We talk to Marty Prowse, CEO of Matrix Traffic and Transport Data Pty Ltd - proud National Sponsor of the AITPM - about his experience of COVID-19
Why do you support the AITPM?
It is our industry organisation. Nearly all clients and colleagues are members or attend AITPM events. As a sponsor, it lets us communicate directly with our client body.
What is the focus of your organisation?
Traffic and transport data collection: from small, local speed surveys through to city network origin-destination surveys.
COVID-19 has been a challenging time for many. What has it meant for your organisation?
The initial challenge was that work was reduced to 10% of normal revenue in the first month (April). The challenge was to keep all staff employed on their normal salaries through the Covid 19 crisis. Revenue has slowly increased to around 60% as of September 2020. I have actually enjoyed the challenges of navigating the business through unchartered waters. We have just transitioned into our 2nd stage of recovery.
Team Workshop in Queenstown 2018
What have you learnt during this time (e.g positives that have come out of this for you – either professionally or personally)?
I think prioritising family, friends and health above the company success. Although I have managed a well balanced lifestyle, I am guilty of getting caught up in the company’s success. Life is so much more than work. However, for many people “work purpose” is an essential ingredient to a better life. Providing opportunities to the Matrix team members to express their talents is a priority. In return we produce a great product that we are paid for. I am learning to slow down a little an appreciate everything. I have walked or run the 5km to work and then 5km home nearly every day of the Covid 19 crisis and have learnt to appreciate ‘the moment’ a little better than before.
How have you stayed connected with your team, colleagues and clients?
During April and May we had video hook ups twice a week. Tuesdays were more formal, covering jobs, strategies etc and Thursdays were basically just telling stories and connecting. We have team members across Australia as well as Bali, India, New Zealand, the UK and Korea. Every country was dealing with the Covid 19 Crisis differently. New Zealand went into lockdown first and were able to provide a few survival points. Korea, Bali and India were receiving not government assistance. Time differences always mean the UK video meetings are separate.
The AITPM online events have been fantastic. Well organise and provided a lifeline in terms of networking and professional development.
What are you doing differently now, and do you think this change will continue?
The work from home and active travel behavioural changes have been beneficial and we are keen to keep them. We encourage all team member to WFH at least 20% of the week. I am still a big fan of staff being in the office. The collaboration of staff on projects across the office is invaluable. We are social animal and need the direct communication.
What is your focus for the coming year?
Building the company back to pre-Covid levels firstly. We are super keen to continue expanding the Matrix family. New Zealand and the UK are our main growth areas.