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Irish Chamber

2019 Finalist - Colm Hand

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Consultation: 
Irish Australian Business Awards Peoples Choice 2019
Category: 
Young Entrepreneur
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Consultation
Irish Australian Business Awards Peoples Choice 2019
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Corfad Civil and Construction was started in October 2015 by Colm Hand. The name of the company is in recognition of town Colm comes from in Ireland and that is a very important part in Colm's life.
Colm had gained experience in rail maintenance and construction while working as a Project Manager and Engineer for an Austrian Rail company in Australia.

Colm saw there was a growing niche market within the rail industry due to the large commitment from the Australian government to rapidly grow the rail network nationally. There was a gap for skilled weld teams and Hi-Rail mobile plant, and this is the area that we have targeted with great success.
Corfad was started with personal funding. By the second year the turnover exceeded $5 million. The projected turnover for 2019/20 exceeds $10 million.

The business was started with one piece of plant and one weld team and has now grown to have 11 large mobile plant equipment, 10 small trucks, 3 prime movers with trailers, 12 full time staff and up to 90 casual staff on the books.
 



A major part of Colms growing success was ensuring that his permanent employees are highly skilled in their areas and able to support the company’s development.

Corfad has invested in very hi-tech new mobile Hi- Rail plant with each already earmarked for large rail projects, ensuring a high return on investment. We have created a time saving method for preparing for rail shut down work by manufacturing our own weld crates that are prepacked for mobilisation at short notice.

Strong communication skills and excellent networking contacts ensure that Corfad is growing in a sustainable fashion. New opportunities have come through these contacts and this was one of the reasons for our expansion into Victoria, where there is large investment in the rail industry
Some of our major projects have been on the: Newcastle Light Rail, Sydney Light Rail, Canberra Light Rail and now on the major Inland Rail Project. After very strong submissions and interviews we are now also being considered for the Weld Panel and Plant Panel with Sydney Trains. Our clients include: ARTC, Sydney Trains, Victorian Rail, John Hollands, Laing O’Rourke, Downer and Colm’s former employer Rhomberg Rail.

Colm has recognised that safety is a very important part of compliance in the Rail business and employed a full time HSEQ manager to ensure that our risk management is to a very high standard. We have introduced a new Safety, Environment and Quality software system that is able to be used on apps or tablets onsite. We are currently undergoing accreditations to obtain ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018. We are confident that we will have achieved this by the end of September 2019.

A very important part of Colm’s aspirations for Corfad Civil and Construction was to ensure that the business has a family friendly approach to the workplace, and this has ensured that the staff are happy and dedicated to the ongoing success of the business. This approach has created a workplace that created a “can do” attitude that has earned us a very positive reputation in the industry.

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