TSD: looking back, moving forward

Innovation has dramatically altered the day-to-day experience of rental and dealership operations worldwide.

Over its 25-year history, TSD has strived to deliver the most advanced products and services to rental companies and dealerships to manage their businesses, increase their market exposure and enhance their profitability.

TSD offers a comprehensive portfolio of software and technology solutions including Windows and Web-based software products to manage rental and loaner fleets, online reservation system management, electronic insurance replacement software programs that allow insurance adjusters to create and deliver assignments to rental companies electronically, as well as high-speed credit card processing solutions.

When TSD began, handwritten contracts were the norm for the vast majority of local and insurance replacement rental car operations. Front counter control, fleet management and calculating vehicle profitability were manual and time consuming activities.

In addition, personal computers contained limited storage capacity and processing power. While large airport rental operations had basic reservation, credit card processing and rental contract automation, this functionality was not widely shared by the off-airport markets and smaller car rental companies.

The Beginning

TSD (The System Distributors) was formed in the mid 1980s and began to develop software that would revolutionize the ability of rental operators to increase accuracy, ensure business controls and maximize profitability.

This product was called THE CONTROLLER Car Rental System. “Other software companies designed their products exclusively to target airport locations. There was a real opportunity to provide a software solution with features designed specifically for the local and insurance replacement markets,” says Charles Grieco, CEO.

Growth in New Markets

As interest for the rental software product began to grow in the late 80s, customers were encouraged to discuss areas of functionality that would increase value to their organizations.

Ford, Chrysler and GM dealerships utilized THE CONTROLLER to manage their rental replacement programs. Franchise and independent used car rental companies grew quickly and served the local and insurance replacement customers with discounted rates. New market segments often required TSD to incorporate new functionality and reporting to address expanded demands.

One of the most dramatic improvements involved a requirement that had been completely unaddressed by airport rental software—the frequent need by insurance replacement operations to split the charges on rental contracts, generate invoices and track accounts receivable for both the insurance company and the customer.

“TSD has always been a business focused on customer service rather than merely a software engineering firm,” says Grieco. “We are in the business of what our customers don’t have. This way of thinking drives us to continue to work hard to exceed our customers’ expectations today, and tomorrow.”

Snappy Car Rental, a 200-location insurance replacement rental organization based in Tulsa, Okla. approached TSD with a need for daily reporting from all of its locations.

The standard pre-Internet solution was cost prohibitive, involving initial installation and monthly fees for dedicated point-to-point telecommunication circuits. To resolve this challenge, TSD developed the Multi Location Interface, which polled each location through dial up lines every evening and delivered summary reporting from each location to the corporate office, eliminating the need for expensive dedicated circuits.

National and International Exposure

By the 90s, TSD had secured a number of endorsements that were important to the company’s early growth—endorsements from companies focused on the local, insurance replacement and airport markets, as well as dealership environments. As TSD grew in the U.S., interested rental companies from abroad began to install TSD solutions.

In the mid 90s, The Hertz Corporation was pursuing local market opportunities and opened pilot locations in the New England area, initially choosing a competitor’s software. Grieco reached out to Hertz with a proposal that offered networked computers, software, training and support at about a dozen stores at no cost for more than a year. Today TSD is a technology and solution provider for Hertz Local Edition stores nationwide.

“All of these endorsements came together to turn this small, one-at-a-time sales effort into something that was getting national and international exposure,” says Eric Peterson, CTO. “That was huge for us.”

CONTINUED:  TSD: looking back, moving forward
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  1. Mark [ September 24, 2013 @ 08:30AM ]

    Our experience was bad and only getting worse. Paid around 5k for program initially, did training, started setting up and found it was not as customizable enough for our business. We were not able to use the system at all and had to cancel. Two years later they are coming for balance of around 4k! When speaking with them 2 years ago they knew it was not able to be used...

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