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Software companies target tire dealers: Wide variety of programs and prices are available to fit needs and budgets

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Software companies target tire dealers: Wide variety of programs and prices are available to fit needs and budgets

Whether it's the single-location tire dealer who just wants "to have the ability to change tire costs and sale prices on the same screen," or the multi-store dealer who wants "the ability to have third party interfaces 24/7 with my suppliers," there are computer software companies working non-stop to fill this industry's needs and desires. And with the wide variety of prices and methods of paying, there are products to fit any tire dealer's budget.

MTD asked software suppliers in the industry about their businesses and to provide you with a concise explanation of how their products help make your sales transactions quicker and easier, your customer tracking painless and your record keeping secure with the touch of a computer key or two. Here are their responses:

American Business Management Systems Inc.:

895 N. Main St., Logan, UT 84321

Phone: (877) 470-2267

Fax: (435) 753-5705

Contact: Clint Nicholls, pres.

Web site: www.tireguru.net

Number of years in business: 12

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 283

Products: Total Business Management System Unix-based software and American Way Business Management System Windows-based software. (Both are full business management systems that include POS, inventory control, accounts receivable/payable, payroll, general ledger, marketing and reporting modules and cost $4,995.) Tire Guru is an e-commerce system devoted to the automotive industry. In addition to conducting business over the Internet (wholesalers to retailers as well as retailers to customers), Tire Guru provides an on-line catalog at your disposal 24/7. It provides business-critical information at all times, including specifications such as manufacturer item number, brand, size, series, rim width, sidewall, ply, load index, speed rating, tread wear, traction, temperature, tread depth, section width and height. It also has features, benefits and pictures of the products on virtually every tire in the industry.

Price range: Costs depend on the segment of the market, i.e. wholesalers selling to retailers, retailers selling to retail customers or a combination of relationships. Call for details and quotes.

Andreoli & Associates:

18525-D7 Statesville Rd., Cornelius, NC 28031

Phone: (800) 438-4487, ext. 32

Fax: (704) 895-2985

Contact: Mike Andreoli, pres.; Don Rutherford, sls.

Web site: www.aasys.com

Number of years in business: 16

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Undisclosed

Products: Andreoli & Associates provides point-of-sale and business management software for the tire and auto service industry, connectivity software for wholesalers, key chain I.D. tags for retailers and application hosting services.

Price range: HITS First Step -- $300; HITS 2000 -- $1,750 and up; HITS Multi-store -- $3,495 and up; all others -- call for quotes.

ASA Tire Systems:

615 Amherst St., Nashua, NH 03063

Phone: (603) 889-8700

Fax: (603) 880-3438

Contact: David Duchesne, sls. mgr.

Web site: www.asatire.com

Number of years in business: 14

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 3,500 locations

Products: ASA Tire Systems develops comprehensive systems of software tools geared to helping independent tire dealers and retreaders manage all facets of their businesses. Comprised of a series of specialized interfaced modules, ASA systems can be tailored to suit the e-commerce, order processing, accounting and business needs of any size retail, wholesale or retread tire operation. The systems will help single-store or multi-location operations with "maximizing your profit potential, streamlining operations and providing superb customer service," says the company. Products include TireMax, TirePro, VisionPro Parts & Labor Guide and eCommerce.

Price range: Call for a quote.

AutoWare Technologies LLC:

17226 PCB Pkwy., Suite 580, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Phone: (850) 230-9695

Fax: (734) 661-0582

Contact: Perry Magness, COO

Web site: www.autowaretech.com

Number of years in business: SoftWheels has been on the market since 1995.

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: "Thousands"

Products: SoftWheels and SoftWheels Online are the applications that allow prospective custom wheel customers to visually preview how any wheel will look on their particular automobiles before the wheels are actually installed. Databases of more than 1,200 automobiles, 3,500 wheel styles representing 216 brands and 700 tires from more than 35 manufacturers are supplied with the program. TreadWare is a powerful new software tool that allows the user to search for tires based on either tire size, rim size or by individual vehicle. "TreadWare has the most powerful plus-size calculator available," says the company. "TreadWare takes the guesswork out of selling tires and will instantly turn every employee into an expert tire salesman."

Price range: $25 and up.

