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Meet the Topcon Team: Declan Byrne

As part of our new ‘Meet the Team’ blog series, we’re going to be introducing you to the experts behind our construction and positioning solutions, and first up is Declan Byrne.

Declan joined Topcon Ireland 23 years ago before taking on his current role as Support Manager, where he works with customers to help them overcome the barriers to adopting digital technologies. Read on to learn all about Declan’s experience and where he sees the future of the industry…

Hi Declan, please could you tell us how long you’ve worked for Topcon Ireland?

I worked as an apprentice mechanic before working for Topcon and then, in October 1999, accepted an invitation to join the team as a junior technician, working with Karol (Friel) in the service department. I progressed to a senior technician role and then moved into service management, repairing and recalibrating equipment, before taking on more of a sales role around eight years ago.

Now I’m in a support manager role and I love the problem-solving aspect of the job, and helping customers overcome challenges with the different technologies and workflows we have to offer. It also gives me an opportunity to learn about the technologies as they’re launched by Topcon, so I have the best knowledge and solutions to then pass on to customers.

What’s your favourite thing about working for Topcon?

The longevity. I love working for Topcon and that’s why I’ve been here for such a long time. I like the problem-solving element of the job and the fact that we can give a customer the ‘lightbulb moment’ – we’re helping to provide solutions for them and supporting them as they grow from one piece of machinery to completely changing their working practices and using more technology. We’re breaking barriers for them.

It's also being able to keep up to date with the products. There’s always the opportunity to upskill within the business and to learn about our new technologies and innovations that are coming to the market, and that gives us the chance to move into new roles too.

How do you go above and beyond for customers?

I don’t necessarily see it as going above and beyond, it’s more just a natural part of what we offer. We’re not a clock in at 9am and out at 5pm team – things as simple as taking a phone call outside of those hours to give customers the help they need or re-visiting a site to go over something to make sure they get the best out of the equipment, they’re just things we’re happy to do on a normal basis.

Giving customers added value is also key for us. For example, we also send them stories or articles that we think will be of interest. It’s so important to build relationships with customers and you start to become their representative, or the person they come to for advice if they’re trying something new on site, if they need training or even if they need to hire new members of staff. It’s humbling to know that you’re the first person they reach out to.

All of these are important in the way we build relationships with our customers, but it’s the understanding we have of new technologies that provide the real difference – and using that to help customers by showing them where workflows can be adapted or updated in a way that complements, or even improves their current working practices. Our customers don’t work in the same way, so we bring our knowledge, technologies, hardware and software to them in a solution that is bespoke to their company.

How do you spend your time outside of work?

Football is a big passion of mine, and I coach my son’s football team. I love the fact it gives me a bit of downtime from work, but also that some of the skills crossover in terms of speaking to a room. I’ve also been known to do a bit of cycling in the past, competing in a few races with the Topcon Ireland team!

What developments from across the industry are you excited about?

Machine control – we’re increasing productivity and safety through the use of this technology, as well as helping to bridge the engineer skills shortage by upskilling teams to use the equipment, so that’s what I’m keeping an eye on and where I see the future of the industry. Having automation and processes in place allows us to reduce the risk of accidents on-site and to control machinery in heavily built-up areas or on road and rail projects – all with remote access and support from Topcon.

Keep up to date with everything Declan is up to by connecting with him on LinkedIn.