Homegrown success story FRS is a 'showcase' for business in Tipperary

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Homegrown success story FRS is a 'showcase' for business in Tipperary

Peter Byrne

A company that originated and is headquartered in Roscrea has become one of the great home-grown success stories and a perfect case study as to why the Premier County is such a fertile ground for doing business in.

Roscrea headquartered FRS has come a long way from its origins as Farm Relief Services – an organisation set up by farmers to help farmers – all of 40 years ago to become a dynamic, diverse and entrepreneurial entity now employing over 2,000 people across 70 offices nationwide.

The company is this week the latest Tipperary-based business to have its story told as part of the ongoing ‘Tipperary – The Place, The Time’ promotion of the county for inward investment.

The campaign, which is an initiative of Tipperary County Council and is being run across the back end of this year and into next year, sees the local authority capture and promote some of the key business success stories of the county to support its campaign to win more FDI and indigenous investment for Tipperary.

For all the distance FRS has travelled in its 40 years, including today serving customers into the UK, Peter Byrne who has been CEO since FRS was founded, says that so much is owed to its origins in Tipperary.

“I'm originally from Roscrea, so when we were looking for an office, Roscrea was certainly logical to me. That’s where we started and we are thriving ever since,” he said. “What followed from those origins all of 40 years ago has been a successful mix of commitment, teamwork and entrepreneurial spirit.

“We’ve never stood still. We’ve always been customer focused and when you are, you will find new ways and new products to help the customer,” said Peter.

The company started out as Farm Relief Services, a provider of skills and services to help farmers manage their farms efficiently, effectively and successfully. It also established FRS Fencing and then FRS Recruitment, a nationwide recruitment services and the only cooperatively owned recruitment service in Ireland.

In 2008 FRS Training came into being and has been a hugely successful national training organisation that is fundamentally about growing farm enterprises through personal and professional development.

A more recent evolution also has been the development of Herdwatch, which is now the number one farm management app in the country with over 12,000 farmers in Ireland and the UK using it - an international app growing its customer base by the day.

FRS also runs Turas Nua, which provides the JobPath service for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, supporting people back into employment across the south of the country, which has helped over 35,000 people back into the workforce to date.

Colin Donnery, General Manager, FRS Recruitment said: “Generally, innovation has been at the centre of the FRS story for over 40 years. We've diversified into many different sectors but they're all linked by really one thing - great talent, all centered in or around Tipperary, which has been a hub for us to create that sort of innovation and development over those years.

“So, although we've been hugely successful nationally and internationally, local and community roots is where we've been born,” he said.

Peter Byrne added: “From a geographical perspective, Tipperary is an ideal location for a national organisation that has offices all over the country. We're right in the centre of the country here. We've got tremendous support over the years from the Tipperary Enterprise Board and from the business community in Roscrea, many of whom work very closely with us.

“We’ve had a lot of success and Tipperary has been an indelible part of our story. We’re delighted to be able to employ people here as we owe quite a lot to the county and it’s something we don’t forget.”

As well as maintaining their Head Office and other premises in Roscrea, FRS also operates a number of additional offices throughout Tipperary, including their Cahir office which was one of the original FRS co-ops 40 years ago.