J M Smith Corporation began as a small
business, when James M. Smith opened a pharmacy in Asheville, North Carolina,
in 1925. Over the next two decades, Smith established 16 other pharmacies
throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. He saw that independent pharmacies
would benefit from a warehouse for joint purchasing, and in the 1940s Smith
sold his interest in all of the stores to establish Smith
Drug Company in Spartanburg.
Today, Smith Drug still serves community pharmacies in the Carolinas and
Georgia, as well as major hospitals and college health centers in the region.
James Smith, Jr. (Jim) had a pharmacy background
like his father, and his degree in electrical engineering helped him to
lead the company’s expansion into data processing and computer services.
After computerizing Smith Drug Company in 1959, Smith established Smith
Data Processing a
few years later. Originally providing batch processing services to government
and businesses, Smith Data Processing is now the premier supplier of data
processing systems and services to local government agencies--law enforcement
departments, judicial offices, municipal utilities, and other offices--in
South Carolina. Smith Data Processing also provides data processing forms
and supplies to many of the pharmacy customers from the QS/1 division.
Jim Smith’s interest in computers
and in pharmacy led him and a handful of programmers working for Smith
Data Processing to begin, in 1977, to develop a computer system to help
pharmacists manage their businesses. The QS/1 Pharmacy System helped pharmacists
maintain customer records, manage paperwork required by government regulations,
and even print labels for medicine vials. QS/1
Data Systems became a separate
division in J M Smith Corporation in 1990 and has used its expertise to
develop computer systems for home medical equipment providers, institutional
pharmacies, and the point-of-sale side of pharmacy business.
Though Jim Smith’s untimely death
in 1985 prevented him from seeing the continued expansion of J M Smith
Corp., his brother Henry Dale Smith led the company through the creation
of the fourth division, Smith
Premier Services, in 1997.
Smith Premier provides a full range of prescription-related services for
employers and insurance carriers, as well as a prescription benefits program
known as the Premier Pharmacy Plan.
Henry Dale Smith retired from leadership
of J M Smith Corporation in 1998, and the position of Chairman and CEO
is now held by William Cobb, who is also President of QS/1.