Getting onto the Corporate Report 100 in any one year is a true business achievement. Making it on the list of fast-growing elites more than once is more impressive. But in the 30-year history of Ingram’s Corporate Report 100, only a comparative handful of companies have managed to make it to the list at least eight times.
They constitute our 30-year All-Time Winners Honor Roll, which this year is made up of the 60 companies that have demonstrated such high-growth consistency, putting them in the top 6 percent of the organizations recognized in that span.
Because of multiple winners through the years, the number of companies recognized in those 3,000 slots now stands at 1,136.
And at the top of it all, it should surprise no one, is Cerner Corp. Founded just five years after this publication debuted as Corporate Report, the health-care information technology provider has made a remarkable 21 appearances since first showing up on the list in 1987, the second year of the Corporate Report 100.
On its way to becoming a global IT giant, the company’s spectacular growth arc was beginning to emerge even then. Just two years after its founding in 1979 as PGI (for founders Neal Patterson, Paul Gorup and Cliff Illig), Cerner went from $522,000 in 1981 revenues to $17,356,000, and made the leap from start-up through IPO to public company status.
Let’s put that beginning number into perspective: Based on 2014 revenues of $3.4 billion, dividing that by 260 workdays a year, Monday through Friday, eight hours each, it now takes Cerner about 20 minutes to bring in revenues equal to that baseline for 1981. Now you don’t get to be the kind of company Cerner is by making a 40-hour work week a cornerstone of your corporate culture, but you get the idea.
From that peak of 3,224.9% in the 1987 CR 100, Cerner’s percentages have fallen through the years, as they will with most any company when the base is surging each successive year. But Cerner is back this year (No. 79), edging further ahead of No. 2 SKC Communication Products (19 appearances) and Lockton Companies, an 18-time honoree.
Among companies with at least 10 appearances, only 11 joined Cerner this year in increasing their number of all-time appearances: Burns & McDonnell, Euronet Worldwide, NIC Inc., BHC Rhodes, City Wide Maintenance, CRB, Trozzolo Communications Group, Bob Hamilton Plumbing, Heating, Rooter and AC, DEG and The Mutual Fund Store.
Of course, not all Corporate Report 100 appearances were created equal. When it initially launched, the Corporate Report 100 covered a six-year revenue period, from 1980 through 1985. Naturally, the aggregate growth percentages back then were far higher than we’ve seen since the competition was modified to cover a four-year period.
For 13 companies on that honor roll, their numbers won’t be changing; they have either been acquired by out-of-town interests (CR 100 represents only companies that are regionally headquartered), relocated or have gone out of business.
Perhaps the most interesting side note of this year’s Honor Roll membership entails Euronet Worldwide. Coming in at No. 100, the financial-services company makes its 12th appearance in the CR 100. Mike Brown, who co-founded Euronet back in 1994, also has the distinction of having a No. 1 finish on the Corporate Report 100. That was in 1987, the second year for the report, when his Innovative Software came in atop the field.