1979 was the beginning for C/F Data Systems. We started as a small business intent on making a big difference for our customers. Over the years our company has evolved, but the mission has stayed the same: create integrated construction accounting software with excellent customer service. Step back in time with us and see how it all began.
C/F Data Systems was founded in 1979 by Dennis Coleman, a systems engineer previously employed by IBM. Initially, the company developed custom programs for different industries including law firms, trucking companies and electrical wholesalers. At that time, the company sold “turnkey” systems, providing software as well as hardware.
Later that same year, Coleman recognized a trend toward developing software for specialty subcontractors, one of whom was Broadway Electric, a company C/F Data is proud to still have as a client today.
C/F Data Systems’ first program was called Contractor Management System. The program consisted of five modules that we now refer to as the basic five: Job Cost, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger, Payroll and Accounts Payable. These modules allowed our customers to handle most back-office functions much more efficiently than before.
The company grew at a steady rate in the 1980s, expanding its presence throughout Massachusetts. In 1985, Eric Goldstein was hired to expand the client base even further. At first, C/F Data Systems started marketing in other New England states, attracting a number of contractors in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.
In the mid-eighties, one of our customers asked if we could develop a module for purchase orders. They explained that it was a lot of work writing Purchase Orders by hand and wanted to be able to track the committed costs on the job so they could avoid any last-minute surprises. So, C/F Data Systems created the Purchase Order module.
In 1986 we picked up a new customer on the Cape, Brewer Electric. The only remnant of that company today is Gary Brewer, C/F Data’s own controller and HR manager! Brewer was performing a lot of service work and needed a way to generate a Work Order to give to their techs, with job instructions and directions to the site. They also wanted an easy way to schedule their workers. The first iteration of the Work Order module was written specifically for them.
Not too long after that, we acquired another heavily service-oriented customer, the Max Sontz Company. Sontz was an HVAC contractor that also performed a lot of service work, but unlike Brewer Electric, they needed to track and manage service contracts as well as schedule preventative maintenance.
C/F Data Systems spent many months learning all of the nuances of their requirements and enhanced the Work Order module to include all of this additional functionality, making it one of the best solutions on the market today for managing a commercial service department.
In 1987, C/F Data Systems acquired our first commercial flooring contractor, Circle Floors. Circle needed to track and manage the rolls of carpet that were purchased for jobs, track the dimensions of the roll and track each individual cut that was made. Thus, the first generation of the Roll Inventory module was created.
Almost twenty years later, we would revisit this application to make hundreds of enhancements as we began to focus more intensively on flooring contractors.
In 1990, C/F Data Systems established a second office in Oakbrook Terrace, IL to attract new clients in the greater Chicago area. Very quickly they established their reputation in this market and added clients from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.
Around that same time, as the industry changed, so did C/F Data Systems. Open operating environments like UNIX were becoming prevalent in business computing environments so we converted our programs accordingly while continuing to maintain all of the functionality we had built into our initial product.
In the late 90’s, as networking PC’s together became more stable and was being adopted by more and more companies as a cost-efficient way to run office ap