Chamber News


Cornerstone Automation wins Business of the Year

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The award of ‘Business of the Year’ is one of the most prestigious and desired accolades for the business community of Derry-Londonderry.

Cornerstone Automation is a well deserved winner of the title ‘Business of the Year’ for 2014.

From humble beginnings in 2011 in an office in Queen Street employing six people, the company has demonstrated substantial year-on-year growth, in a competitive market and against a difficult economic backdrop.

Cornerstone Automation manufactures and integrates a full line of cutting edge material handling systems for manufacturers and distributors.

Its market is a global export focused market supplying all industries, thus reducing the risk resulting from a downturn in a particular industry or geographic region.

The company currently employs 60 people and it regularly recruits additional staff to achieve its forecast sales target of £12m in 2015.

The other shortlisted companies for the ‘Business of the Year’ award were All-Pipe Engineering, Fleming Agri and the Nerve Centre.

Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, said: “Cornerstone Automation is a well deserved winner of the title ‘Business of the Year’.  I hope other businesses might consider how the success of Cornerstone Automation in withstanding the recession and expanding during a harsh trading period can be applied in varying circumstances.

“Cornerstone Automation has applied two key principles in its business operations.  Firstly, it has recognised that Northern Ireland is a small market place, which means that for most businesses they can only expand their market, their sales and their turnover through exporting.

“Secondly, it has focused its product development in order to be resistant to short-term cyclical changes in demand and to avoid dependence on a single market.  This approach is extremely helpful in withstanding a recession.  These lessons could be usefully applied by many other businesses.”

Jim Roddy, chief executive of the City Centre Initiative, added: “Cornerstone Automation is a fast growing enterprise that should be an inspiration to much of the rest of the business community in Derry and the North West.”

Eugene Kearney of the Bank of Ireland, which sponsored the award, said: “We are delighted to be the sponsors of this very prestigious title at this important event for the business community of Derry-Londonderry.  Cornerstone Automation are deserved winners.  The Bank of Ireland is very pleased to be associated with such a successful award ceremony.”