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A tech giant 

A manufacturing software developer calls Paso home

- REASON TO SMILE :  Nancy and Randy Flamm founded IQMS 20 years ago. The headquarters building in Paso Robles received a design award from Metal Architecture magazine. -  - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • REASON TO SMILE : Nancy and Randy Flamm founded IQMS 20 years ago. The headquarters building in Paso Robles received a design award from Metal Architecture magazine.

In the heart of Paso Robles, among the vineyards and pastures, conspicuously rests a sleek blue building that stands out like a swimming pool in the Kalahari. But even some of the most seasoned locals don’t know it’s the headquarters of one of the leading business software developers, one of the largest employers on the Central Coast.

Integrated Quality Management Systems (IQMS), a pioneer in the design and development of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, celebrates its 20th anniversary. Since 1989, IQMS has been providing programs that have become indispensable tools for manufacturers globally. When founders Randy and Nancy Flamm relocated the company’s headquarters to Paso Robles in 1995, the impact of IQMS was felt well beyond the manufacturing industry.

The company is one of the  main providers of software that supports the administration and operation of factories for medical, automotive, plastics, and other general manufacturing. As Randy Flamm explained, ERP software is a nexus for everything that happens within a manufacturing company, providing one common database to link different departments remotely. “It’s a one-stop shop,” said Flamm. “The software’s like Big Brother: It’s always watching.”

Randy and Nancy Flamm started the company in their living room. “In about 1989, I saw a need for this type of software. This may sound silly, but do you remember 2001: A Space Odyssey? My vision was to have software that could run a manufacturing company in the same concept of H.A.L.—but a good H.A.L.,” Flamm said.

From the Flamm living room to its main headquarters in Paso Robles, the company now boasts more than 100 employees across the United States, Europe, and Asia and expects nearly a 25 percent growth over the next year.

“Paso is such a nice location because we have clients in the L.A. and in the Bay area and we can easily drive up and see them or they can easily come down to see us,” Randy Flamm said.

Since moving to Paso in 1995, the Flamms have been major supporters of local events and activities, and significant donors to local charities. Their donation to the city also helped support the recent fireworks display.

Fast facts

An unusual blend of scientists, conservation professionals, and wine enthusiasts will gather to help rescue the California condor from the brink of extinction. The Hi Mountain Condor Lookout Benefit Mixer will feature live acoustic music, wine tasting, and exclusive discussions with local experts on condors—and wine. Cal Poly biology professor Dr. Francis Villablanca will detail the status of the condors in the region and the Land Conservancy’s Conservation Director Robert Hill will discuss efforts to protect them. Winemaker Amy Freeman will pour the 2007 Hi Mountain Red Wine, a special-release blend. Portions of the proceeds will support the Hi Mountain Condor Lookout Project. The mixer will be held from 3-6 p.m. Sunday, July 19, at the Saucelito Canyon tasting room at 3180 Biddle Ranch Road in SLO. Admission is $20. For more information, call 927-1017 or visit condorlookout.org or saucelitocanyon.com. …

A buzz word of the IT community for the past few years, cloud computing uses distant servers for data storage, so that local computing systems need not include disk drives and other storage media that would be unnecessary except for instances of unusual demand. Local business owners and individual users are invited to a Cloud Computing Forum from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21, at the SLO Vets Hall, 801 Grand Avenue. The free event will feature “The Future of Computing: Green, Virtual and Cloudy,” a presentation by Cloud authority Winston Bumpus. For more information call 545-7916 or e-mail earthday@informationpress.net. …

The Health in Motion Chiropractic Center and the California Wellness Center have merged their facilities and resources to create the SLO Wellness Center. Drs Rex and Molly Stevens, D.C. and Dr. Sandy Sachs, D.C., continue to provide chiropractic care while also offering nutritional and hormone consultations, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic rehabilitation, skin care, and neurofeedback. Located at 1428 Phillips Lane, Suite 300, the SLO Wellness Center is currently accepting new patients. For more information, call 543-8732 or visit slowellness.com. …

Sally Loo’s Wholesome Café is holding a grand opening party from 5 to 9 p.m. on July 17 at 1804 Osos in San Luis Obispo. Enjoy coffee and treats, art from Heidi Franscioni, and music from Café Musique.

Matt Fountain compiled this week’s Stroke & Plugs. He can be reached through the editor at econnolly@newtimesslo.com.

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