The First Decade, by Kathy Muth, COO and co-founder
Rich and Kathy were transferred from NY to Boulder, CO by IBM in 1973. By 1983, IBM had restructured the division Rich worked in, and we were told to prepare for a move to NJ. Deciding we didn’t want to relocate, we began to brainstorm an alternative. Front Range Micrographics was the result of our kitchen-table planning sessions. We purchased a 3M machine that had the capacity to capture business records on microfilm. We brought our idea to the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advisory Group. Our advisor wasn’t impressed with our plan to start a tiny business in our basement. We were assured we’d be out of business within 6 months. Undaunted, we contacted the 25 largest employers in Boulder, asking for an opportunity to discuss our services with them. In 1983, businesses didn’t have sufficient capacity on computers to store business records. We successfully contracted with credit unions, school districts, law enforcement, municipal, and county agencies, private businesses, and the University of Colorado. In time, we microfilmed engineering drawings for IBM and similar companies, who needed their engineering specs mounted on aperture cards to be shipped around the world to manufacturing facilities. We developed the core values and practices that would stand us in good stead going forward. Document integrity. Confidentiality. Commitment to Excellence. We added customers one at a time with a tiny sales force and without a marketing budget. It was the outstanding performance of our team and word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers that fostered our growth. It was at the prompting of one of our micrographic customers that we made the enormous leap to statement processing. Front Range Micrographics proudly became Front Range-OSI. During those first ten years, we moved our equipment from our basement to our first commercial property on the other end of Odell Place from our current location. Our tiny staff topped twenty employees. The little “mom-and-pop shop” in Boulder was forging forward into our second decade with renewed energy and determination.