SAN FRANCISCO -- IBID, Inc. and IRT, Inc.—both leading suppliers of point of sales inventory management systems to
booksellers—announced the merger of the two companies today.
IBID, Inc., based in San Francisco, is the market leader in bookstore system sales,
with particular focus on independent general trade and Christian bookstores and small- to medium-sized chains. IBID was established in 1983 as a privately held corporation and that develops, sells and supports computer
systems for booksellers. IBID has twelve employees: there are over 1,500 installations of the IBID System worldwide.
IRT, Inc., also a privately held corporation, is a computer service company with offices
in Wexford and Hermitage, Pennsylvania. For more than 16 years, IRT has provided programming and software development services to over 500 multi-user installations. IRT sells and supports its bookstore management system
Information Partner as well as other niche products for the publishing industry. IRT also provides sophisticated customized solutions for large regional and national chain store accounts. IRT is the developer of
STATS, the web based sales reporting project, undertaken in cooperation with ECPA.
The seeds for this merger were planted last winter when IRT and IBID began discussing a partnership to development a Web-based
point-of-sales program for bookstores. Recognizing each company's experience in the marketplace, developmental expertise and commitment to new technology, IRT president Dave Walton and IBID president Richard Sloan began
meeting to consider how best to pool their companies' resources to develop a next-generation product.
As discussions continued, both parties agreed they could maximize all aspects of their business by joining
forces. "It became more than just a question of developing a new product together," says Walton. "We began to see a wide range of efficiencies—ways that we could tap each other's strengths to support our existing
customer bases as well." Although mergers often signal a consolidation of staff, IBID and IRT expect no changes in staffing levels. On the contrary, says Sloan, "We both run pretty lean organizations and
this merger provides a great way to be more efficient and offer a deeper bench at the same time—in support, in ongoing development of existing programs and in our work on a next-generation system."
merged company is a privately held corporation. IBID will maintain its offices in San Francisco, and IRT keep its offices in Pennsylvania. In terms of the organizational structure, the key players will remain the same,
although some of the roles will change. Dave Walton assumes the position of chief executive officer and Richard Sloan will become chief technology officer, overseeing the development of the new system. Gail Harriman
will continue as company vice president.
"I am very excited about the merger," says Harriman. "It will enable us to move more quickly into the future of Web-based technology. And there are many pluses
for our customers already using IBID or Information Partner. Each of us now has a new set of tools, ideas and programs to draw from as we try to provide computer solutions to bookstores."
continues Harriman, "is that our companies are similar in spirit. Both companies have longtime staff members with extensive bookselling experience and strong technical skills who know how to work hard in an
informal environment. It's a great match."