By Matt Pillar, chief editor
Twenty-five years ago, Direct Source was a two-man Midwest regional ADC VAR. It’s quietly become an international heavyweight in retail IT systems deployment.
There was no arguing that John Hillen had some retail tech chops when he founded Direct Source. He launched the company in 1992, fresh on the heels of a gig at then Spectra-Physics, the company we know today as the automated data collection powerhouse Datalogic. During his tenure there, Hillen worked on the team that created the first scanner/scale product for the retail grocery market. With a brain for bar codes and a retail market that was ripe for scanners, he rented a small office outside of Minneapolis and hung a shingle.