348 Mathew Street, Santa
Clara, CA 95050
I started in the
equipment leasing business twenty-five years ago, calling
from Palo Alto to South San Jose, working out of my car,
utilizing an answering service. In December, 1971, I
opened my own office, sharing a suite first with an
attorney, then a machinery salesman, and eventually had
enough business to employ a part-time secretary, Linda
Bourgeois, who then became full-time. Later she moved
with her family to the Gold Country: Sutter Creek,
My goal was: get
to know our customer on a first name basis and earn their
Please visit us
at 348 Mathew Street in Santa Clara. You can see and
smell our roses, enjoy our flowers, plus join me for a
cup of coffee at "Kits' Rose Bench."
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We are constantly
trying to improve our technology to be able to respond in
a more timely manner, work smarter, become more
efficient, and to provide better service for our
American Leasing is
now fully operational using Vertical Connection System 1.
Our entire lease process from start to finish is now on
eleven network computers. It also integrates with our
Summit National DOS accounting.
System 1 automates
our entire documentation process, and is integrated with
one keystroke. All lease contracts and supporting forms
are in merge fields. We prepare or change any form within
seconds. In addition, these can be sent on our ISDN line
or scanned documents can also be sent electronically.
System 1 also gives
us full "contact management" capabilities,
unlimited credit information from banks and trade
references, plus integrates to our two (send and receive)
network fax programs (and individual computer fax
stations), plus Microsoft Word 7, Excel 6, and several
other software programs.
In addition, we are
able to electronically connect directly to Nations
Credit, plus other sources who will shortly have this
ability. Three of our "lines of credit" accept
our signed contracts by fax through System 1 for quick
funding of leases.
their attitude because it is exactly like ours: finding
ways to improve our service for our customers'
The total integration
of System 1 improves our ability to know where business
is at the touch of a field in one screen. This tracks the
status levels and processing of each lease, as well as
giving graphic reports and retaining history of all
In April of last
year, we installed a "one user" version. Last
June, we went to a ten user system, running parallel in
August, and by November were fully operational on
Workgroup for Windows 3.11. We then went to Windows '95
on our production computers.
In March, we had
Windows '95 functioning on a 32bit ethernet system on
both NT and Novell network servers. Windows '95 is a
superior operating system. It reminds me of the Apple
Plus computer my children learned at St. Andrew's School
in Saratoga, but a lot more sophisticated and with
Windows '95 does not
like DOS programs and really requires a lot of RAM, disk
space, a very fast computer, and particularly prefers
programs specifically written for '95 . There are many
incompatibilities for network use with other programs. To
say the least, a one person home program is a snap;
network use was a major problem for us and I still wonder
if it was worth it (It is!).
Bridget Tesik has
experience with Access, which is the framework of System
1. We are currently "customizing the software on a
stand alone computer. In addition to the unique features
of the program, what attracted us most was Vertical
Connection willingness to listen to user needs, make
changes, and the ability for us to make changes almost as
we did with Telemagic.
is committed to improving their software. They expect to
continue to improve versions. We like their attitude
because it is exactly like ours: finding ways to improve
our service for our customers' benefit.
We are looking
forward to electronically transfering money to banks by
computer rather than Federal Express in order to pay our
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Yes, you are
responsible for sales tax when you sell out-of-state.
Yes, even mail order
items are subject to sales tax, especially if you have a
"nexus" ( a presence in other states ).
This means if you
have a sales office or a warehouse---even one that ís
part of a separate company---this establishes your
presence in that state. Some states, including
California, consider sales reps or independent
contractors as ample nexus to charge sales tax.
And if you service
or honor a warranty in the state, certain states, such as
California considers this "nexus."
The state tax laws
are anything but clear as 45 states that levy do not
the same rules and regulations (Alaska, Delaware,
Montana, Oregon and New Hampshire don't charge any sales
at all ).
Many states also
charge sales tax not only on products, but on a range of
Some charge all
shipping or only if shipped by a third party or not
shipped by a third party. Hawaii charges a use tax in
addition to the sales tax for leases.
Florida requires a
bond tax. Many states also require a sales tax license if
you conduct a certain dollar figure per year ( $100 in
Most importantly, do
NOT rely on what you are told over the telephone. The
rules change frequently, and sometimes the person telling
you the rules is not well informed. The best thing is to
ask for the information in writing,or a "letter
ruling" on a question.
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P. "Jim" DeChaine joins us to take charge of business development
in the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jim is a native of
Portland, Oregon with a Master of Science from the
University of Southern California.
He has been a friend
of Kit Menkin's since Jim was city manager in Belmont,
perhaps the start of Silicon Valley. He left this
position after 13 years to pursue an executive search
business, and then went into sales and marketing. "I
enjoy talking to entrepreneurs and presidents of large
companies," he says. "After years behind the
desk, I like being out, meeting people, and helping their
Jim and his wife
Delain are active outdoors people. Their hobbies are
fishing, traveling, and Jim also finds time to play
tennis and golf.
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