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Home / Media / 2013 / MTI Baths: 25 Years of Growth Through Commitment to Community, Employees and Customers

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Atlanta-based MTI Baths is celebrating its 25th anniversary this August as one of today’s leading bath manufacturers.

Started as a small family business in 1988, the company now has 144 employees and revenue exceeding $20 million. The employee-owned company has gained national recognition for its innovation, award-winning designs and passion for outstanding customer care.

MTI was founded by engineer-turned-entrepreneur J.C. Henry. (Read more about Henry.) His goal was a simple one: to make the best whirlpool tubs on the market. He named the company “Mr. Tubs” and began buying tubs from other manufactures and plumbing them with whirlpool systems. However, he quickly grew dissatisfied with the available quality and decided to take matters into his own hands. He bought a defunct bathtub manufacturing facility in 1990 and began producing his own tubs. Within a few short years, the company was creating a higher quality acrylic tub than the majority of the industry.

MTI Baths has focused on craftsmanship and built a reputation of quality custom bath products that can be made and delivered in seven days or less.

As curator of some of the finest bath products – from tubs to sinks to bath furniture – MTI’s success can be attributed to its unmatched degree of customization and outstanding customer service. Each product is built to order, providing the customer with unparalleled attention and a truly personalized product. Yet remarkably, MTI products ship within seven business days, the fastest in the industry.

Here is how MTI Baths positioned itself for success:

    • Recession: MTI rode out the recession and is selling more bath products than ever because it prepared for the downturn and did not stop investing to grow its business. Each employee was encouraged to bring ideas to the table and management implemented a lot of them. Employees made personal sacrifices – took a reduction in hours, vacation and whatever else was asked of them. Notes CEO Kathy Adams, “We all grabbed a ‘sales’ hat. Even today, as visitors go through our plant, production employees as well as all others understand the importance of greeting the visitors with friendly smiles and helpful information.”
    • Company culture: The company has always strived to be the best in the world at what it does. MTI’s mantras include “continual improvement” and “zero defects”, and one of the cornerstones for achieving this has been cross-training all employees. Each employee is encouraged to view him/herself as a leader and as part of a team, all fully trained in order to provide the best products and service. Pride in workmanship is intrinsic to the culture, and more than 76% of employees have an ownership stake in the company.
    • Growing revenue. MTI knew that to make profits in the long term, it needed to grow revenue in the short term and plow it back into the business. And as a result according to Adams, “our customers are receiving extraordinary product in terms of design, innovation and service.”
    • Service excellence. Adams has a story that vividly illustrates the company’s extraordinary commitment to customer satisfaction.

 

“Very recently, MTI’s largest customer ordered 14 tubs for a job in the Caribbean. Quoted jobs come with low margins, and MTI had very little profit in the job. The customer needed the tubs quickly, so employees rushed the job through the plant. Once the plumbers got on the job site, they realized the product was ordered incorrectly. There was no time to reorder the tubs, so the customer requested that we send someone to the location to alter the tubs on site. The customer acknowledged the problem was in no way our fault, but while he was willing to pay airfare, he asked that we provide the labor free of charge. Unfortunately, very few of our employees hold passports. Only our COO was both qualified to do the repairs and passport- ready. We made the decision to send this ‘high value’ employee down to do the repairs. We lost all of our profit on that job if you look at the bottom line – but not if you look at goodwill. We cannot ALWAYS go to such expense, but we do try our best to help our customers solve problems.”

Sometimes a service issue is an opportunity to show how great we can be.

“We want to become ever more valuable and be consistently dependable. Statistics show that a customer who has a problem solved actually feels more positively toward the manufacturer than a customer who never had a problem. Sometimes a service problem that is our fault is an opportunity to show how great we can be. Our philosophy is to always go at our service issues with this attitude: MAKE THE EXPERIENCE A POSITIVE ONE for the customer.”

About MTI Baths

Since 1988, MTI Baths has earned a reputation for award-winning design, personalized customization and artisan quality. MTI tubs, shower bases, sinks and hardwood bath furniture are handcrafted in the USA. MTI also offers water-resistant teak accessories and frameless glass shower enclosures. For information on MTI’s extensive selection of design and customization options call 800-783-8827 or visit mtibaths.com.