Founded in Colorado before the dawn of the information and technology age, eBS Mechdata Corporation got its start by providing clients with pieces of key business intelligence.
The company would transform a dealer's raw data into a report of up-to-date information in critical areas like how much inventory to keep on hand or how much expense was allocated to specific goods. But soon business technology began to change, and eBS leaders quickly adapted.
“As technology went into hyper speed, so did (company founding president) Bill Jones and (vice president) Jay Spencer. They began writing integrated accounting and innovative inventory programs,” said Kim Prevost, director of business development for eBS.
Today, the company provides computing solutions for equipment dealers and distributors worldwide. eBS specializes in the construction, agricultural, lift truck and material handling sectors, according to the business website. The eBS program Next for Windows SQL also handles light manufacturing: such as field service vehicles for Aspen
Following the company's inception, Jones and Spencer developed a series of new programs designed to work logically with the flow of business. In the 1980s, eBS launched a solution that included real-time accounting, Next Generation. The program featured a distinctively blue screens compared to the green screens in other software of the era.
By the 1990s, when computers were becoming mainstream in the business world, eBS launched a new system - Next for Windows on the UNIX platform featuring more memory and virtual space. It allowed equipment dealers to get work done as much as 80 percent faster than in the past.
In March of 2007, eBS unveiled technology that allowed dealers to store information without the previous considerable archive and memory limitations. Now, with eBS Next for Windows SQL, dealers could gather information even faster.
Ron Rogers became company presidency in 2008 and began moving eBS at “warp speed” in addition to seeking out the best possible industry partners, according to Prevost.
Now, a half a century after the company's start, the information technology world has changed beyond recognition and eBS has grown and adapted with the rapid changes. The company offers both in-house and Cloud access to its Next for Windows SQL package. In addition, eBS now provides a new Mobile Suite that currently offers a Customer Self-Service Portal (CSSP) and a Customer Relationship Management tool, (CRM). These Mobile Apps are available on both iOS and Android formats as well as via the web.
Key throughout eBS' history has been having real data from the field, according to Prevost. It “has been what has truly made the difference in eBS' solutions throughout its history,” she said.
The largest share of eBS clients are concentrated in North America, Australia and New Zealand. The company has Cloud backups on the East Coast, London and in Sydney, Australia. eBS is headquartered in Houston and is currently setting up an Australian location that will handle support calls, sales and some training.
“But that is not our only area of expansion. Interest from a series of South American dealers – a concentration in Panama – is also looking very promising,” said Prevost, who said the company continues to seek out new clients worldwide. eBS clients range in size from small to some dealers with as many as 500 users.
Many have worked with eBS for a long time, 15 percent for over a decade and a half. The company's oldest customer is now in its 40th year with eBS.
“We are built of hard working, nose-to-the-grindstone individuals,” Prevost said. “We strive to create the best customer experience, with the highest quality product, at a decent price and provide the best customer service.”
Customer loyalty is the highest form of flattery in our ever-changing world.”
And what will the next 50 years bring?
“We are headed toward even more mobility and less ties to the desk,” said Prevost, who said dealers are looking for the best and fastest ways to serve customers.
“We are ready to take them there with e-commerce solutions for their parts and equipment that can be customized to their preference and branded to their company.”
The future will hold faster and easier methods of distributing information like diagnostics and meter readings, according to Prevost. She said companies will be able to feed that information into the system regarding those areas “at the click of a button or flash of a light.”
Prevost believes by the end of the next half a century that eBS, already a cornerstone of the equipment software industry, may be revolutionizing entirely new components within the industries it serves.
“We did start out as just a little data reporting station after all,” Prevost said.
Eileen Schmidt is a freelance writer and journalist based in the Greater Milwaukee area. She has written for print and online publications for the past 12 years. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit eileenmozinskischmidt.wordpress.com to contact Eileen.