CarParts Technologies Inc. (CPT):

32122 Camino Capistrano, Suite 100, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Phone: (949) 488-8860, ext. 139

Fax: (949) 203-6197

Contact: Lanny Tucker, sr. v.p. of sls. (310) 426-3469

Web site: www.carpartstechnologies.com

Number of years in business: Five

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: "More than 3,000 leading aftermarket businesses including tier one manufacturers, program groups, warehouse distributors, tire and service chains and independent installers."

Products: CarParts Technologies is a provider of open, business automation and distribution channel e-commerce systems for the automotive aftermarket supply chain. The CPT e-commerce platform enables efficient on-line trading, integration and collaboration between distribution channels, buyers, suppliers and commerce service providers. Intelligent Trading technology allows participants within the channel to conduct business electronically without leaving their POS systems and invoking a separate application. "CPT's business automation systems allow companies to generate new sales, operate more cost efficiently, accelerate inventory turns and maintain stronger relationships with suppliers and trading partners," says the company.

Price range: Call for a quote.

Compu-Power Inc.:

9017 Red Branch Rd., Suite 106, Columbia, MD 21045-2106

Phone: (410) 964-2106

Fax: (410) 964-1408

Contact: Ron Black, pres.

Web site: www.compu-powr.com

Number of years in business: 23

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Hundreds of tire dealer locations

Products: The TRACS Tire Management system automates hundreds of tire dealer locations providing inventory control, wholesale, retail and commercial point of sale, customer accounts receivable, accounts payable, purchasing, and all back office functions including general ledger and payroll. Compu-Power's systems offer current technology to use wireless connectivity of mobile display devices for selling outside on the lot, entering and tracking service data in the bays, DOT tracking and VIN scanning. Barcode and Radio Frequency ID scanning (RFID) add efficiency and accuracy to operations, says the company. Integrated mobile sales force automation tools increase efficiency and add control.

Price range: TRACS is available in a complete system featuring IBM RS/6000 computers and the IBM AIX (Unix) operating system, installation, training, consulting and implementation services at prices of $30,000 and up. Compu-Power also offers the TRACS software in the Application Hosting model that allows the client to pay for the use of the system, which runs in a managed, hosted environment at the company's location; the client connects to this system via the Internet.

Computer Guys:

2001 S. Valley Dr., Las Cruces, NM 88005

Phone: (505) 523-7513

Fax: (505) 523-5841

Contact: Bill Adams, pres.

Web site: www.adamsacc.com/cghome.htm

Number of years in business: 17

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Undisclosed

Products: ROS2000 is a Windows-based shop management program built with the company's exclusive, ultra-fast, Mouseless Information Entry (MIE) system. "Only ROS2000 has the ability to complete an invoice (and other tasks) at the point-of-sale so quickly and efficiently without requiring the user to fumble for a mouse or other pointing devise," says the company. "Our user interface is so simple virtually no training is required, and even two-finger typists will find using ROS2000 easy and intuitive."

Price range: $1,995. "ROS2000's purchase price includes a free year of unlimited support. Ask for details and low pricing of our Competitive Upgrade Program," adds the company.

DMS Systems Corp.:

PO Box 8049, Rocky Mount, NC 27804

Phone: (252) 985-2500

Fax: (252) 985-1900

Contact: Grady Davis, pres.

Web site: www.dms-systems.com

Number of years in business: 15

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Undisclosed

Products: DMS Systems Corp. is a supplier of integrated, e-commerce supply chain solutions for automotive, heavy-duty truck and marine parts distributors in the United States and internationally. DMS field-proven solutions enable distributors to efficiently manage mission-critical operations for multiple sales locations including POS/order entry, inventory and financial management functions, says the company. In addition to IBM AS/400 host-based applications, DMS develops and manages custom e-commerce Internet Web sites for its distributors and their customers.

Price range: $7,500 to $150,000.

InfoTouch Corp. (formerly Touch Industries Inc.):

1760 Century Circle, Suite 3, Atlanta, GA 30345

Phone: (404) 315-8500 or (800) 678-8682

Fax: (404) 315-8595

Contact: Todd Renner, v.p. sls. & mktg.

