The Matus journey started back in 1942 with brothers Lukie and Sam Matus. Little did they know that 75 years later Matus would be the number one trusted partner in the industry. Serving the industrial, construction, engineering, agricultural, retail DIY and mining sectors – the Matus story is a story of building – building relationships, building trust and building the Matus brand over the past 75 years.
The seventies brought a change in ownership and Matus continued to reposition itself to remain relevant in the industry. This eventually resulted in the merger between Matus and Tarry Tools in the eighties and Matus became a dedicated wholesaler. During this period Matus opened its first branch in Cape Town with Durban and Port Elizabeth opening in the nineties to complete its service offering to the coastal regions.
This period also saw the launch of the MTS brand one of the first private label tool brands in South Africa. Today MTS is one of the most trusted tool and hardware brands designed to “Get the job done”, offering exceptional value across a multitude of ranges. Today the MTS Home, MTS Storage, MTS Electrical and MTS Tool range can be found in just about every hardware store.
In 1998 Matus saw another change in ownership as Brandcorp acquired the business. The Matus footprint continued to grow and the new millennium saw the launch of its house brands MatWeld, MatSafe, MatPro and MatAir. Today, Matweld is one of the market leaders in 200Amp welding inverters. Last year if all the inverters it sold were stacked end-to-end it would form a line in excess of 10 kilometers long.
Again setting the trend Matus was instrumental in piloting Rapid Trade, an online ordering platform that today serves all the major tool wholesalers.
A continually expanding Matus eventually outgrew its original home and in 2010 the Head Office moved to a new 30 000 square meter facility in Booysens. In 2014 Cape Town followed suite and moved from its original premises in Salt River to a completely revamped warehouse in Epping. Designed from the ground up it meets best practice and standards in warehousing.
2016 was yet another big year for Matus as Bidvest acquired Brandcorp. Matus now forms part of the Commercial Products Division and is proudly Bidvest. Being part of the Bidvest family allows Matus to further expand what is truly important, allowing its hardworking brands to build a better South Africa.
The Matus Trade Day comes at a time when Matus also celebrates its 75-year history with a Diamond Jubilee. Diamonds are formed over a long period of time, under high heat and pressure, which is why they are so strong. Similarly, I believe that over the 75 years Matus has grown from strength to strength, together with our valued customers.
Just as diamonds are classified and valued according to the four C’s of Carat, Clarity, Colour and Cut, we at Matus measure ourselves against our own four C’s. These are our Commitment, Customer Focus, Choice of Products and Competitiveness.
Says Greg Young, Matus CEO, “We are the market leaders in terms of breadth of products that we carry; we distribute to 5000 customers countrywide and offer unparalled service with over 40 sales staff in the field and more than 50 internal sales staff. We offer a minimum of 94% order fill rate within 72 hours in all major towns”
Matus has in excess of 15 000 line items and is continually expanding with the addition of many more products to its diverse range. To ensure that focus is not lost with so many products, Matus have a very efficient category management system with 10 category managers effectively running their own businesses within the Matus ambit. It is their job to be hands on and active in the market affording insightful focus and feedback per category,” says Young.
“Our organisation is both customer and product focused. We divide our customers into two groups, industrial and retail customers. In industrial it is mostly quoting on a project that the client is busy with and acting as their warehouse. In the retail industry it is all about understanding rebates, presentation of product in store, where it is positioned in the store and how is it merchandised. It is the sales person’s job to find a solution for their individual customers and to ensure he makes the process easier for the customer to do business with Matus.
The above retail intelligence is overlaid with specialised product knowledge and advice. Category managers, who are the specialists on the products travel with the sales rep to see clients.
In our effort to better understand our customers and ensure they get the right products, many changes have been made over the past two years. Matus is both a customer and product centric company.
With the trade show looming, there are many things to look forward to. Matus will probably launch more products in the next six months than it has launched over the past five years.
This is all part of a bigger plan to adapt to the dynamics in retail and have a wider variety for customers to choose from. Young says, “The market has changed, especially around the hand tool market. We believe there are different price points that need to be looked at, especially in the middle price point category where we can offer nicely merchandised, attractively packaged products that offer great value. We are not looking at cheap products, but at quality ‘value for money’ products.”
Visitors to the show have reason to be excited – new products will include extensions of current ranges and many new products that are either Matus owned or Matus exclusive.
The trade show will boast ‘Cologne Hardware Show’ quality stands – commensurate with the quality of the brands being showcased. Many of the products will be displayed in impressive 100m² designer stands.
The VIP event will take place on Friday 24 March from 14:00 – 19:00 with key customers and suppliers present and the Saturday, Sunday show will be from9:00 –16:00 and open to all clients.
For more info
Call: 011 681 9200