Salary Matrix tool - update

On the road to a living wage



IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative makes successful efforts to make international trade chains more sustainable. In 2020, IDH released the first version (mvp) of their Salary Matrix tool, with the aim of improving the living conditions of workers worldwide. After taking over in 2021, Us Media is IDH’s partner in the continuous development process of this unique online tool.


Further development and improvement of the digital Salary Matrix
Target audience
IDH internal stakeholders and a large variety of external stakeholders

Sustainable Development Goal

One of the important UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the coming years is ‘decent work & economic growth for all’. In that context, there is an increasing demand for suppliers who demonstrably offer their people a ’living wage’. Various certifications and major buyers (Unilever, Tesco, etc.) are putting pressure on the chain to make it more sustainable. IDH develops programs and tools, seeks funding and brings stakeholders together to achieve these and other sustainability goals.

IDH Salary Matrix platform and tool

The IDH Salary Matrix has been developed to help farmers and cooperations in their efforts to understand all aspects of compensation (salary, bonuses, benefits in kind) and to compare it with the benchmarks for ’living wages’. Users enter the requested data about remuneration, and the system calculates the difference with ’living wages’ (‘Living Wage Gap’).


Taking over development in 2021

In 2021 we started improving the tool (based on the MVP) on all levels: UX, front-end code, Business Logic Application, database setup, data quality and Cloud infrastructure. We gradually rewrote the prototype into a scalable solution, while users could continue to enter all the data without interruption. Us Media supported IDH with prioritization, implementation and scalability; not only technically, but also procedurally and in an advisory capacity.

In 2021 we focused on backend and database. Together with the customer, we devised and delivered a completely new interface. Us Media focused on improving:

  • Accessibility of the dataset (for data analysis).
  • Flow, added value and interactivity of the reports.
  • Customization options for data entry by users.
  • UX and feedback mechanism.

New developments

In 2021, the Salary Matrix tool faced a rapidly growing number of users. IDH also entered into partnerships with several leading certification organizations. A large number of globally operating organizations also joined, thereby growing impact on safeguarding and living wages. Due to the new set-up of the tool, this can be scaled up without any problems.

At the end of 2021, the entire user interface was also redesigned and realized.


2022: flexibility and scalability

In 2022, Us Media will produce additional features, such as the ability to work offline. The reporting options have been further expanded, and additional functionality is being developed for data accessibility and auditing.

In the long run, the tool should be the instrument for many more sectors on the way to living wages. The challenge with this latest release was therefore mainly in the field of flexibility, scalability and the technical realization of the input/wishes from the feedback from hundreds of sources.

Us Media and the SDGs

Many programs that are executed worldwide to achieve SDGs benefit from the support of online tooling. Instruments such as the Salary Matrix tool are indispensable for collecting and analyzing data. They generate reports on the basis of which new policy is drawn up to achieve the SDGs. More and more organizations in all kinds of sectors therefore need such tools. This offers Us Media the opportunity to contribute in many areas to achieving the international sustainability goals.



The tool’s interface is developed with Angular. Angular is a javascript application design framework and development platform for creating efficient and advanced single page applications.

google cloud platform

This platform allows us to focus on the application (and not the infrastructure). The cloud native solution ensures stability, speed (operational and development) and scalability


NestJS is a progressive Node.js framework for developing effective and scalable server-side applications. Us Media is increasingly developing server-side software such as APIs with NestJS.

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