06 Mar 2018 | 12.24 pm
BGE Interview: Michael Lynch, Kilkenny Mart
'Our key account manager helped us to reduce our energy costs'
06 Mar 2018 | 12.24 pm
IN THIS SERIES, BORD GÁIS ENERGY IS SHARING DETAILS ON SOME OF ITS SME CUSTOMERS AND THEIR BUSINESS SUCCESSES. THIS MONTH, WE FEATURE MICHAEL LYNCH (PICTURED), CHIEF EXECUTIVE, KILKENNY MART
Kilkenny Mart has been in existence since the 1950s and moved to its current location at Cillín Hill in 2007. The centre occupies a 28-acre site just outside Kilkenny city and alongside the mart itself, it has an events space, oﬃce and retail units.
What is the background to your business?
Founded in 1958, Kilkenny Mart was one of the ﬁrst marts established in Ireland and is now one of the leading marts in the country. It was created to help farmers achieve a fair price for their cattle and sheep, and is now an intrinsic part of the fabric of the rural community in Kilkenny and the surrounding area.
In 2007, we became the central tenant in the newly created agribusiness and retail park that is Cillín Hill. It brings together all the businesses that serve the agricultural community, like a one-stop shop. Cillín Hill also creates another revenue stream for the company apart from selling livestock. The event centre, ‘The Hub’, runs events throughout the year, ranging from agricultural shows and exhibitions to concerts.
How have your business and the industry changed over the years?
Marts didn’t change dramatically up to 10 or 15 years ago. However, major change will take place over the next decade and farming practices are driving this. Farms are busier places and farmers don’t have as much time to attend marts, so more sales take place privately, from farm to farm.
Technology is also driving change. Online platforms allow farmers to trade stock through other means than the traditional mart. The reality is that marts will have to adapt or get left behind. It is also important to have other streams of income. Kilkenny Mart is well placed for the future with the development of Cillín Hill Retail Park.
What are the challenges in running a successful business and events centre?
Changing with the times and adapting to ever-changing ways of doing business is the main one. Regulation governing how a mart runs its business is also a growing challenge. Health and safety is becoming paramount. The nature of the business means people are in close contact with animals, and facilities to minimise the risk of injury have to be put in place.
How important is it for you to monitor costs?
Monitoring costs is hugely important. We have a large facility that only operates two or three days a week, so we are always mindful of costs.
How do you ensure energy eﬃciency?
Being energy eﬃcient is critical for our business and we monitor the use of light and heat through meters. We also have a CHP plant on site, run on gas, which provides electricity and heat.
How has Bord Gáis Energy helped you with this?
Our key account manager helped us reduce our energy costs. Not only does he visit our site on a regular basis, he also provides us with up-to-date market information on areas like i-SEM and smart energy eﬃciency products. Overall, Bord Gáis Energy provides a helpful service and
easy-to-understand data that has allowed us to make informed procurement decisions.
See www.kilkennymart.ie for more information.
For expert tips and advice on growing your own business, visit www.bgebusinesshub.ie