Trucking Software Maker TMW Systems Buys Rival Maddocks Systems
September 11, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Trucking application software provider TMW Systems announced last week that it has acquired one of its rivals in that market, Maddocks Systems. Because both companies are privately held, they did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition.
TMW is well known in the trucking industry, and supports two sets of applications: The TL2000 suite for OS/400 and i5/OS servers and the TMWSuite for Windows boxes. TMW is based in Beachwood, Ohio. The company, founded in 1983, has been a long-time member of the OS/400 ecosystem. For the year-ended June 30, TMW booked sales of $28.7 million, and the company has over 575 customers around the world today that manage a combined fleet of 125,000 trucks.
Maddocks, as it turns out, is two years older than TMW and also has a heritage in the IBM midrange. But Maddocks, which is based in Langley, British Columbia, ported its applications to Windows a decade ago and to this day it only peddles TrackMate for Windows. Maddocks has 440 customers worldwide, with a combined fleet of over 50,000 trucks. For the 12 months ended June 30, Maddocks had sales of $12.6 million Canadian, which works out to about $11.3 million in U.S. dollars.
So, if you do the math, the new TMW has about $40 million in sales based on the prior year. TMW said in a statement that both companies have been experiencing double-digit growth in sales and profits since 2002. The combined company will have 250 employees and will have the most accounts at the top 100 carriers in North America. All employees of Maddocks–including management–will be given jobs at TWM, and TMW said that its research and development staff will be three times that of its largest competitor in the trucking application industry. That combined base of 1,015 customers and a fleet base of over 175,000 trucks will make it more of a player in this niche market of the application software space.
But, what it may also do is dilute the presence of the OS/400 and i5/OS platform at the company–something we have all seen time and again as software companies with a mix of applications for different platforms have merged. TMW says it is committed to supporting the two Windows platforms, TMWSuite and TruckMate, as well as the i5/OS-based TL2000 suite. TMW has also extended its lifetime support policy to TruckMate customers–having already provided that for its own software. As long as you pay for support, TMW commits to supporting your version of its software. This is a unique approach to the problem of getting customers to upgrade–don’t push. How refreshing.