From Politics to Entrepreneurship: Meet Sue Matic
Sue Matic isn’t a stranger to bold career moves. She started her career in politics, working for the Croatian Prime Minister and leading the Croatian Office for European Integration. With her knowledge of politics and business, she decided to venture into entrepreneurship. Sue boldly moved back to Winnipeg to start Matix Lumber, a building materials supply centre that specializes in Ready To Move houses (RTMs), mobile homes, and Honka log homes.
How has technology influenced Matix Lumber’s success? They implemented enterprise resource planning (ERP) early on—software that uses a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions—and have plans to continue using technology to improve their operational structure and profitability.
Sue has partnered with Cisco’s Circle of Innovation, an internship program managed by Cisco, Communitech, and Business Development Bank of Canada with interns from the University of Waterloo, to help grow Matix Lumber’s digital presence. We asked Sue and her new intern, Kirthi Maguluri, about their new partnership and how technology can drive future growth, collaboration, and success.
I decided to be an entrepreneur….for a variety of reasons. I learned a great deal from my previous career in politics and business. That work experience gave me confidence in my abilities as a leader. My father is a true entrepreneur and has always been my mentor. I was prepared to sacrifice my own time and effort to turn a good idea into a reality.
My boldest move to date was…moving back to Winnipeg to start a new lumber business.
My best advice to those starting their own business is…be prepared to work hard and lead by example.
I surprise people when I tell them…I lived in Zagreb, Croatia for 10 years and worked for the Croatian Prime Minister leading the Croatian Office for European Integration.
Technology has helped my business because…we started early. We purchased and implemented our ERP in the first days of our existence. That software is providing us with statistics, history, trends, and other data that we use to make informed decisions about future direction. As a direct result of digital technology my business became more accurate, efficient, and thereby more profitable.
I plan to continue to use technology in the future in all aspects of my business. We plan to continue to develop our website/online/social media presence, improve productivity, create new jobs, and streamline operations.
Meet Sue’s intern, Kirthi Maguluri
School: University of Waterloo
Program: Management Engineering
Year of Study: 3rd
How do you feel technology is improving businesses?
Technology is incrementally developing into every industry and it has also become part of our daily life. Technology is improving efficiency in business processes, making virtual collaboration much easier and connecting people like never before.
What social media platform do you use most often to stay connected and why?
Facebook is my go to social media platform for staying connected and to also get instant updates about trending news. Also, as a student I work on multiple group projects every term and through group chats, Facebook makes collaboration easier with everyone on my team and allows me to ensure that all the tasks are running smoothly.
What is your dream job once you graduate university?
I have been interested in the tech industry ever since I realized the impact it has on our everyday lives. Personally, disruptive technologies intrigue me the most and I would ideally want to be in a company where I could constantly learn and develop skills by facing new and exciting challenges.
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