Small Business Q&A takes a step in a different direction with California Information Management. While most of the businesses we profile deal with physical goods, CIM provides a less tangible, yet equally important service — record and information management.
CIM has an estimated 22 million physical records spread out over 150,000 square feet — about 2 1/2 football fields — of storage space.
Question: What is the nature of your business?
We are a records-management, secure-shredding and information-management service provider. We provide storage of active and archive records, retrieval and delivery services, shredding of paper, hard drives and media, document imaging and X-ray digitizing services, and tape/media storage and rotation services to our clients.
What is the history of your business? How did did it get started?
My father and I formed California Medical Records Storage Inc. as an off-shoot of his X-ray repair-service business. We originally specialized in storage and retrieval of medical records. My father passed away in 1993. ... Our family friend, Bill Matts, started California Information Management with me after my dad passed and then Bill retired in 1999.
What are your biggest challenges?
Growth. This year, we have grown 20%, and in addition, the needs of our clients are continually evolving, particularly with the use of electronic records. Responding to our clients' needs, such as providing imaging and digitizing services, is exciting, but dealing with this together with the overall growth of the business is a big challenge.
What are your biggest rewards?
Giving back to the community. We are able to provide low- cost or no-cost services to some of our local nonprofit charities, creating new jobs and providing a fun and great work environment.
What are some of the lessons you have learned?
Being flexible is essential to running a successful business.
What makes you stand out from the competition?
We stand out from our competition by background screening our employees, the professional appearance of our staff and our confidentiality training. Further, we have a partnership approach to information management whereby we are able to adapt to our customers' unique needs. We work together to manage our clients' most valuable information in a confidential and secure manner, while protecting and preserving their records.
What's your fondest memory?
Our client appreciation open houses. Each year, we hold an open house with a theme, inviting all of our clients and their staffs to our Information Center. We conduct tours, provide lunch and have great prizes.
What's the most unique thing you have done for a customer?
There was a time when a client's sewer pipe broke and flooded the records department. Although we are not a disaster-recovery company, we have a disaster-recovery plan in place to protect our clients' records that we store, and we were able to save their records.
California Information Management
Owner: Debbie Freeman
Location: 2929 S. Angus Ave., Fresno
Phone: (559) 264- 7800
Annual sales: $1.75 million
How to get your business profiled
The Bee welcomes candidates for Small Business Q&A. To be considered, businesses must meet the following criteria:
Be locally owned
Have been in business for at least a year
Have fewer than 50 employees
Provide an annual sales figure for publication and be willing to answer other questions about the business
Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org (put "Small business profile" in the subject line)
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