Jack Shea, often referred to as the “godfather of equipment rental software” died recently at the age of 84. John J. Shea Jr., born in Woburn, Mass., was the founder of Solutions by Computer, one of the first companies dedicated to software particularly designed for equipment and tool rental as well as party rental.
As a CPA, Shea started in the rental industry as an executive at Taylor Rental in 1973, pioneering the use of computerization in managing rental stores. After leaving Taylor, he founded Solutions by Computer in 1982. Over the next three and a half decades, Shea carried out his vision of bringing technology to rental businesses of all sizes. After retiring from the business in 2018, Shea was recognized for his accomplishments by being inducted into the American Rental Association's Hall of Fame in 2021.
Shea, a frequent contributor to RER, had a vision of the entire equipment rental industry becoming computerized at a time when rental companies with software systems were few and far between. Shea believed that software systems would make rental companies far more efficient. He believed such systems should not only save rental companies money, but they should be reasonably priced and affordable to all sizes of rental companies. His systems at Solutions by Computers had hundreds of rental company customers.
Solutions was acquired by Constellation Software in 2008. Constellation also acquired Wynne Systems. Solutions was designed for smaller, independent rental companies, while Wynne was primarily used by larger firms. Constellation eventually formed InTempo Software.
Shea received his bachelors’ degree in accounting from Bentley College. He was married to his wife Ann Shea for 50 years until she passed away several years before him. He and his wife were avid travelers and visited dozens of countries together.
Shea is survived by his companion, Pat Kane; his three children – daughter Lisa and her husband Peter; son John “Jack” Jr. and his wife Laura; son Kurt and his wife Donna; and four grandchildren.