Web site: www.infotouch.com

Number of years in business: 16

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 50-plus

Products: InfoTouch 2000 Retail Suite Windows touch screen POS software provides complete control over a single store or nationwide chain. It includes an intuitive graphic touch screen for point-of-sale. The system's inventory management allows you to set up and maintain item level details of inventory. It also offers support for serialized inventory, kits and parts explosion and suggestive sales. There are nine price levels for each item (and 10 different vendor-sourcing options). InfoTouch supports CRM functionality like Customer Loyalty or Frequent Shopper pricing/promotions through discreet pricing levels based on customer sales data, an A/R program for retailers requiring customer charges on account, mailing statements and labels, and instant access to item level transaction data by customer at the POS. The employee module supports sophisticated commission and bonuses, tracking hours worked by various job codes, labor scheduling by employee work availability, and general employee information required for HR and payroll. Purchase orders are integrated in the system. There are 100+ standard reports, and retailers are able to create custom reports with simple, industry standard tools.

Price range: Single store pricing starts at $1,600.

IPM Software:

501 N. Third St., Wilmington, NC 28401

Phone: (910) 362-1106 or (888) 244-7905

Fax: (801) 640-4489

Contact: Bill Bohannon, sls. & mktg. mgr.

Web site: www.ipmsoftware.com

Number of years in business: 10

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Undisclosed

Products: A full-service software company specializing in automotive repair shop management software (DealerTrax) with a parts and labor database and tire cataloging.

Price range: Starts at $3,500.

JMK Computerized Tire Dealer Information Systems:

703 S. Glover Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

Phone: (217) 384-8891

Fax: (217) 384-8099

Contact: James Krakower, pres.

Web site: www.jmktdis.com

Number of years in business: 23

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 100-plus

Products: Specialized tire/service industry software database and management information, with emphasis on data conversion from existing systems and multi-location operations.

Price range: "The equivalent to hiring a $5/hour employee or less, for just the hours of operation," says JMK.

MaddenCo Inc.:

4847 E. Virginia, Suite G, Evansville, IN 47715

Phone: (812) 474-6245

Fax: (812) 474-6254

Contact: Tom Yeager, mktg. mgr.

Web site: www.maddenco.com

Number of years in business: 25

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: More than 1,000 locations

Products: MaddenCo markets and supports a comprehensive business system for the independent tire dealer. MaddenCo offers software applications designed specifically to fit the requirements of the tire industry and the AS/400 of IBM to run it on. Whatever the type of tire business, whether retail, wholesale, commercial or retreading, MaddenCo has the solution, says the company. MaddenCo is also an Application Solution Provider (ASP) that will host the hardware and make use of the Internet to provide communications. "Celebrating 25 years as a tire dealer software supplier, MaddenCo has the experience and expertise to arrive at the proper mix of services to meet the need," says the company.

Price range: Starts as low as $270 per month

MyRepairShop Inc.:

1233 West Loop S, Suite 1010, Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (877) 804-5510

Fax: (713) 580-7999

Contact: Gary Bean, v.p.

Web site: www.myrepairshop.com

Number of years in business: Two

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Undisclosed

Products: The MyRepairShop service center program contains feature-rich components to help independent shops train their personnel, obtain diagnostic assistance, better communicate with vehicle owners and promote their businesses, says the company. It provides a Web-based network connecting the shop, suppliers and customers. SHOPSTAR software provides connectivity to most parts supplier systems and integrates product/price information into repair estimates and work orders. "MyRepairShop features an extensive menu offering of systems designed to help attract, satisfy and retain greater numbers of service customers, including a customized shop Web page, e-mail customer communications, direct mail advertising, nationwide warranty and image-building materials."

Price range: Varies depending upon selection of menu-based components.

PACE Software Co.:

5305 Manatee Ave. W., #5001, Brandenton, FL 34209

Phone: (941) 742-6400

Fax: (941) 742-6400

Contact: Rick Spahn, pres.

Web site: www.pacesoftware.com

Number of years in business: 17

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 25-plus tire dealers

Products: PACE Software Systems is a consulting firm started in 1985. It provides consulting services in the Unix community. The company also provides an accounting/inventory control software package entitled PACE.

Price range: Starts at $3,495.

Palmer Products:

13 High Mesa Pl., Richardson, TX 75080

Phone: (800) 473-5198

Fax: (972) 234-0333

Contact: Greg Palmer, pres.

Web site: www.palmer-products.com

Number of years in business: 14

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Undisclosed

Products: Auto Repair Boss complete shop management software package.

Price range: Starts at $500.

QBC Systems Inc.:

25 Hazelwood Dr., Buffalo, NY 14228

Phone: (716) 691-5201

Fax: (716) 691-3390

Contact: Patrick McGovern, pres.

