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In the years following WWII, software development was primarily reserved for solving mathematical equations, while the business of the computer industry concentrated on the development of hardware. It wasn’t until the mid-sixties that companies began placing more emphasis on software design and development for faster and smoother operations of their business applications. AIC was there. On March 29th, 1966, AIC was founded to provide software consulting services to all types of businesses – and our early insights were right on target. Business by business, industry by industry, companies were turning to computerization to maximize their business output by increasing their speed of operations This quickly led to a shortage of programming staff, an absence of specific expertise, and an increase in demand as new users began to recognize the business value of software. AIC was ready to provide assistance. In our first year of operation, our staff of 60 professionals served 27 clients from AIC locations in Minnesota, Washington D.C, California, Alabama, Michigan, and New York. We were off to a great start.
“While our first year of operation was directed toward rapid expansion, our second year aimed at placing Analysts International Corporation in a solid profit position, as stated in our last annual report. This has been accomplished.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in AIC’s Annual Report as of June 30, 1968.)
In 1969, AIC moved to a new headquarters located in Minneapolis. “The growth potential in the software industry continues to be explosive, and the reputation our company has achieved assures that we will attain a major position in this field.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1969.)
This year brought the first recession in the national computer marketplace – a selective recession in a sense, because many of the reductions were tied to military spending for computers and to the development of fewer special purpose systems. Regardless, our management team envisioned the future demand for programming and software development that was expected to increase in excess of 40% per year once the recession was over and the market recovery that was sure to follow. We already had a diversified base of more than 100 clients – a mix of computer manufacturers, banks, hospitals, insurance companies, and manufacturers. And our technical talent continued to grow and evolve. By the end of our fourth year, our analytical and programming services included consulting, systems analysis, programming, documentation, and training.
In our Annual Report for 1971, we again addressed the computer marketplace recession and its continuing impact on computer services companies. In just our sixth year of business, AIC was already positioned as one of the more established and qualified firms of its kind: “Our longevity and stability is a strong competitive factor, for the recession has taken a severe toll in the number of companies operating in the computer service business. Many organizations (both government and business) now require financial and management stability information as part of a proposal and place considerable weight on these factors in making an award.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1971.)
1972 was a year of general economic improvement in the computer industry. After approximately two years of inactivity, our clients began renewing their technology investments. Unlike many other smaller firms in our industry, we survived the recession and were there to help with our trained staff, as envisioned earlier by our Management Team. Our steady growth continued. In 1973, with the recovery in full swing, our revenues grew by 41% over 1972. “The demand for experienced and highly qualified programming personnel at a reasonable rate and backed by a financially solid company is increasing, due simply to the value received by the computer user. Therefore, we view a future of continued profitable growth with confidence.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1973.)
“In July, AIC opened an office in the Greater Seattle area (Bellevue) and received a contract on the first day of activity. We now have offices in Minneapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Toledo, Huntsville, and Seattle. Further geographic expansion is planned.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1974.) Since 1966, a large portion of our client base consisted of technology-oriented corporations. In 1975, these companies were joined by more user-oriented clients in industries such as banking and insurance, retail foods, healthcare, education, and manufacturers of consumer and defense products.
“During the first half of calendar year 1976, AIC opened an office in Los Angeles to provide programming, analysis, and systems support to customers in that area. In addition, a Health and Education Consulting Division was established in the Minneapolis office.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1976.) “Fiscal 1977 was a record year for AIC. A recent Wall Street Journal article included estimates that software purchases will increase from last year’s $840 million to $3.5 billion by 1985. To extend our coverage of this expanding market, we opened an office in St. Louis last June.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1977.)
“Fiscal 1978 was another record year for AIC. As a result of the continuing decrease in the cost of computers, the number of users is increasing significantly. This, in turn, creates an increasing demand for programming services. To meet this demand, AIC is expanding in current locations and establishing new branches. In the last year, AIC has expanded from seven to thirteen branch offices. We appreciate your investment in AIC and will strive with confidence to increase its value.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in a letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1978.) “An important factor in AIC’s ability to expand at this rate is the high caliber and competence of our staff in both managerial capabilities and technical accomplishment. Assuming the demand for computer programming services increases, as is forecast, it is our plan to continue this expansion trend.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1979.)
“As part of a vigorous two-year program of expansion, we have reorganized the management structure from two groups to six regions. Advancement toward larger opportunities could mark this period as the most significant in our history.” (Frederick W. Lang, President, in letter to shareholders, AIC Annual Report as of June 30, 1980.) “The Company’s growth record was noted in two national publications during our fiscal year. Forbes magazine included our company in the ‘Up and Comers Class of ’80’ in an article entitled ‘The Corporate Baby Boom,’ on promising small growth companies. And Inc. magazine, in a recent tabulation, lists AIC International 122 in a composite ranking of the nation’s most rapidly growing companies.” (Analysts International Corporation 1981 Annual Report.)