The History of AutoShims
In 1986, The Ultimate corporation was building computers capable of running several hundred users on a single computer system, but did not have an application software product to fit the Automotive Aftermarket. A wholly owned subsidiary of Ultimate (Ultimate Data Systems) developed a product called SHIMS (Supply House Information Management System) for the wholesale plumbing and electrical marketplace. SHIMS allowed these distributors to manage multiple locations on a single computer and was designed specifically for that vertical market. Since the application was based on the PICK operating system, changes to the application software to meet customer specific requirements were relatively simple and soon made SHIMS the leading software application for the wholesale HVAC, plumbing and electrical distributors.
The search for other vertical markets in distribution led to the Automotive aftermarket. Ultimate quickly identified the need to provide a similar solution for large WD’s and multi-location Jobbers, and with SHIMS as a powerful foundation we began the development of AutoSHIMS. We worked with many large WD’s and Jobbers that were being held back from growing their businesses because there was no single computer solution to grow with them. Many of these large distributors and jobbers could only add locations by adding more computer systems which would update during an end-of-day job stream with no real-time visibility to branch locations. As the industry moved to more of a two-step distribution model, AutoSHIMS quickly became the solution of choice for growing aftermarket distributors.
With a single system solution capable of running all locations and the visibility of real-time inventory across all locations there was no other system that came close to its capabilities. In 1992 Triad Systems Corporation acquired AutoSHIMS from The Ultimate Corporation. The primary reason for the acquisition was to integrate Triads electronic parts catalog with the AutoSHIMS application and expand their subscription based catalog to this large customer base. As Triad struggled to develop its own solution for the growing aftermarket it soon realized that AutoSHIMS was the product the marketplace needed. AutoSHIMS was renamed simply ‘Ultimate’ by Triad and soon became their top selling solution for the large account and warehouse division. There are many factors that have contributed to the success of the Ultimate product over the years, but the one that stands out above all others are the people that helped design, develop, install and train our customers. The level of dedication to understanding the needs of the customer and providing solutions that fit exactly what their needs are make Ultimate the most powerful solution for the aftermarket today.
While several new companies have introduced software solutions for the aftermarket distributor, none offer the deep functionality and most importantly the flexibility that Ultimate offers. Like any software company today, continuing to develop applications to insure customers receive the maximum benefit from their solution is what DCS does for our customers everyday.