Seasoned businessman Sean Corkery, who held senior positions with AST in Limerick and Esat Telecom, is to head up Dell’s new €200m manufacturing operation in Lodz, Poland.
Corkery, who was general manager of AST’s computer assembly plant in Limerick and chief operations officer for Esat Telecom during Denis O’Brien’s tenure at the helm of the company in the late Nineties, will report to another Irishman, Nicky Hartery.
Hartery will have overall responsibility for both the Limerick and Lodz operations.
Dell employs over 4,500 people in Ireland in manufacturing in Limerick and research and development (R&D) business support operations in Dublin.
The new Lodz factory is expected to employ over 1,000 people initially and represents an investment by Dell of over €200m in the Polish economy.
The facility is expected to grow at a rate of 13.9pc annually over the next five years.
Once the Lodz facility is operational, Dell’s Central, Nordic and Eastern European customers can expect a reduction of at least two days on current delivery times.
It emerged two years ago that insufficient transport infrastructure out of Ireland meant it took longer for Dell product to reach customers. This is despite the Limerick operations being hailed as Dell’s most productive and profitable worldwide and the mould for all subsequent Dell facilities.
Hartery commented on the Polish investment: “This strategic investment is about growth, improved customer experience in the form of reduced delivery times and access to new and growing markets.
“Over 60 experienced people from our Limerick team, led by Sean, will be involved in the set-up of our operations in Poland. Limerick will continue to operate as our EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] manufacturing headquarters with both sites complementing each other and sharing best practice.”
According to Hartery, the new factory in Poland will be based on best practice from its Limerick facility but will also offer advanced IT systems, improved flow of materials and newly designed ergonomic manufacturing cells.
Hartery continued: “We have had a very positive experience of the quality of Polish employees with over 400 already employed here in Limerick, some of whom may now choose to return home.
“In addition to offering employment opportunities for people in Poland, the new site offers unique development opportunities for Limerick managers to gain valuable experience at a new site,” he said.
By John Kennedy