Intact’s Foundation Was Laid by Four Friends with a Shared Dream
Intact’s beginnings date back to the year 2000 when various scandals that kept the Austrian food industry in suspense and left back insecure consumers and damaged businesses. That was the trigger for four friends to join forces and develop software solutions that helped re-shape the food industry’s take on safety and transparency. Today, Intact has reached far beyond the food sector and is a global player in the TIC market across industries.
Even big things often start small, and so does Intact’s story. The garage in the Silicon Valley is the cellar in Southern Styria, and so Peter Krainer, Hans Fruhmann, Thomas Lorber, and Franz Rauch — all in their early to late twenties — met in the cellar of the Rauch house to change the future together. After weeks of rolling ideas and meticulous market analyses, they founded a joint company in 2001 and started developing their first software solution.
The idea was to develop software to guarantee quality assurance in the food industry. Together with a first customer, a system for the traceability of goods was implemented. “Those were exciting times! Just after the dotcom bubble burst, nobody wanted to invest in internet technologies or companies working with it. Nonetheless, we believed in it and were sure that this would turn out to be the right way,” Peter Krainer explains. “Our first customers were farmers and we had to present our platform via a 56k modem. Miraculously, it always worked out,” says CEO Thomas Lorber recalls with a smile.
The first big project was to implement Intact’s quality management tool at Schirnhofer. At that time, Schirnhofer was one of Austria’s biggest meat producers. It turned out to be a huge success and other customers followed quickly.
“Since 2001, we’ve helped our customers grow their businesses and generate higher profits by streamlining their processes and boosting efficiency. Our experience helps our customers overcome the business challenges facing them. All around the world, companies put their trust in Intact. We are proud of our unmatched integrity in the industry.”
A Striking Idea
At that time, new standards such as EUREPGAP (now GLOBALG.A.P.) entered the market and introduced new reuqirements for farmers and producers. But they were not the only ones struggling. Also inspection & certification bodies were urged to revise their software solutions, many of which had been developed in-house, to be able to offer all the new standards.
agroVet was the first certification body that reached out to Intact in search of a professional solution. “After the first meeting it struck us: at that time there was no professional software solution that helped certification bodies do their job. We immediately realized that this is our market niche,” Franz Rauch remembers.
The development of a software capable of meeting the new, rapidly changing needs required a large investment. Therefore, agroVet established contact with Austria Bio Garantie (ABG), Austria’s leading organic certifier, to jointly invest in a future-proof solution to secure and expand their leading position in the Austrian certification market. With bio.inspecta (Switzerland) and Naturland (Germany), international partners joined the project. Additional funding was raised from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), and in 2002, Intact and its partners founded the e-CERT ID GmbH.
We assess the needs of the TIC industry together with our customers and jointly create optimum SaaS solutions to meet business challenges. 100% reliable, trustworthy, and set to secure and grow their business.
We are leaders in our field that constantly improve and innovate. Our customers benefit from our deep industry knowledge, focus, and creativity. Our products, skills, communication, history, and experience set us apart from the competition.
We create solutions that make businesses, small and large, more effective and efficient. We drive digitalization and increase safety, consistency, and transparency, globally.
ECERT is Created
Hans Fruhmann was to lead the development of ECERT, at the beginning still called ControlNet. The high demand for a comprehensive, specialized software solution became apparent early on. Already during development, more and more new customers came aboard.
With the increasing diversification of Intact’s customers —certification bodies, standard setters, accreditation bodies, manufacturerers, and producers across virtually all industries —Intact decided to take over all shares of the ECERT ID GmbH. That was a neccessary step to advance ECERT and meet the distinct needs of a more and more diversified customer base —including agroVet, ABG, Naturland, and bio.inspecta, who are customers till this day.
Intact’s founders kept believing in their idea and never gave up throughout difficult times. Intact’s founders had to sacrifice a lot in the early days, but the lessons they learned made Intact more successful in the years to come. In all that time, Peter, Hans, Thomas, and Franz stuck together and kept fighting —and it paid off.
We are the leading experts for ERP and management solutions in the Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) industry focusing on all elements of audits, certification, verification, accreditation, and standards management.
