New Winner Kyte Powertech are transforming the world of energy

The Cavan-based firm recognises the importance of energy supply and sustainability to transform business worldwide

Stephanie Leonard, chief executive of Kyte Powertech: ‘Every individual in Ireland interacts with a product from the factory on a daily basis without even realising it.’

Amid the fierce competition of companies wishing to enter the Best Managed Companies programme, Cavan-based Kyte Powertech found success. Employing more than 470 people, from the locality and overseas, the 15,000 sqm facility is a hive of activity for the design, manufacture, and testing of a wide variety of distribution transformer products.

So essential is the work undertaken at the site, that according to chief executive Stephanie Leonard, “every individual in Ireland interacts with a product from the factory on a daily basis without even realising it”.


“This small plant on the outskirts of Cavan helps to power hospitals, schools, EV charging stations, battery storage sites, windfarms, data centres, airports, shopping centres and even the largest chocolate distribution centre in the world — all via a Kyte Transformer,” she said. “Our units have travelled globally to power the COP26 conference in Glasgow, the London Olympics and the World Cup in South Africa, and, as the largest employer in this area, we contribute over €30 million to the local economy.”

The company specialises in bespoke industrial solutions to a wide variety of markets and volume manufacturing of single phase and three-phase electrical distribution transformers to all Irish, UK, Belgian and Dutch utilities. It is also the last standing volume manufacturer of its kind in Western Europe.

Leonard says that the company’s growth and success, particularly over the last three years, is “testament to the employees”, who together have demonstrated resilience throughout the recent pandemic and severe supply chain disruptions.

She says they have realised that they are masters of their own destiny who can make and take opportunities. So, getting involved with the Ireland’s Best Managed Companies programme was a positive step forward.

Process benefits

“Our incoming CFO, Noel Culbert had previous experience with the programme and introduced it to the team. We believed the business could benefit significantly from both the process and the potential recognition. We saw it as a huge opportunity to challenge our strategic thought process through a well-recognised and prestigious programme, and also an opportunity to benchmark with peers, while building key relationships with like-minded businesses.

“The process was relatively simple and straightforward — so it was easy to engage management and colleagues in the process. Instances like this are always viewed as a huge opportunity to showcase our plant and our people, of which we are immensely proud, and to showcase our innovative solutions which tend to go unnoticed by people outside of the industry.”

The chief executive says that although Kyte Powertech is only at the beginning of its journey in the awards process, “receiving a high-profile award from such a prestigious organisation validates and acknowledges the thought process behind strategic decisions, operational excellence activities and aspirational goals of the plant.

“This is the first time we have ever entered into a process such as this, and we look forward to engaging and immersing ourselves fully in the programme to maximise the benefit to the company, significantly challenge paradigms and benchmark against some of the best companies in Ireland,” she said.

Difficult times

“We have had three difficult years, between Covid-19 and massive disruption in supply chain, so we haven’t had a chance to stop, take a breath and realise how far the business and the organisation has come, and the resilience of the workforce in Cavan who have delivered throughout. So hopefully this will give our employees and the locality a sense of pride in what has been achieved.

“In addition, we operate in a hugely regulated and controlled environment and, as such, are not at the forefront of people’s minds when they turn on the light, visit a hospital or have their home and cars powered by renewable energy, so I think this will increase visibility and credibility for us.

“Energy is such a critical, strategic driver for the sustainability and development of the global carbon reduction programme, and we are a key vector to enable the mobilisation of this carbon reduction and to bring our customers on the sustainable green journey with us.”

Essential collaboration

The company is engaging with the UK and EU regulatory policy makers to try and shape the sustainable energy delivery programmes of the future, which is key for the plant but also for future generations. And because market demand for energy is at an unprecedented high, Leonard says that the company is constantly innovating to deliver more sustainable and efficient transformers through new and environmentally friendly oils and insulations.

It has also embarked on an Operations Excellence Programme alongside their Lean journey and the Best Managed Companies programme, and she would encourage other companies to get involved if possible.

“I would advise in engaging fully with the Ireland’s Best Managed Companies programme and embracing the challenge,” she said. “View the process not just as an application form, but as a programme which can support and challenge the business against its strategic objectives. Also, involving as many personnel as possible within the organisation in the process is important from a team perspective for recognising the success of your business and creating that sense of pride throughout.”