Scobie McIntosh has now completed the integration of Corrigans Service Engineers into its business, after the company’s previous chiefs, Dennis and Karen Hillyer, entered retirement.
The Surrey-based bakery and vending machine specialist first purchased Corrigans in April 2018, with national account manager, John Ward, detailing to Catering Insight that the firm saw it as a way to re-enter the catering equipment sector. He and contracts team leader, Alison Sheehan were tasked with managing the handover.
“It was a 2 year process to integrate the servicing company,” he said. Scobie McIntosh first moved Corrigans’ base from Hornchurch, Essex to the CEME flexible workspace in nearby Rainham, Essex, before transferring operations to the Scobie McIntosh headquarters in Smallfield, Surrey.
Ward continued: “From January 2020 onwards the companies have been integrated, but it took some months to get everything up to speed. The coronavirus slowdown has actually allowed us to get everything into place.
“It’s now a fresh start, as the four engineers working for Corrigans have gone paperless and now all use tablets to receive and record jobs.”
When Scobie McIntosh first took the servicing company on, there were several part time administrators at its Hornchurch office who were unable to locate and so retired. Furthermore senior engineer Nick Benton was in the same situation and so left last June, though he has kept in touch with the handover team to assist them.
Both Scobie McIntosh and Corrigans have strong family threads running through them, with the 135-year-old firm passing through six generations of family leadership and the servicing company being run by the founder’s daughter for over 40 years. That connection still remains as some Corrigan/Hillyer family members are still employed as engineers there.
Ward praised Corrigans for its strong reputation: “The company has dealt with high end clients over the years. Its engineers go the extra mile, and that’s why they have kept customers for years.”
While Dennis Hillyer detailed to Catering Insight: “Karen and I have now retired as it was something we had been considering for a while because we have been running the business since 1973 when Karen’s father (Alf Corrigan) moved to Spain. We are really looking forward to spending more time with our family and friends, carefree days and travelling when Covid is over.
“Having worked alongside Scobie McIntosh for 2 years we feel confident that the company is in safe hands with John Ward and Alison Sheehan at the helm.”
The integration also saw Scobie McIntosh become a CEDA member. The company’s executive director, Kingsley Donaldson commented: “Scobie McIntosh has had a long association with CEDA. We are really pleased to be returning to the organisation as a result of our recent acquisition of Corrigans.
“Our chairman, Geoffrey Alderson, was heavily involved with CEDA and was chairman for a number of years. Karen Hillyer of Corrigans has been a long standing CEDA member too so it is only natural for us to return to the fold.
“It is an exciting time for our business as we expand across the UK and Ireland. The move back into catering has been long overdue and by bringing Corrigans into our group of companies we are filling that gap. Whilst our initial focus will be on Corrigans existing client base, we are ambitious to expand beyond the M25 and eventually to have a national level catering operation to complement our bakery, coffee, vending, refrigeration and logistics divisions.”