Find out more about MMA, our UK partner
MMA – Jakob’s partner in the UK
It is possible to make a tour of London and seeing Jakob products on many of the city’s landmark buildings. Thanks to the long-standing collaboration of Jakob with MMA Architectural Systems Ltd., Webnet has become the leading stainless steel wire mesh in the UK. MMA owner Justin Errington explains the story behind the success.
Justin, how long has MMA Architectural Systems been working with Jakob? What’s the history?
In 2007, I completed a management buyout of MMA together with my sister Nikki Errington, the previous business having been in operation for just over 10 years. Although there was a pre-existing relationship with Jakob, as new owners, we wanted to breathe new life into the business, diversify into new markets and establish closer ties with the Jakob team in Switzerland. Under their direction, the business has grown consistently over the years and now employs over three times as many people.
Jakob were incredibly receptive to their new partners in the UK and provided fantastic support – and have continued to do so ever since. We feel that we have grown together both in terms of business development and the ever-strengthening business relationship. We genuinely feel like an extension of the team in Switzerland and the fact that we are trusted as the sole UK distributor of Jakob systems means that we are left alone to market and supply Jakob, with support when we need it, but without any interference that could potentially stifle our sales effort.
Knowing that Jakob trusts us as the experts in our market gives us a huge amount of confidence – as does the great support that we receive from the Jakob team whenever we ask for it, enabling us to offer market-leading service and support to our customers in the UK. Over the years, we have established a loyal customer base with many of the biggest names in the UK construction sector and that’s all down to the amazing quality and breadth of the Jakob product range, and the high standards of support that we’re able to deliver together.
How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected you?
Like many countries, the UK has been hit really hard, and certainly in the spring and early summer of 2020 as we went into a very tight lockdown, the construction industry all but came to a complete stop. But as we started to emerge from that, even though we’ve had two more lockdowns, the industry has come back to life and we’ve been extremely busy. We have also filled two staff vacancies that we had, recruiting Toby and Jacob as technical sales and project managers (although we’re trying to convince Jacob to change his name, as it seems to be confusing our customers!).
We now have our strongest team ever and are set for the future! We really believe that we’re starting to see the full potential for Webnet frames being realised in the UK. It clearly has such a huge market potential and with future products, we can see even more growth on the horizon.
Tell us about some of the projects you’ve delivered in the UK?
Over the last (nearly) 15 years, we’ve worked with architects and contractors on some incredible projects in the UK. From enclosing play areas on school roofs and the service area on the UK’s largest skyscraper to providing balustrade for London’s 2012 Olympic park, a green wall for the most expensive residential flats in the UK and ensuring the security of the Ravens at the Tower of London, our projects could scarcely be more diverse. We’ve even worked on some really interesting top-secret projects, which sadly have to remain top-secret!
We get huge satisfaction from every project we deliver, but perhaps the most rewarding are the suicide prevention schemes we’ve worked on, where Webnet installation at car parks and bridges act as a deterrent to suicide attempts.
Naturally, we’re incredibly proud to have been involved in the London 2012 Olympic Park project where we supplied and installed around 5,000m of Webnet for the balustrade around the park. We were heavily involved in the design of this for several years before the project, so it was a great joy (and relief), when we received the order. Thanks to meticulous planning from everyone involved and working alongside Jakob to organise and deliver the Webnet and with the contractors on the Park, everything went really smoothly and despite the tough deadlines and difficult logistics of working on the site, the largest in Europe at the time, it went incredibly well.
We look forward to the new products that Jakob are developing being released and working with their team on the exciting new projects we have in the pipeline.
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