Prime Group at Important Crossroads

Miami-based Prime Group finds itself at an exciting crossroads.

The idea that founders Roger Paredes and Omar Zambrano had starting 17 years ago, to provide well-managed solutions in service to the air cargo business, continues to evolve – with a renewed energy and spirit.

Upon completion of an intensive seven-month review and realignment of internal operations, Prime Group is now ready to fly high with a greater sense of agility and efficiency that will help it continue to succeed in the competitive air cargo business.

Known for offering exceptional international cargo and logistics products and services, Prime Group is the umbrella company for several divisions that include PrimeAir, Prime Air & Ocean Cargo, Prime Fresh Products, and Prime Fresh Handling.

“Most people will agree that the modern economy is fast and dynamic, and is in a constant state of change,” said CEO Roger Paredes, which is why he believes the greatest challenge facing the industry today is to be able to quickly respond to market change.

“It was becoming more and more evident that, as a company, we had arrived at a point where we had to step up to make strategic and operational changes that will guide us to market leadership,” he added.

So late last year, Prime Group made the decision to invest in its future by selecting London Consulting Group of Monterrey, Mexico. Founded in 1991, and currently operating throughout the America’s and Europe, London Consulting was hired to “free up Prime Group’s potential,” by developing and implementing through the company’s management team major changes and solutions – primarily in the operational areas of the company.

By working with London, Prime Group is ensuring long-term fitness so that it may continue to evolve as a leader in the air cargo and logistics business long into the future.

“They spent seven intensive months onsite with us, reviewing our operations from head to toe,” Paredes continued. “As a result, we are putting into place processes and indicators that give us insights into the warehousing and commercial aspects of our operation all across our system, from Bogota to Los Angeles, to Amsterdam.

With new measurement tools in place, the company is gaining a better perspective – and controls – on everything from yield analysis and aircraft load factors, to efficiently building up jet pallets, and optimization of personnel. They are now able to determine whether work that’s being performed in one particular job group is happening at peak levels of productivity, and then reduce inefficient activities that negatively impact the cost of operations.

The management team also has been coached in prospecting new customers and how to better service existing customers with automated tools that indicate short- and long-term buying trends.

“We are now able to better customize our service because we have better insights into our customer needs,” said Paredes. The side benefit here, internally, is that management may now spend less time with day-to-day tasks, and more time focusing on the strategic side of the business.

“It is of great benefit for an airline to work with a company like ours that has made the investment to put in place such sophisticated tools that allow us discuss trends and to make customized data-based decisions – sometimes with just one click,” he said.

“All of this helps us manage the customer relationships in a much better way,”

So the big question is, was the investment worth it?

“By applying London Group’s methodology, they were able to develop and implement the solutions we needed to achieve greater profitability,” says Paredes. “They promised a sizeable return on investment and we are pleased to report we are seeing permanent results that will allow us to take the Prime Group companies to the next level.

Who Ya Gonna Call…

When the flag carrier of Ecuador suddenly needed to get their hands on a spare $6 million engine, naturally they called Prime Air & Ocean Cargo.

Tame had a pesky AOG situation on their hands – an Embraer 190 sitting idle on the ramp at their base of operations in Quito. Time is money for airlines – big money. They had to get one to get their General Electric CFM34 engines moved from Miami to Mariscal Sucre International Airport swiftly, safely, and the right way.

There’s no margin for error in this business.

Prime Air & Ocean Cargo has been handling parts shipments for the carrier for years, so everything moved smoothly, of course. But whether it’s a single part or a several thousand-pound jet engine, it’s always urgent.

“Time is of the essence, but they know they can depend on us for shipments big and small,” said Prime Group Omar Zambrano.

As soon as they got the green light, the engine was immediately transported from the supplier to Prime Air & Ocean Cargo’s facility just west of MIA via a special air-ride suspension truck to avoid any impact damage. Here, the Prime Air & Ocean Cargo Operations team made sure it was in good condition and ready to ship out with all the proper haz-mat documentation and labeling in place.

“Airlines are going to have maintenance issues from time to time. It’s the nature of the business,” says Zambrano. “But these matters have to be rectified fast, because the ripple effect caused by an AOG or other delays can be crippling to a carrier’s entire operation.

“Everything is urgent, urgent, urgent, but we love the challenge.”