Matrix narrows scope to security

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

CENTERVILLE, Ohio - Less than a year after the two sons of the founder of Matrix Systems rejoined the day-to-day operations of the once financially troubled company, the two have sold its time and attendance business to focus on security.

In early May, Matrix inked an agreement to sell those assets to Kronos Inc., a provider of human resource services, payroll and time and attendance solutions based in Chelsmford, Mass. The transaction included the company’s time and attendance product called Atlantis and the 30 customers that used the system. Even though that number is small, customers include large hospitals, an airport and government facilities.

For Matrix, the deal sheds it of a business that was limited in focus and enables it to pour more resources into its growing security systems integration business. Time and attendance accounted for only 10 percent of the company’s business.

“We identified about seven or eight years ago that the time and attendance portion of the business was hindering us,” said Jeff Young, co-owner of Matrix Systems, who runs the 90-man company with his brother James.

But up until now, company officials had not been ready to make the sale, or narrow the company’s focus. The time and attendance business has been part of Matrix since its inception in 1979 when the company also entered the security market.

As a result of the sale, about seven employees from Matrix’s time and attendance business have joined Kronos, while two other employees have been retained by Matrix. Those seven people will continue to work from Matrix’s facility here while Kronos establishes an office in the Dayton, Ohio area. Matrix will also work as a subcontractor for Kronos for several years to provide service to existing time and attendance customers.

Young characterized the deal as a strategic buy for Kronos. He expects Kronos to convert those customers to its own time and attendance product over time but may incorporate some of the Atlantis product line features into its own systems.

Now with the time and attendance business divested, Young said Matrix will move forward on growing its security systems integration business. The company continues to work on a backlog of projects and its debt has been reduced by more than $2 million.

“For the first time everyone at Matrix feels that we’re out of the hole, on solid ground,” said Young.