History --- of SoftShell Computer Services, Inc.
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Softshell Computer Services was founded in 1985 by Keith and Dan Sheller. Prior to starting SoftShell Keith was/is a farmer and Dan was a software engineer by trade. We first began with custom programming projects using Turbo Pascal. In 1986, we introduced PC MARS accounting software for the IBM PC. It was so successful, that we branched out into other things. We added ag-related programs by other software companies in order to offer a complete line of farm software, livestock, crops, and financial. In January 1987 we entered into an agreement with Team Electronics of Waterloo, IA, to handle certain computer hardware items, primarily the Epson Equity computer and Epson printers. Thus we could offer a complete system for customers. In 1988 we made Apple/Macintosh available with a simple commission arrangement with TEAM.
In the software department, we next added EZEE, a government form printing and membership management program. In 1988 we introduced MAC MARS accounting for the Macintosh. It is similar to PC MARS in accounting practices, but designed for the Macintosh operating system. We also added the Enhancement Package (Enterprise Analysis) and Cashflo (Cash flow Analysis) add on modules for PC MARS. Dan quit his job at Rockwell in Cedar Rapids, IA in 1990 to devote full time to SoftShell. In the following years we added PC Fields, our crop/ soil / harvest field management program and PCMAPAR, our accounts payable and receivable program. We also were also actively involved in custom programming for IFBA for use in the central office and by consultants.
As the business grew, we have adjusted our focus almost entirely on our own software. The hardware and software resale business was "spun off" to Wally Haupt of Wellsburg, IA. Every year we have added more of our own software products. Our primary distributor, and source of publicity is the Iowa Farm Business Accounting, Inc., of Ames, Iowa. In December 1989, SoftShell Computer Services was incorporated to be SoftShell Computer Services, Inc. From the beginning, "Service" has been our emphasis, as we realize that all we really have to offer is our time and talents.
Realizing that Windows based programs were inevitable we began development in that area. Windows programming became less difficult with the introduction of Delphi as a programming tool. In August 1996 we introduced PC MARS lite for Windows, similar to our PC MARS DOS program in many ways, but designed to run under windows. We plan to continue to convert more of our programs to the Windows environment, but will continue to support the DOS programs as long as the demand is out there.
We have sold over 4000 programs to date. We are a small operation. We currently are a 3 person operation (with some family member pitching in when necessary). All of the employees are also involved in farming in one way or another, so we know of what we speak.
This page last updated on 3/23/01