Follow-Up File: Paso software developer IQMS gets upgrade

Name: Liz Alflen

Job: Human resources manager

Business: IQMS

What they said then: In August, The Tribune’s Biz Buzz Extra publication featured IQMS as a company that had found success in Paso Robles. The company develops software for the automotive, medical, plastics and general manufacturing sectors . Its flagship product, Enterprise IQ, can handle everything from accounting to scheduling.

“We have to continually work to keep the software evolving,” co-founder and CEO Randy Flamm said.

The winner of a 2011 Stevie Award for New Manufacturing Product of the Year, the developer sells a core version with additional modules that depend on customer need.

Annual maintenance fees cover support, upgrades and training.

Founders Randy and Nancy Flamm started IQMS in Ontario, incorporating in 1989. They both had backgrounds in manufacturing.

Vice President and Controller Nancy Flamm said they relocated to Paso Robles in 1993 because of the city’s cleaner air, smaller size and proximity to both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

What they say now: IQMS is planning to double the size of its square footage by building a 30,000-square-foot facility next door.

“In 2008 and 2009, although sales were down, we were still profitable and investing in product development,” human resources manager Liz Alflen said. “We didn’t do any layoffs, but we didn’t do much hiring either.”

With attrition, the company was running lean.

But 2010 and 2011 were record sales years. Soon short-handed in all departments, the business hired 40 employees last year.

Now in danger of outgrowing its Wisteria Lane headquarters, IQMS hopes to construct a two-story building within the next year and a half.

If the city approves the company’s plans, the new structure would house executive offices, sales, marketing and training.

“We haven’t taken the plans to the city yet,” Alflen said. “It may be a few months before permitting yet.”

RRM Design Group in San Luis Obispo was hired to create the design plan. Alflen could not give an estimated cost of construction.

“We own and will be building on the parcel directly to the east of our current facility,” she added. That would effectively double the space that now houses 66 workers.

With 100 employees “all over North America” and five in Sweden and the United Kingdom, IQMS has projections for further employee growth over the next two, five and 10 years. “It has been a lot of fun working through the design concepts and planning project,” Alflen said. “The construction/expansion project prompted the employee projections, which prompted a lot of expansion discussions.”