local charities in total.
There is a very strong employee wellness programme which includes a routine of daily stretching and a professionally-facilitated strength and conditioning programme. This helps employees work on issues that may be preventing them from performing at their best.
It has continued a strong relationship with Pieta House, which runs a Mind Ur Buddy educational programme on site for employees to focus on supporting each other on mental health issues.
Boston Scientific in Cork is committed to the environment and has achieved very significant results.
Waste recycling is at 85% and electricity used per unit produced has halved in the last five years. It has also reduced CO2 emissions by 50% since 2016.
To be nominated in the Corporate category of the Company of the Year Awards is testament to the hard work of employees, said VP of operations Sean Gayer.
“This is a fantastic recognition for the entire Boston Scientific team at Model Farm Rd. It is an honour to be considered in the same light as previous finalists, who have inspired business excellence in our community,” he said.
MSD Brinny leading by example locally as well as globally
A trailblazer in the biotech field in Ireland, MSD in Brinny, Co Cork, has managed to find the coveted blend of worldclass healthcare manufacturing and community immersion in Innishannon.
MSD Ireland is one of Ireland’s leading healthcare companies. The first biotech facility in Ireland is currently focused on the development, testing and manufacturing of biologics and vaccines.
It believes that the most important thing it does is to make a difference: to patients, employees, and local communities. It says it prides itself on being a great place to work for its 600 employees and is committed to delivering new medicines which improve lives in Ireland and globally.
An integrated site for the development, testing and manufacturing of biologics, MSD Brinny specialises in the fermentation, purification and sterile filling of biotech products, including some of the company’s most successful treatments for oncology, hepatitis C and rheumatoid arthritis in more than 60 countries.
Playing a vital role in MSD’s large-scale microbial operations, the site also manufactures products used in clinical studies around the world.
Corporate social responsibility and community are as vital to MSD Brinny as the products it makes, it said. In the past three years MSD Brinny has supported over 40 projects, donating over €100,000 and over 100 employees have volunteered 4,000 hours per year to support local charities and clubs including Cork Penny Dinners, Bandon Rotary Club, Pieta House, Cork University Hospital, Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, Cork Simon Community.
It is a supporter of the Irish Cancer Society and its employees have raised over €50,000 for Daffodil Day over the past three years. It provides ongoing support to Marymount Hospice, providing finance and engineering expertise as well as fundraising.
It has a wellbeing programme including initiatives such as Operation Transformation, mole checking and smoking cessation campaigns. There are a number of sports clubs onsite and a recently installed onsite walking track, ‘The Brinny Mile’ aims to promote physical wellbeing.
Last year it announced plans to deliver 210 jobs and invest €180m in the site over the next three years.
To be selected in the Corporate category of the Cork Company of the Year Awards is an honour not just for the workforce, but the community in Innishannon, says John Sheehan of MSD.
The IT and automation lead said: “We are very proud that MSD Brinny has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Cork Company of the Year Awards in recognition for our impact on patients, employees and our communities.
“These are truly exciting times for the company as we continue to grow and make MSD Brinny a great place to work. We look forward to continuing to play an important role in our locality in Cork as well as in the wider Irish healthcare landscape and continuing to positively impacting patients’ lives in Ireland and globally.”