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Founder Friday - Tipperary

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Morans Bar

7 Parnell St.

E91 VN26 Clonmel

Ireland

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Monthly Meetup (with Fireside Chat) and networking for Startups

Powered by Bank of Ireland in association with Clonmel Chamber of Commerce

February's Fireside Chat guest is Gerry Horan, Founder of Horan Automation( More details below)

Starts 6pm -Refreshments served 6:30pm

Fireside Chat & Q&A 7pm-7:30pm -More Networking 8-9pm

How to find us? We'll be the chattering crowd in the cosy back section of the bar.

If you're new or alone, be sure to say hello and we'll make you welcome.

Tickets are Free but you will need to register on eventrbite to attend.

Organisers: Rene Duggan & Deirdre Moloney & Pat Carroll

Gerry Horan Profile

Gerry Horan is from a family of eleven and grew up in the town of Drangan, Tipperary, where he still lives and works. The home where he grew up is over two hundred years old and is currently occupied by his brother Andy who now leases out the farm. The family are renowned for being hard-working and innovative, with all nine children having been self-employed at one stage or another.

At the age of twenty, Gerry began working for Ellopack, a UK company involved in packaging machinery. His job as a service engineer brought him to Monaghan where he first met his wife Kathleen who was then working with the county council. The pair had an instant connection sharing a similar background of self-employment and creativity. Gerry and Kathleen’s relationship blossomed and they married in 1981 before settling down in Gerry’s home village of rural Drangan. They were blessed with three children; twins Shane and Fiona and Liam. At this stage Gerry was travelling around Ireland with his job at Ellopack and after fourteen years he decided that he was missing out too much on the children and decided to leave the company.

In 1995, Gerry began a role as a maintenance manager in a meat factory in Rathdowney, Co. Laois. At this stage the couple’s children were aged twelve and nine. Unfortunately however after only fourteen weeks of employment the factory closed down. At this stage Ellopack wanted Gerry to return to work for them as their Irish agent however he did not wish to travel around Ireland again causing him to miss out on family time as he had before. During his time at Ellopack Gerry had seen a need in the market for a bespoke industrial automated machines and so he decided to capitalise on this opportunity by starting a new business.

Gerry and Kathleen merged their experience in machine building and accounting and together opened the business in Cashel in 1996. Four years later in 2000, they were able to build the premises in Drangan, Tipperary where the business now trades. The main activities of the company at this stage were to rebuild packaging machinery and to focus on the new emerging opportunity of designing and building bespoke customised automated machinery. As the business grew, Gerry found that more and more of his customers were requesting unusual automated solutions and this lead to a shift in the business endeavours to focus more so on bespoke manufacturing.

As the business began to take a different path, Gerry discovered that incorporating the use of industrial robots into his machines would be more efficient. He then made contact with Fanuc who trained him as a robot integrator. The business was then awarded the role of Fanuc strategic partner for Ireland which opened many new doors in terms of automation and robotics.

The company traded successfully from 1996 but as with most businesses in Ireland, the recession of 2008 took its toll on Gerry and Kathleen’s livelihood. As a result of the downturn in the economy, staff numbers had to be paired back from eight to three in 2010. Times were difficult but the business managed to get through these rocky waters. During this time Gerry and Kathleen’s customers proved extremely loyal and the couple realised that the business was in fact strongly represented by the people behind it, namely the Horans themselves.

In 2013 the company was re-branded as “Horan Automation & Consulting” to reflect the strong association between Gerry Horan, the face of the company, and the brand. The family business and their values were now clearly reflected by the brand. Gerry and Kathleen also felt that the business model needed to change by subcontracting out some of the manufacturing work to allow the team to focus on full turnkey automation projects that would be brought together using their own specialised bespoke machines. This gave the business a real niche in the manufacturing automation market.

The success of the re-structuring of the business model demonstrated to Gerry that as managing director he needed to step up and concentrate on the strategic direction of the business rather than being involved in the day to day running of the operation. His focus then turned to sales, marketing and looking after his customers.

As a small business, Horan Automation & Consulting continued well through these times relying on the combined skills and knowledge of their office based team, merged with the subcontractors. However, a need for marketing skills emerged so the team decided to hire a marketing manager to proactively promote the Horan brand and their products and services. This decision was not taken lightly and was considered a big risk for the company to undertake the cost of another salary.

The risk paid off and within eight months of the marketing manager starting the sales had doubled and the profit margins had risen from 15% to over 60%. Looking now to the future, Horan Automation & Consulting are embarking on a new journey of exporting into Europe with their bespoke automated and packaging machinery. The business has doubled in size in the past year, growing from only 3 staff to 6.

Horan Automation Profile

Horan Automation and Consulting is a supplier of industrial automation and robotics within Ireland and Europe. The main market sectors served by the business are pharmaceutical and food. Horan’s product range incorporates the full industrial packaging line including automatic filling, pick and place, cartoning, box erecting, labelling, shrink wrapping , palletising, and pallet wrapping.

The company’s unique selling point is that they customise their machines to meet the customer’s specifications. This can include building a bespoke automated machine to fill the speed and accuracy needs of their client or perhaps modifying an existing high quality machine. Horan’s machines are made to adhere to EU standards are are CE marked for quality and safety.

Horan Automation is making a huge impact in Irish automation and manufacturing circles due to their unrivalled knowledge and skills. They not only offer unique tailored machine solutions but their customer service is highly praised. Much has changed for the business and as we move into 2018 the future is bright. Horan’s continue to maintain strong relationships with their Irish customers and are growing new ones with their international partners.

Powered by Bank of Ireland in association with Clonmel Chamber of Commerce

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Date and Time

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Morans Bar

7 Parnell St.

E91 VN26 Clonmel

Ireland

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