On March 28, 1983, Harry L. Fields, III, opened the doors to Chattanooga Business Machines in his home at 146 Ridgeside Road. His den was his showroom, his garage was his warehouse, and he was the sole employee. He later sold calculators, cash registers, typewriters and copiers with the help of his first salesman.
The new business began to grow and they moved into a small space on Brainerd Road. Because of the lack of space in the showroom, machines were stored in the basement, which constantly flooded, and had to be brought around the building to the storefront when they needed to show them. In these early days, a salesperson (before being hired) was required to own a pickup truck or station wagon so they could physically hand deliver machines to their customers!
By the spring of 1987 they knew they had to move again. Harry opened up on Airways Blvd. The employees helped with the remodeling to expand the space.
In 1991, they added telephone systems to their product line. Inventory was stacked to the ceiling and employees were squeezed into small crowded spaces. It was time for a move again. Harry asked each employee to submit a wish list for a new building which opened at it's current location on Airpark Drive fronting Highway 153 in 1995 in a 20,000 sq. ft. building with room enough for an additional 20,000 square foot expansion.
In 1996, Harry saw that his company was at a crossroads. With new competitors selling at pricies that allowed for little or no profit, he called a company-wide meeting. Harry asked all the employees to break into small groups and promoted open discussion telling them that Chattanooga Business Machines could become a Walmart and provide the cheapest service or we could offer our customers the best service at a competitive price. After several meetings, the employees voted and the majority agreed that we would strive to match or exceed our customers' expectations.
That philosophy continues today with new owner and company
President Lana Toomey who took over the helm July 30, 2018.
Chattanooga Business Machines, Inc. consistently receives the Hyakuman Kai Dealer Award which is awarded by Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America to dealers that provide exceptional service to the local business community. CBM is among a select group of dealers recognized by Sharp from the hundreds of dealers that sell Sharp's advanced color and monochrome business products in the U.S.