Wed 9th Sep 2015
A trailblazer in logistics
Ann McGregor (NI Chamber); Catriona Toner (American Airlines); Minister Jonathan Bell; Mark Cuskeran (SDC Trailers); Darren Donnelly (SDC Trailers) and Brenda Morgan (British Airways) pictured at the latest NI Chamber Minister on the Move event.
A focus on quality and innovation is key to helping SDC Trailers reach new markets – that’s according to its Managing Director, Mark Cuskeran, who was speaking at the latest ‘Minister on the Move’ event held in Toomebridge earlier today.
Mr Cuskeran hosted Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell MLA, the Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) Ann McGregor and over 70 businesses from across Mid-Ulster at the SDC Trailers’ headquarters as part of the business led initiative by NI Chamber in partnership with British Airways and American Airlines.
The ‘Minister on the Move’ initiative provides businesses with an opportunity to speak directly with Ministers from the Northern Ireland Executive at a number of locations across the province – whilst also providing them with an opportunity to hear the inspirational success story of a local company, hosted in the company’s facilities.
SDC Trailers have been serving the road transport and logistics industry since 1978, retaining an excellent reputation in the field of specialised trailer builds with a wide portfolio ranging from flat beds, skeletals and curtainsiders to box vans and car transporters. Having pioneered a number of innovative design features and operational advancements, they are now widely recognised as the industry leader, employing over 900 people across its four sites, and seeing its sales figures reach almost £200 million a year.
Minister Jonathan Bell; Ann McGregor (NI Chamber); Mark Cuskeran (SDC Trailers) and Darren Donnelly (SDC Trailers) pictured at the latest NI Chamber Minister on the Move event.
Speaking at the event, Mark Cuskeran, the company’s Managing Director said SDC were pleased with the progress made in recent years, but wasn’t about to sit on its laurels:
“The main driving forces in our growth over the past few years have been the quality of our products, the constant striving for innovation which was recognised by the main awards ceremony for our industry this year, and the ongoing drive to reach into new markets. We have made huge inroads into the Middle East, and put major resources and time into that process, with a very positive return. We’re also focused on Northern Europe, where we have also made major strides.
“The company has always put its faith in the quality of its products, and our strong relationships with our clients, but in recent years we’ve developed a broader range of customers, and put a lot of focus into ensuring that those customers are well looked after. The company places a lot of store in its relationship with staff, and we like to provide staff with a positive environment in which to work, acquire new skills and develop their careers.”
The event also provided an open forum for delegates to share their views with the Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell, who said:
“The growth and success of SDC over many years has made possible by the dedication and efforts of the management team and the entire workforce. This has helped elevate the company to one of the largest commercial vehicle trailer manufacturers in Europe.
“In turning an original idea into a leading-edge product and bringing that product to market quickly, but most importantly successfully, SDC has been able to grow its business into one of Northern Ireland’s most successful export companies. The company is currently exporting extensively to Europe and more recently has opened a new office in Dubai after securing very worthwhile business in Saudi Arabia through their participation on one of Invest Northern Ireland’s trade missions.
“These achievements are highly significant and I would encourage other companies from Northern Ireland to follow suit and to explore business and trade opportunities within the international marketplace.”
Commenting on the Minister on the Move initiative, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of NI Chamber, concluded:
“Chambers of Commerce are committed to helping businesses grow and we see ‘Minister on the Move’ as being an important and mutually beneficial initiative for both business and government. It will create a forum for the open exchange of views leading to a better understanding of the importance of public policy and the economic environment in which we operate. We all have the shared aim of growing the Northern Ireland economy and an initiative such as this one allows us to keep in regular contact along the way.”