Back in December 1980, Nick Speakman, Matrix Software MD, visited Makro's Manchester store to look at all the Christmas toys and goodies that were on offer. Whilst looking at the upstairs TV display he played on a rare computer console called the Phillips G7000, an event which sparked a love of computers that has lasted 30 years.
Fast forward to 2010 and the upstairs area of Makro's Manchester store had been converted to their UK headquarters. Entering the building through a new side entrance it wasn't immediately apparent where this, now grown man was demoing his software until he came to leave. It was at that point he realised he'd been demoing his software only feet away from the pivotal moment in his life.
A few weeks later and Makro gave the go-ahead to install Babelfish, Matrix Software's entry-level catalogue production software. Taking XML information from their back-end systems and applying a series of graphical rules, the system automatically produces the companies fortnightly "Makro Mail" brochures for both food and non-food products. The built-in image database locates the correct image, price points and text styles are set, leaving the designer with a quick aesthetic tidy up to complete the whole brochure.