We drive innovation and digitalization to make businesses more effective and efficient. Together with our customers, we increase safety, consistency, and transparency, globally.
The Recipe for Success
“At the beginning of our adventure, we imposed two straightforward rules on ourselves: we never hire our wives, and we do not hold political offices,” Thomas explains the four friends’ supposedly simple recipe for success. “Over the years, we got to see each other as family. When we argue, it is never in a way that we can’t look into each other’s eyes anymore afterward,” Franz adds. To this day, it is precisely this cohesion that characterizes Intact. Not only at the management level, but across all levels of the company.
Other pillars of Intact’s success are its diversity, openness, and the ability to transform visions into reality. From the start, Intact’s approach to developing software solutions has been community-driven. For Intact, software development is not a one-way road. It is the feedback and innovative power of the entire Intact Community that allows Intact to build the best solutions for simplifying the work of its customers and mastering the specific challenges facing them.
From Lebring to the World
Intact was lucky to grow quickly from the beginning and soon attract customers outside Austria. The first ones came from Italy, followed by customers from countries such as Germany and Switzerland. In October 2004, Intact decided to establish the first subsidiary in Brüttelen, near Bern, to better serve its Swiss customers.
While business in Europe was already great, Intact was able to start making a name for itself the US and Australian markets, too. In the following years, North America, in particular, became such an important market that a US subsidiary in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was opened in 2011.
Since 2001, customer satisfaction and maximum benefits have been the key to our success. We offer reliable and highly secure Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions in the cloud and on premise, proven by customers around the globe.
Our highly configurable software solutions are unsurpassed in functionality. Our staff’s deep understanding of the TIC industry allows us to meet our customers’ needs. We do not rest on our achievements but continually improve ourselves, our software solutions, and our services.
We communicate openly, transparently, and respectfully with customers and colleagues. We address issues directly, solve problems collaboratively and celebrate achievements.
Our smart solutions are both powerful and elegant. We understand our customers’ specific needs and requirements. Our tools simplify the complexity of their work.
Intact — Ready for the Future
Today, Intact has well over 60 employees and partners in six countries across the globe. With the Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) sector still seeing exceptionally high growth rates, the company will undoubtedly continue its expansion.
Sustainable growth requires solid structures, smooth processes, and a clear vision supported and carried out by the right people. The company’s success must rest on multiple shoulders and not be tied to a single person. With this picture in mind, Intact’s leadership team always sought to diversify the company and set it on solid feet.
In 2018, a consortium of investors led by IMCap identified Intact as the leading software solutions provider in the TIC market and made a major investment, which allowed Intact to initiate important programs for improvement. It also allowed Intact to expand its North American team by hiring industry expert Jake Lewin as the new CEO of Intact US.
ECERT also evolved into the Intact Platform, a fully modular cloud and on-premise SaaS solution that lets customers scale up or down as their needs change. It is unsurpassed in functionality and features, breaks down the complexity of customers’ work, and helps them gain new efficiencies where needed.
Stories about Intact and Its Employees
Milestones of the Intact Success Story
No time to read the entire story? Here are the most important milestones at a glance.
- 2001: Intact is founded
- 2001: First large quality assurance project with the Schirnhofer company
- 2002: First award — “Idea of the year” from magazine “Gewinn”
- 2002: e-CERT IT GmbH is founded together with four associated companies
- 2002: First customer outside Austria (Italy)
- 2003: Second Award – “Constantinus Award”, the Austrian Consulting and IT Prize
- 2004: Intact founds subsidiary in Switzerland
- 2005: Intact takes over all shares of e-CERT IT GmbH
- 2005: Organic Services becomes a sales partner in Germany
- 2005-6: First customers outside Europe are won (USA, Australia)
- 2008: Customers from Spain, France, and Great Britain are added
- 2011: Intact establishes the first subsidiary in the USA (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)
- 2014: ICS becomes the sales partner for the Asia-Pacific market
- 2014-17: New customers in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Colombia, and many more
- 2018: Nomination “USA Biz Award” in the category “Market Footprint”
- 2018: IMCap takes over Intact shares
- 2019: Jake Lewin appointed CEO for Intact’s US Business
- 2019: The Second subsidiary in the USA (Santa Cruz, California) is founded