Deloitte 2019 Best Managed Companies Insights

Product development, expansion into new markets and acquisitions key measures private Irish businesses are implementing to drive growth

Irish companies are driving sustainable growth by focusing on product development within their businesses and expansion into new markets, according to an analysis carried out by Deloitte with approximately 100 Irish companies, ahead of announcing the 2019 winners of the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards this week.

The development of existing products/services as well as expansion into new products and services, were each identified by nearly two thirds of companies in the analysis. International expansion (44%) and acquisitions (42%) were also identified as priorities. A majority of companies (65%) indicated that they are focussed on developing new alliances and partnerships to help them achieve their growth plans, demonstrating the extent to which Irish businesses are cognisant that the status quo may be changing and they will need to adapt to new trading and export realities in the near future. However, new product/service development and international expansion were both identified by a quarter of companies as key challenges also.

Commenting, Anya Cummins, Partner, Deloitte said: “It’s clear that Irish companies are looking at the wide range of options when comes to driving the growth of their businesses. It’s interesting to see that while new product/service development and international expansion were identified as challenges, they are also key areas to drive sustainable growth. This is a reflection of the complexities of today’s marketplace, but also the necessity for private Irish businesses to look at how their company’s presence can expand beyond the domestic and traditional markets.

“Approximately a quarter of sales amongst the winning companies in this year’s Best Managed Companies Awards are export driven and scaling for growth internationally is a key theme. Ensuring that the adequate funding structures and wider infrastructures are in place to expand organically, make acquisitions or build strategic alliances is crucial. Carefully planning for the operational challenges and the level of time investment by senior management that come with entry into a new market with different cultures and a different competitive landscape is key. Our advice is to invest the time and do it right.”

The analysis also found that, as we approach full employment in 2019, the still-tightening labour market is a key challenge for Irish businesses trying to achieve sustainable growth. 3 in 4 companies (74%) experienced difficulty in finding, hiring and retaining suitable candidates.  The impact of geopolitical uncertainty - primarily Brexit - on their business was also cited as a key challenge by 37% of companies. This was followed by new product/service development and international expansion.

“The Irish labour market has been tightening for a number of years, and with the CSO last week reporting a record high in the number of people in employment, we have approached a crunch point. Talent is now more mobile, and more in demand than ever before, increasing the need for talent strategies to attract diverse workforces and prioritise talent development.

“Encouragingly, a feature that we have noticed amongst companies in the Best Managed Companies network is that they are tackling the talent challenge head on.  Approaches include getting automation working for them – by reducing time-consuming, manual activities and focussing on higher-value activities, companies are enabling their people become more productive through expanded horizons within their roles.

“They are also actively considering non-conventional candidates with similar skills (e.g., onshore, offshore, part-time, contract) to job openings challenged by the competitive employment markets and using agile working to facilitate more flexible and attractive work arrangements. Diversity of backgrounds and experience is also high on the agenda, and the attraction of international talent is also a key trend.”


Issued by Murray on behalf of Deloitte Ireland  

Notes to Editor

About the findings
The findings were captured from Deloitte’s network of indigenous companies participating in the Best Managed Companies programme. Deloitte has collated feedback from approximately 100 companies that will requalify as a Best Managed Company in 2019.

For Further Information Please Contact
Aoibheann O’Sullivan / Jill Farrelly
01 498 0346 / 0304 

Claire Quinn
01 417 2356 

About Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards
The Deloitte Best Managed Companies programme, in association with Bank of Ireland, promotes and recognises excellence in Irish/Northern Irish owned and managed companies. It is the only awards scheme on the island of Ireland that considers a business’ performance from every perspective. Entrants to the programme will compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

Programme sponsors are Bank of Ireland plc, the Irish Management Institute and the Sunday Business Post. For further information, visit

International History of Best Managed Companies Programme
The Best Managed Companies Programme originated in Canada in 1993, where it has been run successfully ever since and is the country’s leading business awards programme. In addition to Ireland and Canada, the programme is also run in The Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Mexico, Chile, with upcoming launches taking place in Germany, China, the Nordics and Scotland.

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