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The Enterprise Ireland supports availed of by Combilift in Co. Monaghan over the past two decades have ranged from trade mission participation to ongoing R&D support.
Materials handling equipment manufacturer Comblift has availed of Enterprise Ireland supports in the areas of research and development (R&D) and overseas markets since it was first established in 1997 in Co. Monaghan.
“We knew even from year one that we would have to be very focused on product development and investing in R&D and have found Enterprise Ireland to have been very supportive over the years in this regard,” says managing director of Combilift Martin McVicar.
“When it comes to entering new markets people in Enterprise Ireland offices will get out on the road with a company. In Germany, Kevin Buckley not only helped me to set up meetings but joined me in the car for three days going up and down the country meeting potential distributors.”
Combilift has also found the trade missions led by Enterprise Ireland to be very beneficial, as they have given the company great credibility in various markets — particularly with big customers and dealers. It has been on a number of trade missions, including to Saudi Arabia and Texas.
“Potential customers really put value on a trade mission. They demonstrate that your company must be a serious contender if it is endorsed by a government minister.”
Trade missions have assisted in driving sales for Combilift. For example during a trade mission to the United Arab Emirates two years ago it announced it was opening a new factory. Coincidentally a potential customer in the market, Agility Logistics, was at the announcement.
“Once operations manager of Agility Logistics Mohammed Jaber saw that Combilift was important to Irish government ministers he placed €400,000 worth of business with us.”
Other supports which Combilift has found beneficial include the Leadership for Growth programme as well as quarterly meetings of a mid-tier engineering group arranged by Enterprise Ireland over the past 18 months. “These meetings help to foster a scaling mindset – it is a stepping stone to creating the equivalent of a ‘Mittelstand’ of engineering companies in Ireland’.”