Shipping and Packing in Orange County with Jim Duncan, AIM Mail Center

Jim Duncain - AIM Mail Center - Packing & Shipping Expert

Jim Duncain - AIM Mail Center - Packing & Shipping Expert

As you know I’ve changed AIM mail center to AIM office even though ??? AIM mail center is still officially the franchise and the reason for that is that the model of my business has changed dramatically over the last 25 or 30 years since it’s been around. With the shipping model drastically changing the emphasis is more on the other services we offer, because basically we’re a one stop shop for business services. That’s always been the claim even in the beginning 21 years ago when I started in this group. It’s always been the claim. A business person whether they’re home based or they’re downsized from a corporation working out of their home, if it’s small business, if it’s multi-level, whatever you are, even though we cater to the general public, that small business that needs those business services are our core client. So we always emphasize that but the business model as far as shipping has changed dramatically. So, even though shipping and packing is still our core, it’s still what I like the best.

We have a lot of other services and document management is a big part of it. We’ll take your file, your digital file even if I’m offsite. We’ll take that digital file from that sent file to me to a finished product. We can do black and white, color, it doesn’t really matter. The total production machines that we have, half tones in black and white all of that is part of the service. Even remote sending, remote then response to you without me being involved. Which is sometimes really good. Digital archiving. We’ve done a lot of things with the attorneys and CPAs as far as archiving their product. The challenge with that is, is when you go to an attorney or when they come to me and go, I’ve got this storage locker full of files. I’d like it digitized. I’d like to get rid of the storage locker, no longer have all those files and have them digitized.

The problem is the quotes I’ve been giving them because there is so much data is around $30,000 to digitize a storage locker because of what’s involved. If you take a simple pile of papers and put it through a scanner that’s one way of doing it on the cheap end. The more difficult which is more involved is if they have a bunch of checks and everything else all stapled in a file that’s all stapled, you need to take each one apart put it on the glass, put it back together. So you can imagine the involvement in that when you have a whole storage locker. So that‘s why the situation gets pretty….yeah. So there’s no way, I’d just assume burn it down. But moving forward they can then charge because they’re not billing for this, what they could do is they could then charge moving forward for someone’s files and I will charge you a digitized fee for this whole process before they finish that transaction. Another thing is variable data printing. We can take files and personalize them. Small files, if you had something you wanted to send out to maybe 20 or 30,40 different clients and you want that personalized file that could be a variable data printed file that will show their information on that file without you having to attach something without being a part of it or just having something on the cover. That can all be totally personalized for them.

Mail merging, EDDM, how many are familiar with EDDM now? It’s probably the most innovative thing the post office has come out with in the last 20 years. EDDM is Every Door Direct Mail. In the past we’ve had the bulk mail situation. Which means you have to do a lot of volume. You have to specify to the areas. Each area carried out and sorted. All of that has been more tortuous than you really need. This is something you can actually drop off at the counter. You could do maybe 200 pieces you could do 1,000 pieces, a couple thousand pieces, but that is now so simple and the process is so easy to work with that you can make this inexpensive, you can target your location and say I want 1,000 people around my address. I want 1,000 residents, 1,000 businesses just around my address target that as everyday direct mail. It goes to all those addresses as an address not as an individual. You can target that. It’s very inexpensive. So no longer do you have to worry about bulk numbers or anything like that or the service charge involved with bulk numbers. We do a lot of things for individuals, like for instance we do a lot of work for Terry. If he needs ten manuals done or five manuals done he can just call me up send me the file and I can get that to him pretty quickly right Terry? No problem, it’s something he can have the same day if he needs.