Web sites: www.tireserv.com and www.qbc.com

Number of years in business: 24

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 15

Products: TireServ offers a comprehensive solution for point-of-sale, distribution, accounting and management of your business, with robust inventory control, flexible pricing rules, POS/order and work order processing and vehicle history management, says the company. Created for wholesale/retail tire and automotive service centers, TireServ has been designed as a tool to help salespeople become big producers and owners control and manage inventory. It also assists counter and back office personnel in becoming more productive and provides management with timely and accurate information in support of strategic business planning and decisions, the company adds.

Price range: Starts at $6,850 for five-user license.

Quality Design Systems Inc. (QDS):

390 E. Corporate Dr., Meridian, ID 83642

Phone: (208) 855-0781 or (800) 657-6409

Fax: (208) 361-0159

Contact: Brian Critchfield, global sls. and mktg. mgr

Web site: www.qds-solutions.com

Number of years in business: 15

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 1,200

Products: Quality Design Systems (QDS) specializes in business management solutions for the tire and automotive industry. Integrating partnerships in hardware, software and services with in-house consulting, customer training, software and technical support, customer-specific business management systems are delivered to customers ranging in size from single-store dealers to enterprise-wide operations, says the company. QDS's product line includes QDS TireMaster, a point-of-sale, accounting and inventory management program, RoadWare, RoadWarrior and QDS Business Lab, a training program designed to provide comprehensive education and learning tools to business owners and operators.

Price range: $1,450 subscription fee.

Real-Time Labor Guide:

PO Box 21728, Tampa, FL 33622-1728

Phone: (800) 487-0279

Fax: (888) 503-0111

Contact: Vern Dowell, pres.

Web sites: www.labortimes.com and www.laborguide.net

Number of years in business: 13

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 3,500

Products: Real-Time Labor Guide and Automotive Expert software systems, which include complete car and truck labor costs covering 1974-2003 vehicles, including medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The company has two programs to choose from -- a straight electronic labor guide or shop management.

Price range: $295 - $495.

TCS Software (Tire Company Solution):

120 W. Jackson St., Cookeville, TN 38501

Phone: (888) 449-8473

Fax: (931) 520-1416

Contact: Randy Dalton, natl. account mgr.

Web site: www.tcstire.com

Number of years in business: 13

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Undisclosed

Products: The Tire Company Solution fully integrated point-of-sale, inventory management and accounting system for tire dealers and automotive service companies. The software includes estimating, quotes, work orders, inventory control, price matrices, security features, package quotes, customer history, accounts payable/receivable and more. "This product is jam-packed with hundreds of reports to better serve the dealer," says TCS. "Our unique method of security protects the system while it conveniently records employee identification with every transaction, providing a complete audit trail. This system runs under the Windows operating system and is network-capable at no extra charge. The newly released 6.0 version offers many new enhancements, including multi-site capabilities operating in real time."

Price range: Leasing options are available for as little as $177 a month, the company says.

Tire Point Software:

3201 Newell Dr., Granite City, IL 62040

Phone: (800) 452-3201

Fax: (618) 452-3201

Contact: Jim McDonnell, v.p. mktg.

Web site: www.tirepoint.com

Number of years in business: 18

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: 1,500

Product: Computer software, hardware and networking for tire dealers using touch screen technology.

Price range: Starts at $895.

United Software and Design:

22 Durham St., Belfast, ME 04915

Phone: (207) 338-6238

Fax: (419) 791-6176

Contact: Leonard Schneider, pres.

Web site: www.aaow.com/usd

Number of years in business: 22 years

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: Undisclosed

Products: Tirewiz Windows XT-compatible management hardware/software systems for tire dealers. They include point-of-sale, integrated accounting and inventory, and computer training. The Data-Storm satellite dish system for Internet access on the road also is available.

Price range: Starts at $1,000.

And to protect your investment:

Protect Keyboard Covers:

2216 N. 640 W., West Bountiful, UT 84087

Phone: (801) 295-7739

Fax: (801) 295-7786

Contact: Gil Workman, pres.

Web site: www.protectcovers.com

Number of years in business: 14

Number of tire dealers currently using your product: More than 14,000 locations

Products: Custom PC keyboard covers that remain in place during keyboard use. Keeps dust, oil, grease and dirty hands off the keyboard and keeps the keyboard in original condition.

Price range: $14.95 each, volume discounts available.

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