Supplier Member Profile: Cornerstone

Pioneering Innovation in Mezzanine Flooring

By Nicole Needles

In the dynamic world of material handling, where the demands of the industry are ever evolving, Cornerstone stands as a testament to innovation and adaptability. Founded in 2001, the company has carved a niche for itself in the mezzanine flooring sector, with its flagship product, ResinDek®, becoming the premier choice in North America and making its mark in 30 countries worldwide.

From its very inception, Cornerstone’s success has stemmed from a unique blend of engineering prowess and a passion for creating groundbreaking products. Greg Doppler, founder and current senior advisor, ventured into the construction business after graduating college. Doppler went to work for a family-owned lumber business in 1984. In the late 80s, that company became a distributor for a mezzanine flooring panel called Mezzdeck. This product opened Doppler’s eyes to the Material Handling Industry, but Mezzdeck was a flawed product that stopped being manufactured after a few years. Doppler’s desire for a new and better solution led to the invention and commercial introduction of ResinDek panels in 1994. Doppler, the inventor of the ResinDek panel, started Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products in 2001.

Over the years, the company and its product offerings have been driven by an intense desire to meet the ever-changing demands of elevated flooring in the warehouse and manufacturing industry. To meet these changing needs, there have been significant modifications to ResinDek panels – electrostatic dissipative surfaces, stronger panels and dramatically tougher finishes designed to withstand the rigors of robotics traffic are three examples of the evolution of ResinDek panels.

“We’re constantly trying to develop new and better products. We engage with our customers and listen carefully in order to understand the needs, wants and desires of the final users of our products”, Doppler said. Cornerstone’s success is not only attributed to its innovative products but also to its unique company culture. The commitment to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction is ingrained in the company’s DNA. The company prides itself on being curious, responsive to customer needs and unafraid to face challenges head-on.

“We have frequently heard our customers say ‘Hey, I love your product, but it would be great if you could offer “X.” We have used that stimulus to have internal conversations. Can we figure out how to meet this need? If so, what would it cost, and what might the market be for such an offering? This type of thinking ends up shaping the whole direction of the organization”, stated Doppler.

The material handling industry is not without its challenges. The cyclical nature of the business demands adaptability, especially when major players undergo shifts in their operations. Flexibility in responding to market dynamics is an ongoing challenge.

“The need for technical solutions has put us in a place where most of our sales folks now are very highly trained engineers because they are problem solvers by nature, and they have to be able to be responsive to the technical demands of the Industry,” Doppler said.

One of the organization’s biggest opportunities lies in the surging adoption of automation within the industry. Cornerstone sees the potential for a significant portion of its sales to be driven by robotics-related applications in the coming years. Automation offers unparalleled efficiency and output, making it a compelling proposition for businesses looking to stay competitive.

As Cornerstone looks to the future, the focus remains on staying at the forefront of automation trends. With an eye on global expansion and a commitment to technological advancements, the next five years hold the promise for continued success, growth and innovation.

“Working with MHEDA has been an amazing experience for us. They do a fantastic job with their annual events. Hats off to Liz Richards. She’s done an excellent job over the years and we look forward to working with the new CEO Jeannette Walker in the coming months,” Doppler said. “We appreciate what MHEDA does for the industry. We’ve been a big supporter over the years, and we intend to continue that process.”