MTA: a success story built on a good working environment
AJ Products can furnish workspaces for every part of your business, from the head office to warehouses, factories or even construction sites. We are there for our customers throughout their journey as a company: from start-up to established business and onwards.
Here, you can read more about what we do for MTA, a fast-growing construction company with whom we have had the honour of working over a number of years after we surpassed their expectations on our first joint project.
One of Sweden's fastest growing construction and civil engineering companies,
MTA is based in Halmstad in southwest Sweden. MTA stands for Mats Johansson, Tommy Zryd and Andreas Granberg, three men who decided to go on an incredible journey together. When it started in the spring of 2010, they were colleagues at a nationwide construction company, had good jobs and were appreciated by customers and co-workers alike, but Mats, who is responsible for property development, explains why they took the leap. "There was a lot we wanted to change, not least in the culture, but that was not possible in such a large and traditional organisation. In the end, it was a natural choice for us to start our own company. We felt that we could do better ourselves."
The goal right from the outset was to become one of the major players in the regional building market.
Despite this, the trio did not start chasing projects straightaway, instead they refined their business plan. The idea was to build a corporate culture based on the work environment and employee job satisfaction.
"We simply started a company where we wanted to work ourselves. Having a nice work environment makes staff feel comfortable, encourages them to have fun and helps them feel at home. Then they develop and do a good job. We also get more talented people wanting to work with us."
The company’s internal slogan "Finally Monday" highlights the theory behind the plan. The fact that it also works in practice is proved by the distinction of being named one of "Sweden's Best Workplaces". MTA has received the prestigious award for five consecutive years from 2014 to 2018, all based on employee interviews conducted by Great Place to Work®.
The newcomers got off to a good start.
Despite being a relatively small company at the time, they were entrusted with building a large rental property in central Halmstad. A big commitment, in line with their ambitions. It led to a snowball effect and MTA quickly became an attractive option for construction workers and builders. Soon the company's name appeared across Halmstad. By putting up flags and signs around every construction site, they made it obvious that "This is an MTA workplace".
"The main thing with that was to create pride among the employees and their families. It's fun when the employees’ children point to our flag and say, "My mum/dad works there."
The rest is history. At the end of the first year, they had 22 employees, four years later they had 133. Today they have over 300 employees and have construction projects underway up and down a 200 mile stretch of the west coast of Sweden. That’s good work in just eight and a half years.
Where does AJ Products fit in?
After having used second-hand furniture in rented premises for a few years, MTA chose to invest in a new head office. Prior to the move in the summer of 2015, AJ Products was given the chance to come up with a proposal for the office interior.
"I had already talked to another office supplier, one of the big names in the industry. But then I got in touch with AJ and promised that they would get a chance. I mean, what did I have to lose?" says Mats.
The project team at AJ Products had a week to produce an interior design proposal.
"I picked up both proposals on the same day and was impressed by the work that AJ's representative had put in. From our drawings, she had created a complete solution with everything from the right colours and flooring to tasteful and functional furniture. She really exceeded our expectations."
Since then, AJ Products has assisted MTA with interior design projects whenever the need arises. The same year as the head office was completed in Halmstad, MTA opened their second office, this time in Varberg 50 miles further north.
"Since we were so happy the first time, we never looked at any other suppliers. We just ordered similar furniture from AJ once again."
This meant a new delivery of a complete office interior with height-adjustable desks, office chairs, active stools, workplace lighting, conference tables and chairs, canteen tables, bar stools and café chairs.
One year later, the process was repeated when MTA expanded south and office number three opened in Helsingborg.
One of MTA’s cornerstones is that all of their workplaces should be clean, functional and pleasant to visit. This is true of the building sites as well as the offices.
"As far as the working environment on the building sites is concerned, we chose to invest in our own portable cabins from the very beginning. At present, we have a hundred to ensure that we can always put the wellbeing of our staff above everything else."
The portable cabins, where the site managers and foremen have their offices, are all equipped with AJ’s height-adjustable desks, active chairs and other things that belong in a modern office. There is also a central social space: the combined kitchen and dining room where everyone gathers and eats together during breaks.
"Because we chose to have carpets on the floor, all shoes are taken off at the entrance. That makes people more comfortable, and people who are comfortable in their working environment do a better job. Everything is connected, it’s as simple as that", Mats concludes.
When that ethos leads to further growth and MTA needs more furniture and design plans, they will call AJ Products. After all, when given the chance, our project team also did a good job.