|Innovation has been a hallmark of both The Reynolds and Reynolds Company and Universal Computer Systems, Inc. (UCS). Reynolds has evolved from a business forms manufacturer into one of the world's leading information management companies serving the automotive retailing industry. UCS has grown from a regional data processing service to a complete dealer services provider, often being the first to introduce many of the dealership software applications available today.
Click here for an overview timeline.
Late 19th Century
1866 - Gardner & Reynolds was founded in
Dayton, Ohio, by Lucius D. Reynolds and his brother-in-law,
James R. Gardner.
1867 - The firm
became Reynolds & Reynolds when Gardner sold his share of
the company to Ira Reynolds, Lucius Reynolds' father.
1869 - Ira Reynolds invented and patented a
removable and reusable hard cover for duplicating sales books
that utilized an insertable carbon leaf.
- The firm was incorporated as The Reynolds and Reynolds Company.
Early 20th Century
1927 - The company began producing standard
business forms and paper-based accounting systems for the nation’s
1939 - The Richard
Hallam Grant family acquired controlling interest in the firm.
The 1960s and 1970s
1960 - Reynolds entered the electronic data
processing (EDP) field when it purchased Controlomat. The company
spends two years pioneering a new system of computerized accounting,
thus becoming the first to offer computer services to auto dealers.
1961 - Reynolds and Reynolds stock
is first sold to the public.
- The firm moves into the Canadian market by purchasing the
Automotive division of Windsor Office Supply at Windsor, Ontario.
1968 - Reynolds enters the data transmission
1970 – Universal Computer
Systems (UCS) is formed as a regional data processing service
bureau, providing local dealerships with weekly reports of their
1971 – Reynolds
announces a service called Vital Information Promptly (VIP),
which was later renamed Vital Information for Management (VIM).
This accounting service collected data online and was the firm's
first EDP system with online capability.
– Reynolds markets VIM II.
– UCS moves to a new location at 3724 Dacoma in Houston. The first VIM III system was installed.
1977 – UCS develops vehicle
service and service department scheduling systems.
1978 – UCS serves as a third party broker
for automotive forms.
1981 - Reyna Financial Corporation is created
to assist customers in purchasing and leasing computers, hardware
1982 - A major new
family of turnkey, in-house computer systems from Reynolds called
VIM/NET was announced for auto dealers and similar markets.
UCS sold its first in-dealership computer system and began to
offer electronic data conversion from the prior system to the
1983 – Reynolds
markets to auto dealers in Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand,
and the United Kingdom. UCS offers instant update cash receipts
1984 – UCS offers
38,000 baud terminals and online purchase order software.
1985 – UCS introduces sales prospect
1986 – UCS
offers fixed assets software and integrated telephone cost control
1987 - Reynolds introduces
the new ERA® family of integrated computer systems for auto
dealers. UCS introduces general manager software and context-specific
1988 - Reynolds achieves
the Fortune 500. UCS provides instant user-defined inquiry screens
and instant daily operating control reports. UCS also begins
to manufacture its own forms.
– UCS launches payroll software with instant check feature
and time clock software.
1990 – UCS opens their headquarters in
Houston, Texas. UCS also introduces a number of innovations,
including software for customer satisfaction, human resource
management, computer assisted instruction and integrated vehicle
bar code inventory.
1991 - Reynolds opens what later becomes
the Technical Assistance Center (TAC), to provide software
and hardware support.
1992 – UCS purchases Ford Dealer
Computer Services (FDCS) and introduces document retrieval
and electronic mail software. UCS installs its first
system in the United Kingdom. UCS launches an incentive
control system in the U.S.
1993 – UCS installs its first system
in Mexico and offers electronic forms software in the U.S.
1994 - Reynolds purchases Law Printing
Company, Inc., to print legal documents for automotive dealers.
UCS introduces service advisor daily work plan and purchase
requisition control software.
– UCS achieves milestone of single client computer system
with over 1,000 users. UCS introduces the POWER workstation
(client/server). UCS begins to offer dealer communications for
multi-franchise dealerships and electronic cash register software.
1996 – UCS is the first provider
of integrated Ford CREDITNET II software and offers integrated
service pricing guide for dealerships.
- Reynolds breaks ground on the first phase of its headquarters
campus at Miami Valley Research Park in Dayton, Ohio. UCS launches
software for adding aftermarkets/chargebacks to closed deals.
1998 – UCS introduces image-based
document retrieval software.
- Reynolds forms the eBusiness Group, a team dedicated to focus
on leveraging the Internet to enhance Reynolds’ position
in the market. Reynolds creates a new electronic Customer Relationship
Management group to deliver technology and Internet-enabled
customer marketing solutions. UCS offers real-time Internet
to DMS integration.
The 21st Century
2000 – UCS announces its Third Party
Interface Program and Application Service Provider (ASP) solution.
2001 - Reynolds introduces ReySource™
that allows automotive retailers to order forms, supplies and
equipment over the Internet. ReySource is recommended to its
members by both the Ford Motor Minority Dealers and General
Motors Minority Dealers Associations. UCS offers integrated
mass marketing via letters and email.
–Reynolds opens Research Park, Phase 2. UCS acquires Kalamazoo
Computer Group, LLC, a European dealer services provider. UCS
begins to offer a completely integrated CRM solution and launches
‘Net Classes to provide dealer training over the Internet.
2003 - Reynolds expands its Web solutions
market share with the acquisition of Third Coast Media. Reynolds
installs its 10,000th ERA dealer management system. Reynolds
opens its Courthouse Square facility and breaks ground on Research
Park, Phase 3.
2004 - Reynolds introduces
WebMakerX and the ERA XT solution. Reynolds launches RU Online,
a Web-based learning management system. UCS releases UCSdealer.com,
the industry’s first Internet executive reporting application.
As part of its existing Internet Business Connection solution,
UCS launches the Internet Parts Order application, which allows
consumers to order parts directly from the dealership’s
2005 – UCS announces that the majority of its customers are
utilizing their LAN-based graphical user interface (GUI) software
2006 –UCS releases
the 23.x release for the POWER Workstation, its most comprehensive
software update ever provided. Reynolds and UCS merge to form
the world’s pre-eminent dealer services provider. The
private company operates under the name The Reynolds and Reynolds
Company and markets its products and services under the Reynolds
brand. Reynolds continues to have its headquarters and principal
operations in Dayton, Ohio, while retaining the former UCS offices
in Houston and College Station, Texas.
2007 - For the fourth consecutive year, Reynolds is recognized by Training magazine as one of the Top 125 companies that delivered exemplary training for its associates. For the third consecutive year, Reynolds receives Platinum Awards in the 2007 Dealers' Choice Awards from Auto Dealer Monthly. The awards are for achievement in the Customer Relationship Management category and the Data Management System category. The Reynolds Certified Interface program surpasses 100 partners.