JFC Manufacturing Co. Ltd

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.

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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 Concannons 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 Hollandwill surely be the first step on the companys 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 itself through Europe. The company received assistance form the IDA the Irish Trade Board and Forbairt in the marketing and manufacturing of their plastic products.

The Dutch have a reputation as a great trading nation and this proved beneficial for JFC. The proximity of the Port of Rotterdam has proveda great asset for the firms success as adequate infrastructure is of utmost importance to any international business. The Polish MarketIn June 2000, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern officially launched JFC on the Polish market. John Concannon, MD, of JFC, said it was a great honour for them to have the Taoiseach endorsing their efforts to gain greater export markets in the Polish and Eastern European region (The Tuam Herald, 3 June 2000.)

The Polish office was opened under the leadership Miroslaw Majewski, in Radzymin, Warsaw. In Poland the most popular product is the specially insulated water drinking trough for farm animals, which does not allow water to freeze even at temperatures of minus twenty or thirty degrees.

Kingspan are an award winning company, which also specialise in the manufacturing of plastic products. At present, Kingspan have twelve manufacturing locations throughout the Ireland, the U.K and Europe. These include twenty-four rotational moulding machines, twenty injection-moulding machines and three blow moulding machines. Kingspan is a quality driven enterprise that strives to deliver a comprehensive service to its customers. This includes orders completed on time, with no defective products. They place a strong emphasis on after sales care and overall cost reduction.

JFC An Award Winning Company

During the years there has been great development in the company. But this was not devoid of hard work and a lot of effort. We have already seen earlier how John Concannon himself was nominated for an enterprise award himself last year. JFC has received many business awards through the years including an RDS Innovation Award and Connaght/Ulster Enterprise awards.

Since 1995 JFC has been awarded ISO 9001 certification after a full quality production audit. This certification for the company was of utmost importance as JFC strove to conquer a global market. This quality label carries global acclaim. This was a significant move for JFC as the conformity of their products to International Standards provides assurance of their quality, safety and reliability to customers overseas.


JFC Manufacturing Co. Ltd started out as a small business back in 1987. It employed four people in its first year of operation, generated a turnover of 18,000 and sold its products on the domestic market. The firm currently employs over sixty people. It had a turnover last year of just over 6,000,000. This illustrates the remarkable growth in the company in a relatively short time. It has evolved from being a small business serving the domestic agricultural market, to a successful company as one of Irelands premier manufacturers and exporters. In my study of the company I have learned how successful a company can become by simply marketing a good idea in the right way.


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