SANTA ROSA -- Sometimes the best way to deal with a challenging economy is to get aggressive.

[caption id="attachment_24420" align="alignright" width="384" caption="Gary Poffenholz boards InfoStor’s new mobile shredder."][/caption]

That’s what document storage company InfoStor has in mind with its new mobile shredding service. More expansion plans are in the offing, according to Gary Lentz, president.

“We were tired of watching the economy whittle away at our growth rate. The service segment of our revenues was off 30 percent because of the big fall-off in mortgage broker activity. So we’re making a push to beef up both our national and our local business, starting locally,” he said.

The company’s document storage and retrieval customers, numbering about 750 local banks, insurance agencies, law firms, health care providers, and city and county agencies, had been asking for mobile shredding.

So InfoStor added a striking green shredding unit to its fleet of seven delivery trucks to pick up those customers who have to be on-site when documents are being shredded.

The unit has the ability to transmit video of the shredding job right to the desktop of Info Shred clients.

“Lots of companies have policies that they must observe their shredding, but it can be a hassle to get up and go out to the parking lot and watch.  This allows a company to view and keep a video record of their shredding job, showing the time, date and location of the job,” said Mr. Lentz.

Two cameras show both the documents going in and shredded material exiting the system.

Launched in June, Info Shred already has more than125 customers, he said.

InfoStor has seen strong growth during the past seven years, more than doubling its revenues and expanding from a 7,000-square-foot space near the Sonoma County airport to a 101,000-square-foot location on Apollo Way, which the company bought three years ago.

The facility includes an automated, web-enabled software system that keeps track of hundreds of thousands of boxes in a specialized facility with two environmentally controlled, fire- and earthquake-resistant vaults for one-copy and delicate material.

“We’re 90 percent full right now. Soon we’ll outgrow this space,” he said.

Despite regular destruction, which usually occurs after seven years, document collections continue to grow organically, about 10 percent to 15 percent a year, according to Mr. Lentz. That’s because some material, such as medical records, has to be kept permanently.

Now at 20 employees, InfoStor had to downsize during the last couple of years, but with the shredding business picking up the company is hiring again, he said.

Its biggest customer is Fireman’s Fund, with offices all over the U.S. and about 170,000 boxes of documents.