TMS is a car servicing business which provides a high quality range of services to private and commercial road users.  Operating from Swords Enterprise Park the company employs 2 full time mechanics and 2 apprentice mechanics.

Paul Whelan is an experienced mechanic and has been self-employed for a number of years.  Noreen Whelan is a CPA qualified accountant and Certified Tax Adviser providing financial management services to TMS in addition to a range of third party clients.

Why participate in the programme

Having transferred their business banking arrangements to AIB in 2010-11, Noreen was invited to attend a briefing session organised by her branch. When the ManagementWorks offer became available, Noreen was keen to engage in the programme as she felt it would help to formulate the businesses value proposition. It was agreed that both Paul and Noreen would undertake the programme for maximum impact.

Experience of the programme to date

The couple found the programme very useful.  The engagement with other participants resulted in significant learning.  Engaging with other business owners allowed them to see the potential in their own business and some of the issues which were holding them back.

The two weekly cycle of workshop and mentoring call worked very well as the programme material was never very far from the thoughts of Paul and Noreen.  The mentoring call was particularly useful in terms of keeping them focused on making changes and seeking advice on the specifics of their business.

Impact on their business

A key impact of the programme was that it allowed Paul to see how an additional mechanic would free him to work more on the business rather than constantly being fully engaged in working in the business on clients’ cars.

A new cloud based computer system has been installed to help issue proper job cards and to drive client invoicing more comprehensively. 

The most critical impact for the business has been the way in which Paul and Noreen’s thinking is now “above the line” in terms of how the business can be developed and made more profitable. For the first time in 11 years, the couple took 10 days holidays and did not close the business while they were away.

The introduction of better systems and the recruitment of the additional experienced member of staff were the key factors in this being possible. “This programme changed our business lives” according to Paul.

Message for other business owners

Paul describes the business as having been “stuck on a roundabout” and not knowing where to come off. Working 60-70 hours over a 5 day week meant that there was no time for thinking and making changes. The ManagementWorks programme helped to give time to stop and think about business issues and then to make real changes for improvement.

ManagementWorks Programme


Paul Whelan & Noreen Whelan