Prime Line CEO Jeff Lederer on Jetline Acquisition, Productivity and New Product Offerings
Yesterday, we reported that Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Prime Line acquired Gaffney, South Carolina-based Jetline. Promo Marketing spoke to Prime Line's CEO Jeff Lederer about how this move will benefit distributors and end-users in the long run with new product offerings, expanded services and consistency.
Promo Marketing: Could you give us a little bit of history of the Jetline acquisition?
Jeff Lederer: One of the things that we looked at in the industry is ways that we can service our customers better with an expanded product base. [Jetline] had a pretty unique position with their value price-point items, and while we have some of those at Prime, [Jetline] seemed to have a more robust offering.
And we thought—between that and their focus on product quality and compliance—their management team seemed to be a perfect fit, [so we are] combining the best of the best of both organizations, and [offering] the new products and services to our existing customer base.
PM: What can distributors expect going forward?
JL: Well, first of all, we want distributors not to feel anything in any adverse way. We actually want to enhance the offerings. [Jetline is] focused on huge inventories and 24-hour rush. We have huge inventories and 24-hour rush, so actually distributors are going to get the best of both worlds by having an expanded offering of 24-hour rush, and [having] that consistent level of service among two top suppliers in the industry.
Our commitment to product quality and compliance is similar to theirs. We're a founding member of [Quality Certification Alliance (QCA)]. They're an accredited member of QCA, and they will at least have an even more consistent offering that they can sell. So in terms of service, they will just be able to rely on the fact that we can share inventory as we need it with similar items. We'll have more capacity because we'll be able to use capacity from both our South Carolina and our Bridgeport, Conn. [facilities]. So from a capacity, inventory and service standpoint, distributors should get more of a streamlined product and service offering.
PM: Can distributors look forward to any new product offerings?
JL: Well, [Jetline] started getting into wearables about 18 months ago. We [didn't] have that, so that will be new for Prime and Prime's customers. They have a pretty extensive embroidery manufacturing footprint, more so than we did, so that will be something that we can offer customers. They had more of a lower, more value-driven product range than we did.
So for quick-turn large inventory orders, I think that will also be a big benefit to customers. We are both focused on technology and finding ways to connect to distributors, and I think between their focus on that and Prime's focus on that, we can find even more efficiencies with the distributor base we're working with, reducing down the number of suppliers that they work with by being able to focus and have more consistency with two premier suppliers in the industry.