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Matrix 35 year!

In 2018 we celebrate our 35th anniversary. On this page you get an historical survey over the last 35 years.

Ron Weener & Heico Heuver
managing directors/owners Matrix Group


How it started

It started in 1983, the time that the personal computer made its entrance. In those days the current computer consisted of mainframes en mini-systems, because of their size and price they were only used in calculation centres. You could send a program or job to these mainframes in order to get the results as a printout in return. As example is VLASCO which belonged to the department of public works and was available by a mainframe in Rijswijk. In 1982 the micro-computer was introduced. In stead of € 100.000,- for a mini-computer, the micro-computer "only cost" € 10.000,- In this time a commercial interest grew to develop software for intensive calculations such as structural analysis for structural engineers in the building industry.

 

 

Foundation of Matrix Software

In 1983 Matrix Software BV was established by Ton van Rijswijk and Hans Scholten. Ton was experienced in developing software for structural engineers and Hans started with the promotion and sale of the software. In the same year it appeared that extra help was needed. Ron Weener assisted Tom in programming and Richard Lichtermoet assisted Hans in Sales. Time was ripe for a real office and they found one in an industrial centre in Nijmegen. The company name derived from the first computer program they developed: BouwRaam, a software program for calculation of forces and deformations in structures. This calculation is based on mathematical-calculations. For this reason the company name "Matrix Software" is chosen.

 

 

MatrixFrame®, first generation software

The first generation software was BouwRaam. It started with the 2D-frame program BouwRaam, for strength analysis of concrete-, steel- and timber structures. Very soon followed by BouwLigger, BouwRooster en BouwFrame for beams, grillages and 3D-frames. Customers from the very beginning are the Municipality Horst, Bouwtechniek Hasselerharm from Oldenzaal and Engineering agency Van Dijke from Leiden. Matrix Software was the first supplier that offered a complete production line in the IBM platform, breaking through half way the eighties. By the end of the nineties BouwRaam is followed by MatrixFrame® under Windows. At the moment it is the most complete production line for civil engineers developed by a Dutch software house.

 

 

MatrixMetaal®, a trend setter within the steel bui

In 1984 CalcStaal came onto the market, a calculation module for the steel building industry. Metal company Kaal from Didam wanted to computerize the enormous amount of labour-intensive calculations. They already used the structural analysis software by Matrix and they wanted Matrix to develop calculation software as well. Matrix used the VEST/AVB prise list and was the first company that kept this list up-to-date. As soon as a change in price occurred, hundreds of discs with price adjustments were sent by mail to our customers. Nowadays we use internet, something completely different!
Later the software is extended with modules for shop planning and saw optimisation. Trend-setting modules which were popular.
In the early part of 2000 branch specification software has been developed under the name MatrixMetaal® with modules for relation-, and job management, purchase and sales, production management including re-calculation. At the moment MatrixMetaal® is a wide universal production line for the modern steel builder.

 

 

MatrixKozijn®, market leader in the window-frame b

Mid 1985 the first plans for calculation software in the window-frame branch were developed. A demonstration was given to joinery works Olofsen from Harderwijk and their answer was: "If you can make the same software for our company we are going to buy it ". In the pioneering phase the answer "yes" was given very quickly, so CalcKozijn was born. Very soon it appeared that calculating and drawing window-frames proofed to be something completely different. But we had given our commitment and after an enormous programming effort CalcKozijn was developed. By now CalcKozijn is followed by MatrixKozijn® under Windows and is extended to market leader in the window-frame branch.

 

 

Steady growth

In the nineties Matrix grew steadily. In 1989, Heico Heuver, the current marketing director was employed in that time number 28. We know that very well because during the 10th anniversary in 1993 we checked all personnel files. At this jubilee every employee received a cup with his/her number. Heico’s cup was 28 and Ron the first employee number 3. Leaving the 2 founders aside Ron was the first employee. Together with the sister company for sales- and marketing software, which became part of Baan Company by the end of the nineties, the highest number ever existed on a cup was 143.
To accommodate all these employees Matrix moved two times to a new office. In 1988 to Keizer Karelplein in Nijmegen, in 1993 to our recent office on the Wijchenseweg in Nijmegen. This move took place at the same time as the 10th anniversary of Matrix.

 

 

Management buy-out

Halfway through the nineties Microsoft Windows broke through. After an irresolute start with version 3.1, Windows 95 broke through. More than 10 years software development by Matrix should be converted to software for the Windows platform. After several test jobs we drew the conclusion that the conversion of MS-DOS to MS-Windows was a hell of a job which needed a lot of development capacity. It was even worse that we thought it would be because due to the many differences in the technical platform a conversion was out of the question. We had to make new software. As management of the building division we wanted to start as soon as possible, but we didn’t get the cooperation we needed. The programmers of the building division were taken from their task in order to work for jobs in the marketing division “marketing information systems”, our sister organisation. The founders wanted to concentrate on the sales- and marketing software . Finally this resulted in a management buy-out in 1996, now we could realise our plans

 

 

R&D department Vilnius (Lithuania)

To speed up things we established Matrix Software Baltic in Vilnius (Lithuania) shortly after the management buy-out. From this branch the rebuilding of the software took place. The software developers in The Netherlands got a new task: design software software together with our customers and instruct the programmers in our company in Vilnius to realise the software. We started in 1997 with 8 programmers and nowadays it has been developed into a successful and decisive team of 20 employees: programmers, analysts and project leaders. Together with the 21 employees in our office in Nijmegen, for sale, support, product managers and staff, Matrix Group consists at this moment of 41 employees.

 

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Acquisition of companies and activities

After the establishment of the R&D department based on the Windows platform, it was time start up the market introduction of this new generation software. Before the first version of the new software was delivered to our customers, we made plans for autonomous growth as well as growth concerning acquisition of companies and activities. This resulted in the acquisition of: