Case Studies

Artisan Tile and Marble Company of New Jersey Inc.

Exceeding excellence

Artisan Tile and Marble Company of New Jersey Inc. (ATM) was founded in 1964 by Arnold Hess in his basement in Highland Park, N.J. “It grew to be the largest commercial union tile and marble contractor in New Jersey,” says John Sekora, chairman of the board.

ATM has now been in operation for 50 years and has become a family-operated business. Sekora mentions that he has eight relatives that currently work for him in the office. “ATM was selected as the New Jersey monthly magazine family business of the year in 2000,” Sekora details. ATM has also won more Golden Trowel Awards, an award given out by the marble and tile industry, than all of its other competition put together.

Projects completed

ATM works predominantly in the commercial tile and marble industry in New Jersey. “We completed the new Jets and Giants stadium and we’ve worked in every hospital in the state of New Jersey,” he details.

Sekora states that the company has completed tile work in most of the schools in New Jersey, as well. ATM has worked on 44 shopping malls across the United States from Florida to upstate New York to Nashville and Maryland.

One of the more impressive projects done by ATM is the AT&T Learning Center in Basking Ridge, N.J. The project used both ceramic and stone in the design; the stone was imported from around the world and the marble was brought in from Italy, France and Spain. The completed project managed to exude elegance while supporting budgetary obligations.

ATM also worked on the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building in Newark, N.J. Viewed by thousands every day, the project required over 6,000 square feet of floors, base and pilasters to be installed using eight stone colors and multiple grout colors. The incredible project won the 1996 N.J. Golden Trowel Masonry Award.

General contractors and suppliers

Sekora explains that when taking on a new project, the company is working directly with the general contractors the majority of the time. “Less than 5 percent of the total volume of our work is in conjunction with an owner, most of it comes through general contractors,” he continues. ATM has worked for thousands of general contractors both locally and nationally.

Sekora states that ATM self-performs all of its work. “We are a service-based organization,” he clarifies. “Our name has sustained us and we have been able to carry forth with the third generation, which are now part of our organization.”

As far as suppliers are concerned, Sekora says that the company has used some of the same suppliers since 1964 when it started, and some of the general contractors that ATM utilizes today have also been around since its founding.

Sekora expresses his immense appreciation for ATM’s general contractors and suppliers. “Without the help of general contractors and suppliers and without the help of union people, we would never be able to be where we are today,” he says. According to Sekora, approximately a third of the people with ATM have been at the company for at least 15 years and 5 percent have been around for an estimated 25 years or more.

Customer appreciation

ATM’s philosophy has always been that its product is not just tile or stone, it is service, as well. The customer is the life blood of the company. “We want to be the best, the nicest and the fastest,” Sekora says. “We want to be the most personal and we want to make sure that people know that they aren’t just a number in our minds, just like we don’t want to be simply a number in theirs.”

ATM is extremely organized when it comes to its jobs. With 200 jobs working at any given time and bidding 10 jobs a day, Sekora says that the company needs to be organized and is computerized to meet all challenges.

ATM has built a lasting and impressive family business over the years. Sekora hopes that his employees work as hard and as smart as possible, while having as much fun as possible. Celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2014, ATM has become a reputable and successful company over the years. The family unity within the company, whether from relation or not, is evident in the support ATM receives from employees and determination for the success of Artisan Tile and Marble Company of New Jersey Inc. 

Published on: April 2, 2015

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