Leah Fairman By Leah Fairman

| 11 April 2024

How Connected Hubs are powering IPSOS B&A research on a national scale

When business demands all-Ireland coverage and the almost acrobatic flexibility of workforce, Connected Hubs offered the global research firm an unexpected leg-up, explains Managing Director Damian Loscher.

‘It started during Covid,’ explains Damian. ‘We had the telephone research centre here at our office here in Blackrock in Dublin - but when Covid hit we were required to get everyone out of our centre, so we moved to working from home.’ ‘Our Telephone Research Manager moved back to their home town of Belmullet in Mayo, like a lot of people did during Covid. When things were beginning to open up once again they called me up one day and said, “Hey, there’s a Connected Hub down here - would it be an idea to set up a centre down here?”’

Sensing a change in the air, Damian gave the nod and launched IPSOS B&A into Ireland’s network of 350+ Connected Hubs. Today the research company maintains a core team in Belmullet, as well as a team in the Hub on Achill, augmented by other staff as projects require.

For the largest custom research company in the world, who’ve been knocking on doors, taking calls and posing the big questions to the Irish public since 1962, the move has allowed them to behave like a startup - no mean feat when your core staff of 30 is augmented by hundreds of phone interviewers, researchers, coders, editors and others working part-time, freelance, full-time and every shade in between.

‘What was amazing for us was how it allowed us to move fast,’ says Damian. ‘That’s the beauty of the Connected Hubs - the speed and the flexibility. If we wanted to expand here in Dublin the lead time would be enormous - we’d have to find premises, lease negotiations, go through global governance.’ ‘It’s also about the services at the hubs,’ he adds. ‘In Dublin if we want to open a new facility we have to find a new office manager, we have to find a new IT manager - in the hubs, those services are ready to go. The speed and flexibility are incredible.”

With IPSOS B&A's bread and butter being based on careful and fruitful human interaction between researchers and the public, the company have also found unexpected demographic upsides to expanding their locations. 

‘The telephone interviewer profile was important,’ says Damian. ‘In Dublin it tends to be a student - they'll do it for a few months, maybe a few years, but usually they move on when they graduate. They’re excellent but the turnover is higher and there's a higher cost to that. In Mayo they stay - the profile is older. If you’ve been around the block, you’re mature and your people skills are better, and it’s great for a telephone interviewer. It’s much easier to find that type of person in Mayo.’

With his company looking to expand their presence in the Connected Hub network, the future seems bright - and national. ‘The fact is telephone research doesn’t need to be done from Ireland,’ Damin offers. ‘Often those calls are made from other parts of the world. We don’t want to see that happen - we want to keep the employment in Ireland, and so do our clients. Connected Hubs are letting us do that.’

The Connected Hubs network offers a host of flexible working spaces for businesses at 350+ locations across Ireland. Find out what sort of space would suit your business’ needs here.



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