Local company says there’s still a need for paper records.
By Fran Daniel/Winston Salem Journal
The owners of COR365 Information Solutions bucked a business trend two years ago when they sold off their modern, high growth business and kept their more mature, traditional business.
“We got an offer we couldn’t refuse,” said Andy Brown, COR365’s president, who declined to give a purchase price. “It was a great deal for us.”
COR365, based in Winston-Salem, is the company that remained after its former sister company DataChambers was sold to North State Communications of High Point in December 2011. DataChambers specializes in information technology management and monitoring services, cloud solutions, and backup and recovery options.
“We sold what I call the digital piece,” Brown said.
COR365 focuses on traditional information management. The company stores and manages hard-copy business records. Its other services are document imaging, data protection, computerized inventory management, shredding, courier services, storage containers, and the monitoring of records and data 24/7 throughout the year.
Company officials said that COR365 is the largest independent commercial records company in North Carolina and one of the largest in the Southeast.
Its biggest competitor is Iron Mountain Inc., an international company.
In this day and age when technology is king and the world is becoming more digital than in the past, some people might think that companies don’t need paper records.
But that’s not true, said COR365 officials. They said that organizations are concerned about backing up and storing information in a way that is safe and secure from hacking, cyber-terrorism, fire, hurricanes and tornadoes.
“The paper side is a much more mature industry, but it’s not going away,” Brown said.
He said that service levels are not as robust as they used to be, but the paper-records storage and management business is still growing.
“You still have to treat it with the proper respect in terms of privacy, confidentiality and security,” Brown said. “So it’s still a good business.”
Chris Kelley, the chief executive of COR365, said that the company focuses on a variety of solutions for clients.
He said that COR365 helps clients understand how to manage, store, access and destroy records, as well as when they should go digital and when to stay with paper records.
“Digital is not inexpensive,” he said. “If you’re not going to access it, but corporate policy or legislation mandates you keep it for seven years, it makes sense to digitize it.”
He said it may make sense for a client to scan some of its records and store the rest in boxes.
“That’s the most economical way,” Kelley said. “We build a pretty good business on trying to spend our clients’ money like it was ours and then help them make wise decisions.”
COR365 stores and manages 1.3 million boxes of records and 200,000 back-up tapes for 1,250 clients in the Triad, Raleigh and Charlotte. The company’s shredding service recycles about 100 tons of paper a month.
In addition to Winston-Salem, COR365 has facilities in Charlotte, Greensboro, High Point and Raleigh. The company has had a presence in Charlotte for six years, and bought an 80,000-square-foot records storage facility in that city in May 2012.
The company has two locations in Raleigh, one of which is in a DataChamber’s facility, where COR365 offers a secure vault for storing clients’ digital back-up tapes. The building has been reinforced to withstand Category 3 hurricane winds.
COR365 has its headquarters in the former AT&T facility on Lexington Road in Winston-Salem. DataChambers continues to operate in the same building on an 80-acre campus owned by the Brown family.
Kelley said that COR365 still has a close relationship with Data Chambers.
“Even though they offer a lot of cloud-based solutions, their clients also need tape back-up,” Kelley said. “So we can provide that.”
COR365 is one of several businesses owned by the Brown Family, all of which are on the 80-acre campus.
Andy Brown’s parents, Hal and Pat Brown founded Adele Knits, a manufacturing company in 1970. The couple founded COR365’s parent company, Twin City Warehouses Inc., in 1974. Twin City Warehouses, is a warehousing and distribution company.
Brown said that COR365 and Twin City Warehouses’ combined operations have been affected by the down economy, but overall sales were up 10 percent in 2012 compared with 2011. Together, COR365 and Twin City Warehouses have 70 employees.
On the distribution end, the Browns recently signed a three-year lease on 300,000 square feet at Union Cross Business Park to handle inventory for Twin City Warehouses’ client Rexam.
In the past year, the Browns have added about 10 to 12 employees, mostly associated with Twin City Warehouses’ services for Rexam Beverage Can Co., which has a large plant on Old Milwaukee Lane in Winston-Salem.
“They’ve upgraded and added a lot of capacity to their plant here so as they’ve grown, we’ve grown,” Andy Brown said.