COOKEVILLE, Tenn.—A few years ago, a tire dealer approached computer software developer TCS Technologies L.L.C. to create a computerized business system.
Mike Neyman, director of software development for Cookeville-based TCS, said his firm had a simple front-counter system, but the dealership wanted something more comprehensive.
TCS determined it would be too costly to develop this system, so it helped the dealership look for software from another source.
"We couldn't find anything that really satisfied (the tire dealer) or that we were comfortable recommending," Mr. Neyman said.
Eventually, TCS decided to develop a software package for this customer—with the agreement that TCS also could market the finished product to other dealerships.
The Tire Company Solution has been on the market for about three years and is used by fewer than 100 dealerships nationwide, Mr. Neyman said.
About six months after it introduced the software, TCS temporarily suspended active marketing to upgrade the product based on dealers' experiences.
"We're the new kid on the block—we're learning," Mr. Neyman said.
Founded in 1988, TCS has 30 employees, including nine in software development. TCS creates and markets software products for manufacturers, health industry clients and even churches. A TCS software package for youth ministers is used in "thousands and thousands of churches," Mr. Neyman said.
TCS no longer produces customized software for specific clients, he said; now all products are made for resale.
"What's unique about the tire industry is the point-of-sale," he said. The need to do things like access customer vehicle histories and deal with a large number of SKUs requires a special program.
Mr. Neyman said the product is made for a variety of dealerships,"from the store that's fed up with doing it with paper and pencil and ready to move up to a computer, to the mid-sized operation that's maybe always been on computer."
The Tire Company Solution software has two distinct programs. The Front Counter provides quotes, work orders and invoices quickly, handles payments and gives easy access to customer vehicle histories and inventory.
The Office Manager tracks vendor orders and bills, and handles other management functions like inventory maintenance and daily and other period reporting.
Mr. Neyman said the software—easy to use and designed for Windows-based computers—minimizes the amount of accounting and system maintenance the user must do.
"The end result is: We can give a dealer a fairly complete financial statement without having to do any bookkeeping," he said. For example, when a dealer writes an invoice at the front counter, the entries go into the company's books automatically.
TCS has been cautious about moving into the tire-dealer market and, Mr. Neyman said, has tried to"get more savvy users that can give us a more accurate critique of the product."
TCS released the latest version of Tire Company Solution in March. "We expect to turn a major corner with this release," he said.
Sample forms of Tire Company Solution may be seen on the company's Web site: www.tcstire.com.
For further information, call TCS at: (888) 449-8473 (toll-free), or (931) 526-8922. Fax: (931) 526-8970.