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Client success contributes to RMI 35 year longevity
Eileen Schmidt
Eileen Schmidt

In over three decades of operation, RMI Corporation has grown from a computer rental provider to a full service business software developer whose products and services are utilized by 6,000-some global users.

The idea for the Avon, Connecticut-based business of RMI began in 1983, when Paul R. Chapdelaine formed a business offering accounting solutions to mid-market companies. 

A year later, Chapdelaine expanded the business into computer rentals.

"RMI purchased three computers for a class and decided to run an ad with an offer to rent them upon completion of the class," says a biographical article of the business the company website. "Since no one was renting computers for the day, week or month at the time, our ad was received with tremendous success and RMI soon had an inventory in excess of 200 computers." It was this arm of the business that laid the groundwork for what was to come, as RMI leaders found the expanded inventory of rented computers was in need of a tracking and order processing system. 

The company built Rental ADVANTAGE to automate the operation, and in the early 1990s, RMI licensed a copy of RealWorld/Rental ADVANTAGE and sold copies to computer rental shops and a New Jersey-based trailer rental company. This was the start of RMI's work in the equipment rental industry.

By 1996, the company had made the full switch to software provider with the product RMI ADVANTAGE Solution. The product was soon after named the "Industry Solution" for Microsoft Corporation for the equipment, rental, sales and service industry and "ISV Partner of the Year" and "Gold Certified Partner" standing in 2004. The partner standing still holds today.

By 2005, RMI's clients ranged from mid-size to large corporations within the equipment rental, sales and service industry and included over 3,000 concurrent users.

Still, it was the release of ADVANTAGE Live that the company says "revolutionized" the industry. It was the first company to release and market this type of industry solution in the cloud environment in the U.S., according to RMI. 

"By offering this as an alternative to on-premise purchases, RMI fulfills market demands to control IT costs with cutting edge business productivity tools accessible anytime, anywhere," the site says. 

By 2010, RMI had gone “all-in” with cloud computing as company leaders noted this was fast becoming “the preferred way of doing business. The following year saw the release of mobile, allowing users to use the ADVANTAGE system from any web browser enabled device. 

Today, RMI reports ADVANTAGE is in use by over 6,000 users and the company works to ensure the fulfillment of its promise to deliver quarterly updates and a full system upgrade for all cloud customers without additional cost.

The business asserts that its ADVANTAGE software is a way to handling rapidly changing business environments and standards. “With markets booming and the rentals industry expected to experience growth, it is important to consider how you will meet increased demand and efficiency” in the year ahead, says a posting on RMI’s blog ahead of the start of the 2018 business year.

The cloud-based system is designed to meet increased demand and keep teams productive even while on the road, the piece says. 

The key to the transformation, endurance, and achievement of RMI over 35 years, according to the business, has been the combined strength of Microsoft and RMI’s industry specific focus.

“Our success relies on the success of our clients. New and improved software functionality can and will translate directly into increased profit for our clients,” the website says. 

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 or visit to contact Eileen.