416 Automation Inc. – Building a Company for the next 100 Years

When Spotlight on Business Magazine first featured 416 Automation back in 2017, we got a chance to learn about how this innovative company got its start and that they had one goal and that was to make your brand’s product better by offering superior custom solutions in the world of automated machinery, testing equipment, and adaptable electrical panels.  Mimmo Carbonara had a goal to be a leader in the industry and to grow the business, which they were successful in doing in a very short amount of time.  With our second interview with 416 Automation’s president and founder, Mimmo Carbonara, that drive to be the best in industry was still very much alive.  However, we learned that there was a lot more going on inside the company than just creating amazing product solutions for some of the giants of the automotive industry.  They were investing in their people and partnerships, setting the plans in place to build a company for the next 100 years and based on their track record since 2009, we are confident that will happen.

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First, we will start off with a little refresher on the business.  Mimmo Carbonara founded 416 Automation in 2009 after the company that he was working for, Sterner Automation, unfortunately ceased operations during the last recession in 2008.  Carbonara is the heart of the company and the driving force for their growth.  He is a natural leader and entrepreneur with an uncanny gut instinct for business along with a gifted mind for visualizing the design.  You only needed to speak with him for a short period of time to feel his passion about the business and the people within it, and his desire to see them both grow and reach their full potential.

When we did our last interview for the 2017 feature, we learned about the business and how 416 Automation got started, Carbonara’s drive as an entrepreneur was very clear to grow the business.  In our follow up conversations and second interview with Carbonara there was another driving force behind the success of the company and the people within and that was the “416 Automation Charter.”  This is a document that defines their core values and who they are as a company and as Carbonara says, “It’s our guiding principle for how we conduct ourselves in business every day.”

Carbonara goes on to talk about the “416 Automation Charter” as a company culture and that these are more than just words, but the principles of how they will manage their business and the people within it and they can be found every where in the business.

Carbonara and his team have been building this business for over 10 years and have become a leader in the industry, but as he says, “Sometimes you need to be more than just a leader in your industry, you have to be a leader in business.”  Their mission statement is both inspiring and clear as to the company’s mission and goal, “To become industry leaders in what we do while building an organization that will last 100 years.”

Being able to last a hundred years in business, is a massive goal for any company, and 416 Automation understands that.  Carbonara says, “It is more than just being the best, don’t get me wrong we pride ourselves on being the best, but it is more than that.  It is about building partnership, even more than that, it is about friendships with our customers.  It is going the extra mile for them, to help them offer the best products to their customers and to take pride in knowing that we are also sharing in their successes.  We are helping them be the best and building that bond is something that will last the test of time.”  You hear the passion in Carbonara’s voice with those words and really begin to understand his passion for his customers.  You understand that he is there for his customers day and night to help them offer better products and be more efficient so they themselves can stand the test of time. 

This falls right into the company motto, “Together is better.”  Carbonara explains this as working towards a common goal with all partners, be it employees, vendors or customers.  Yes, is it easier and faster to move alone, but by working with partners you are able to achieve more as everyone becomes vested in a common goal.

“Values” play a huge role when Carbonara talks about the charter, especially when talking about “Family.”  “We are a family at 416 Automation, when you think about it, you spend more time with the people you work with than you do with your own family at home, so it is important to make sure that you hire the right people to come in the business, and we make sure that we use our charter when selecting the right  candidate for a position, because these are more than just words, it is how we want the culture at 416 Automation to be now and for the next 100 years.”

416 Automation is committed to the success of those that are part of your team and their customers.  Carbonara explains that he and his management team offer support and continued skill development and feedback for all employees.  This is done through monthly 1-on-1 sessions so they understand the goals of their employees and then they can work together to meet those goals whether they are professional or personal.  They respect that each person is different and want to help them grow to become the best version of themselves and offer additional training, guidance and mentoring with another member of the team to achieve their goals.  They take every job very seriously and that is why they look for people who have a positive attitude and dedication to success both personally and professionally when looking for new team members.  

When it comes to Carbonara’s commitment to their customers it is very clear, “We are going to make you look like a rock star, our job is simple with customers, it is to make their job easier.  We go the extra mile to support our customers to the best of our ability and to see them succeed, it is as simple as that, and we give them all of our resources, so the project is successful.”  Another key factor in 416 Automation’s commitment to their customer’s success has been their solid business relationships with vendors. 

Since most of their business comes from referrals, it helps when their vendors believe in their capabilities. Even when they are exercising their imaginations, and ingenuity, everyone works very hard to finish jobs on time with a successful outcome.

Innovation plays a huge role in industry, and Automation is always challenging the status quo and creating solutions for real life challenges.  As Carbonara says, they are not sitting around waiting for things to happen they are making it happen.  “Innovation is something that we are committed to, we do not wait for a client to come to us for a solution we are always looking for one for them, this goes back to our goal of getting better together and one of the main factors that separates us from our competition.”

Quality and Excellence are words that a lot of companies use but for 416 Automation, Quality is a reflection of who they are and what you can expect when partnering with them.  As Carbonara says, “There is no room for errors in our business, we strive for quality and excellence every time or it is simple, you will not last.  Quality is a big thing in our industry, it is not just something that you talk about it is something that you must deliver every time.  It is the life of our business.”

It was clear in speaking with Carbonara that the “416 Automation Charter” plays a large role in the success of the business, but what became even clearer is that everyone has bought into the charter and made it their personal mission to make 416 Automation a better company and one that will be around for the next hundred years.

by Calli Gregg