Prime Line CEO Jeff Lederer on Jetline Acquisition, Productivity and New Product Offerings
PM: Prime Line has made other acquisitions in recent history. How have these benefitted the company and its customers?
JL: We look at it first from a distributor perspective. How can we service them by offering new products and services? We've always done acquisitions over the years, this happens to be one of the bigger ones; we recently [acquired] Leeman New York to get us more into the leather, higher-end gift market. We, last year, closed three deals with Points of Light, which got us into more of the fun health care items, and created a new category for Prime called the "Fun Zone." We also acquired an additional two companies last year that did overseas sourcing.
So, what we do is we see where the needs of the distributors are and how we can service them, and that's how we've done these acquisitions from a strategic standpoint that creates a one-stop shop. This allows distributors to do that in an additional way. It's probably our fourth deal in two years, and it's a way to help the distributor and their customers have more consistency with quality and compliance, consistency with service in general, with back office, and with efficiencies. We intend to take the best of the best of both companies and offer those to distributors.
PM: We saw that a few familiar faces from Jetline will continue to work with Prime Line.
JL: More than a few. They have a seasoned operations person that runs their operations in Gaffney, S.C. We have Joe Hoffman, who's on their sales side [and] is going to stay on board as one of our national sales managers. And we also have Marcus Sweeney, who's our national sales manager, and Joe will be one of our national sales managers for group accounts, and the sales organization reports to Paula Schulman, [vice president of sales].
Then you have Eric Levin, who is Jetline CEO. Eric is going to remain on board as executive vice president. Also, [Jetline's] president, Michael Honig, will work with Prime in a strategic way as well.
There should be zero negative impact with customers—only positive changes for the customer in a way that will give them enhanced services, consistency with the people they work with. We're going to create some synergies with our sales team right off the bat, but, in general, they had some really awesome people in sales that are now going to be part of the Prime team.
PM: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
JL: We plan to operate both facilities in South Carolina and in Connecticut. It allows us to do what I call "load-balancing." If there are times of the year where one facility has more business than the other, it just gives us more flexibility to service the customer because we have two facilities now to be able to produce their products.
I'm thrilled about it, and I think this is a win-win for not only Prime but for Jetline and more specifically a win-win for our customers.
For more information on Prime Line, visit www.primeline.com.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.