Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 11, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Northern Mat and Bridge LP was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2019):
- Northern Mat and Bridge LP invests in ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for job-related courses (up to $2,500 per year) and offers a variety of in-house and online training programs, including apprenticeship opportunities
- Northern Mat and Bridge LP provides a variety of financial benefits, including profit-sharing and year-end bonuses for all, signing bonuses for some, generous referral bonuses (up to $3,750 for successful hires), and matching RSP contributions
- Northern Mat and Bridge LP organizes a variety of social events throughout the year, including a golf tournament, Christmas Week Extravaganza, Christmas parties, a family skate event and a bowling night
Northern Mat & Bridge lays it all down for staff
After 20 years in business, Northern Mat & Bridge LP (NMB) continues to grow, and Daryl Northrup is growing right along with it.
Based in Clairmont, Alta., about 10 km north of Grande Prairie, NMB provides access mats, portable bridges and winter road construction services to companies in a variety of industries across the country.
As Senior Dispatcher, Northrup and his team are responsible for coordinating the transportation of products either directly to customers or to one of NMB's 50 storage locations across the country. From these locations, NMB delivers its products efficiently to remote sites where customers need safe access to otherwise impassable terrain.
"It takes a group effort to get the job done," says Northrup. "Our sales team make the initial calls, a superintendent sets up operations, and we line up the trucks to deliver the product. We work as a team."
That team has grown since Northrup joined the company five years ago. "When I started we had one mat plant and 30 trucks," he says. "Now we have three mat plants and 40 trucks."
Even more impressive is NMB's growth since it began in 1999. At the time, Canadian industry was becoming more environmentally conscious, and legislators were imposing more stringent regulations on mining, forestry and other companies involved in the natural-resource sector.
"They were looking for environmentally sound solutions," says Scott Vyse, NMB's Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing and its first full-time employee. "With all the infrastructure work to be done in Canada, the founders thought it would be a good time to get into the business.
"We started providing temporary access for oil and gas rigs in swamps and muskeg," says Vyse, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from the University of Alberta. "You can't build proper roads in these places, so you either go in on frozen roads or you build a matted road that works like snowshoes."
Twenty years later, NMB's 415 full- and part-time employees now provide products and services to industries ranging from power transmission to oil and gas extraction. It has incorporated its own manufacturing capabilities, increasing its rental inventory of mats from 2,000 when Vyse joined to hundreds of thousands today.
A division of NMB provides mat and equipment washing services to minimize cross-contamination issues and environmental impacts from industrial incidents and natural disasters. And the company now has offices in Calgary, Dawson Creek, B.C., Toronto and Montreal.
"We're good at what we do," says Vyse. "We deliver a reliable and safe product. But more important, we have the right people on the bus to execute at a high level. We're big believers in continuous improvement. And we've really tried to maintain a smaller-company atmosphere even though we've grown into a Canada-wide business."
From apprentice mechanics to health and safety administrators to leadership candidates, NMB has developed training programs to encourage employees to advance through the organization. "Our priority is to train and promote from within," says Vyse, "to allow our people to grow and develop in concert with our business."
NMB also encourages teamwork and expects each employee to contribute to the company's continuing success.
"We can bring our knowledge to the table," says Daryl Northrup. "It's not just upper management making all the decisions."
In return for their commitment and expertise, NMB rewards its employees with salary, benefits, pension packages and profit-sharing, all of which contribute to Northrup's dedication to the company. But the foundations of his loyalty go deeper.
"They involve your whole family here," says Northrup, a husband and the father of two daughters, nine and 13. "We have family skates and pot-luck dinners. At Thanksgiving, the company gives each employee a turkey. At Christmas, there's a party, and each kid gets a present. They even give our wives a gift.
"I've never worked for a company like this," he says. "I don't think I'll ever leave."