Monday, March 5, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Tools keep track of hardware, software

What: Express Metrix, Seattle

Who: Kris Barker, CEO and co-founder

Keeping track: The company helps clients develop an inventory of their hardware and software, putting it to best use. Old machines can be updated, rehabilitated or thrown away. And a client can save hundreds of thousands of dollars every year by retiring the software by canceling unused software licenses.

Financials: The privately held and financed company says it has been profitable since 2000 and grows 15 to 20 percent each year.

Path to savings: Licenses for universally used programs, such as Microsoft Office, are pretty easy to track. But companies often purchase extra licenses for niche programs, like Project and Visio, because they want to avoid a noncompliance charge. After a few years they forget they have 500 licenses for Project, say, but only 200 project managers. Or they discover they are still paying licenses for machines that are no longer in use.

Self-realization: The company's 15 staff members include three co-founders, along with employees who have been there since its inception. It grew from the rib of WRQ, which developed the inventory software. Barker and his colleagues bought the technology and took it to market themselves.

No returns: If Express Metrix cancels 100 unused software licenses, the client will need to wait until the next scheduled payment to realize any savings. Said Barker: "Once you have paid for a contract no software company will give any money back."

What keeps him going: "We still have a good foundation. And a knowledge about what a small company needs to do in order to succeed. After 6 ½ years, we are still excited about running our own company and learn something new every day."

What he learned today: "... How we need to work on a number of things simultaneously to get everything done. Today I had to multitask effectively, because I am taking a red-eye tonight to go see my son graduate from college."

— Charles Bermant

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company


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