The Matus Success Story
In the beginning
Established in 1942 by brothers, Lukie and Sam Matus, with one branch in Johannesburg, Matus has grown into a major force in servicing the needs of the industrial, construction, engineering, agricultural, retail DIY and mining sectors.
A change in ownership
In the early 1970’s Jossie Marcus and a partner bought the business. The turnover of Matus at that stage was approximately R100 000 per month.
In the mid 1980’s Matus was sold to National Bolts, but still managed by Jossie Marcus. Formscaff which owned National Bolts purchased W & A, who in turn owned Tarry’s, a wholesale / retail hand tool, power tool and engine distributor, which was a competitor of Matus.
Fire destroys premises and stock
In the late1980’s Matus, which was situated at 1 Hardy Street, was the victim of a fire and the entire premises and all the stock was destroyed. The fire occurred soon after the untimely death of Jossie Marcus who was killed in the Helderberg plane crash. The fire occurred on a Saturday, and by the Monday the Matus staff moved into the Tarry’s operation in Rosettenville and trading continued.
The combined Matus / Tarry tool business was run by Hershy Marcus who was the Managing Director of Matus Tools.
Not one staff member was retrenched as a result of the merger.
Before the merger, Matus turnover was R800 000 per month, and Tarry Tools R1m per month.
Within one year the combined Matus / Tarry Tool Division turnover was R3m per month.
Matus culture proves more successful
The business traded for approximately one year as Tarry’s but the Matus culture and philosophy proved more successful. Tarry Tool Division became Matus, a wholesaler not competing with its customers.
Brandcorp acquires Matus
In 1998 Matus was purchased by Brandcorp Holdings (Pty) Ltd www.brandcorp.co.za.
The Matus customer and staff ethos
Matus strives to be a one-stop shop for its customers. To this end a wide variety of products totalling in excess of 22 000 line items are stocked. This affords their customers the opportunity of varying quality and price levels.
There are currently in excess of 5000 active customers who range from hardware stores, industrial supply companies, hire shops, spare shops, co-operatives, nurseries and buying groups. Customers are serviced through one of Matus’s four distribution centres located in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth with an approximate 95% order fill rate being achieved across the board.
Matus employs over 550 employees. Staff attend regular training programs of both a technical product related nature and as well as life skills development. The staff is incentivised for performance, which is evident in the service levels and work ethics in the company.
In 2007 Brandcorp successfully delisted from the JSE after it was acquired by Ethos a private equity fund manager. www.ethos.co.za.
A move to bigger and better
A recent move to the Matus new 25 000m2 head office allows space for easy and comfortable expansion and an even better infrastructure.
The need for more advanced reporting facilities to improve both data analysis as well as general financial reporting prompted Matus to recently update its computer system. The objective being better decision making at both strategic and operating levels.
Streamlining for superior service
Matus is constantly exploring options to streamline its business operations to provide better service such as investigating a new bar coding system and the improvement of its trolley systems for faster pulling and dispatch times for orders placed.
Rapid trade brings fast results
Matus is currently enjoying approximately 16.5% of its monthly turnover on a business to business basis via the online Rapid Trade ordering system. Customers are able to update and receive Matus pricelist while viewing current stock on hand. A comprehensive catalogue on CD and hard copy is available, both of which are linked to the rapid trade system.
First and foremost
Matus is the leading name in the distribution of power tools, air tools, compressors, generators, adhesives, welding & safety equipment, abrasives, garden tools, locks, tools & hardware, electrical, fastener & fittings and drill bits.
Brands include: Armeg, Dari, Fox Abrasives, Fox Tools, Gedore, Groz, Hawkins, Hitachi Power Tools and Spare Parts, Irwin & Record, Mackie, Master Lock, MATAIR, MATPOWER, MATSAFE, MATWELD, MTS, Mobi Jack, Perma, Pratley, Raco Air, Raco Expert (Gardening), Raco Hand Tools, Stahlwille, Stanley, Sykes Pickavant, Tri ï¿½ Circle, Wera, and numerous others.
Matus also supplies the house brand for one of the largest hardware retailer groups in the country and is rolling this concept out to include other groups.
At South Africa’s service, nationwide
Operating nationwide, Matus has branches in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and 545 employees with Greg Young, Managing Director, at the helm.
The Matus Mission Statement encapsulates the company's principles and philosophy:
To be the supplier/distributor of choice of tools, hardware and related equipment.
Our aim is to build mutually beneficial partnerships with customers, staff and suppliers.