Founder of The Edge
Dick Abbott started his programming career in 1966 working for Sikorsky Aircraft. In 1971 he joined a startup that developed solutions for the financial sector. The startup was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet in 1976. Not long after the acquisition, Dick chose to launch a career as a freelance programmer that lasted 18 years.
He invested in his first business in 1974 opening an optical store that his son still operates to this day. Looking for a new opportunity, a friend suggested jewelry and, in 1976, Dick started MJ Thomas Jewelers, the same store still run by his children today.
Though successful, Dick saw opportunity for improvement. In 1987 he wrote software to manage his inventory and build a customer database. The results were profound. By moving from forecast purchasing to a monthly buying cycle based on inventory analysis, he was able to buy smarter and, with the same investment, turn a much greater profit.
Catching wind of his success, Dick began to receive calls from other jewelry stores asking to see his software. And so “The Jeweler” was launched in 1989. By the late-1990s, over 1,100 copies were sold and a homebrew program became a successful company with the incorporation of Integrated Business Systems, later to become IBIS.
In 2002 Abbott Jewelry Systems was born to build an even better solution on a state-of-the-art platform. In 2004 the Edge was launched and has gone on to become the industry leader in jewelry store management solutions installed in nearly 4,000 locations.