City Hall, I work a lot with the chamber of commerce. So city hall called me and wanted all their files digitized. Now they have all this channel 3 stuff all the ½ inch Beta or ½ inch VHS I’m not sure. There is a lot of large tapes that need to be transferred. When they showed me the room while I’m giving them an estimate. It was a room about 15’x15’and all these files are on these cabinets. I said that shouldn’t be much of a problem. Then he pulls out the cabinets because it’s on rollers and there were rows and rows of cabinets I couldn’t see. So it’s going to be a couple year process just to digitize this stuff that they got. This is just Huntington Beach. We offer a lot of services. Some of the principle ones that you are used to like fax and mailbox rental. In Huntington beach I have 400, in Costa Mesa 300. These are 700 locations where people like yourself instead of working out of you home to have an off site address. You shouldn’t have things going to your home for a lot of reasons. Anyone that’s talked about identity theft will tell you that. You shouldn’t have things going to your home. Off Site address especially for home based. With 700 locations at our two stores it gives you a lot of opportunity. Notary, we have four notaries available to you. We also travel. We’re one of the only notaries that go to the prisons. When some would shy away from that, it’s actually kind of fun. We’ve done passport photos for a long time. In the last five years we’ve done expedited passports. Now you have three ways to get a passport.

There’s the normal way where you can mail it in and get it whenever it comes, which is depending on the time of the year is anywhere from a month to maybe three month or you can expedite it through the post office, which speeds that up by maybe half. But the problem with that is, especially if you have children in the transitional zone like a 16 or 17 year old kid. If there is any problem at all with that they will mail you a letter saying your expedited passport is not going to be processed in enough time. So you’re ready to go on this trip and the stuff is supposed to come and it doesn’t come and they go, sorry. Now we expedite them also. We are the ones that do them under let’s say, three to four weeks. The fastest I’ve done it is a couple days to maybe two or three weeks max. I can’t guarantee it but, I’ve never had one take longer than I say it’s usually faster. We just did Mike’s boss, Daryl. He’s going to the Bahamas this weekend. He called me yesterday afternoon. Late yesterday afternoon after all the shipments had gone out. He says my passport is no good, I’m leaving this weekend for the Bahamas. So he came last night after hours and processed his stuff and he’ll have his passport on Saturday morning. So we can get it for him. It’s not going to be cheap.

Could you give us a price range of that number?

Between not bad and expensive. We can talk about that. We do a lot of things but the most important thing is the challenge that keeps me doing this after 21 years. I mean if I would have started making sandwiches then I would have stopped doing this along time ago. The fact that I can challenge myself and meet your needs quickly is really important to me. I think I mentioned shipping the cactus the cactus. Ok that was last week the globe had to be sent and proper orientation, it made it fine. Perfectly like it was. What I did is I built these cones. The cones are about this high, the globe is only about this big. The cones are about this big and it’s a round cone. Not a squared off on the edge cone like a pyramid. By having it in a round cone and having it weighted in the bottom of the middle really well. It wouldn’t tip, and if it did they would ride it back up again cause they didn’t want it laying down there rolling around the conveyor belt. So they wanted to make sure cause I had a wide base on it. They want to make sure it stayed like that all the way through the system cause I put a tell tail on there, all the way through the system it laid flat. It never tipped over.

It showed that the ramps were about 30 degrees max so it went down those ramps fine but it still stayed flat. The day before yesterday we got $16,000 bicycle that needs to be shipped but he has a special bag for it. The challenge was when I saw the bag it was all padded inside for this bike, carbon-fiber bike. There’s actually blow-up blatters inside. The problem is if you take off the wheels and you put them on the outside of the bladder right against the inside of the bag. So the wheels themselves can be $1,000 for the wheels he had so what I did is I built a donut between the wheels and the side of the bag a foam donut so that thing would be protected because he’d already had a wheel broken once. And I build a box around that, so he’s real happy and now can be insured for full value. Another thing, I talked to all the leasing agents in balboa in Newport all those one’s that have mobile homes there and we ship things back for the people that come to California, come to Balboa, come to Newport and need to go back with all the crap that they got.

I’ve been in the business of helping people with their shipping and packing needs for 16 years now. We have been a top UPS and FedEx shipper for many years running. We can ship literally ANYTHING, ANYWHERE just try us! We specialize in unusual items for packing and shipping, items no other shippers will touch!

9121 Atlanta (at Magnolia, on the Northeast corner)
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
AIM Mail Center #6 on the web