History and Development
How Our Products Developed
HGS Software was founded by Gerhard Hartkemeier in the early 1980s. It was based on a progressive, relational database that allowed for a universal solution for manufacturing companies. Development was mainly focused on parts and production lists, as well as the necessary flexibility in production. Today’s IBM Informix product was chosen as a database very early on (it was marketed as RDS at the time). Relational databases provide high processing speed, especially for large amounts of data.
Many more products, such as accounting and finance, were developed soon after. These included cost center accounting, cost unit, and cost type accounting with BAB. In collaboration with a globally active manufacturer of concrete formwork and a teacher from the University of Strasbourg, we also developed direct cost and contribution margin accounting (after Riebel). With this system, two independent cost accounts could be kept simultaneously. We always held our solution to one overarching standard: maximum transparency with maximum flexibility.
Additional orders broadened the scope of our software. We collaborated with professors from the University of Bielefeld to optimize discount management as a part of merchandise management. The common use included over 70 different types of discounts. One company may only use a few different types of discounts, but our selection of over 70 types definitely offers the right one for your business.
To increase the potential for growth, the attorneys and notaries of the former Neutra GmbH (around Herbert Franosch) merged with the ERP-section of HGS Software (around Gerhard Hartkemeier), forming the new Syncline GmbH. Comprehensive solutions for attorneys and notaries thus became part of Syncline GmbH’s portfolio in addition to ERP software. The software for attorneys was used by the largest law firms in Frankfurt, among others. Furthermore, we took over the entire product line of a US manufacturer (Laticorp Inc.) with 70’000 installations and added them as a new line to our product area.
Our ERP software was further expanded with features for production data acquisition and staff time recording. A comprehensive project in collaboration with Gildemeister Projekta culminated in the integration of a graphics control center with real-time processing. With over a thousand installations in Europe, distribution lay almost exclusively in the hands of authorized resellers and partners.
INFORMIX Inc. decided to stop further development of our development platform, which is why there were no more notable developments or adjustments. A complete redevelopment of the solution was out of the question for financial reasons. Eventually, the group was split up into its original partners, who then only pursued their core activities.
The HGS area continued to serve old customers and refocused its activities on internet technology. Towards the end of the 1990s, eBay became more and more popular, and we developed an e-commerce solution with our existing modules. Among others, two of the global top 5 power sellers used our solution. One company working with electronic components managed over a thousand orders every day with less than eight employees.
Over the years, many customers have shown interest in continuing and further developing our former ERP software. In the meantime, IBM had taken over INFORMIX, and a lot of technological progress had occurred in the area of development tools. Therefore, we planned a relaunch of our software based on proven, up-to-date technology.
Since our main investor was a US investment company, a US stock company was founded in collaboration with a group of developers (DBMS specialists from the USA and the UK). Over seven years, the software was modernized and brought to the newest technological standards. Nowadays, clients can use the software as a desktop and/or HTML application. Printer adjustments are no longer necessary (PDF streaming technology). In addition, the current software can easily be translated to any language and adapted to country-specific requirements. With these developments, our new software has fought its way back among the best competing products.