2021 Top Suppliers: How alphabroder | Prime Line Took the No. 1 Spot
As part of Print+Promo Marketing's 2021 Top Suppliers list, we asked some of the top-ranked suppliers about how they fared during the first year of the pandemic, their thoughts on the industry, their future plans and more.
Check out our conversation with Dan Pantano of alphabroder | Prime Line, the No. 1 company on our 2021 Top Suppliers list, below. Or, download the full 2021 Top Suppliers resource for the complete interviews, detailed stats and analysis for the Top 65, and results for our 2021 Supplier Excellence Awards.
alphabroder | Prime Line – No. 1
2020 sales: $1.4 billion
2,200 employees, 12 locations
Established in 1919
alphabroder | Prime Line generated $1.4 billion in 2020 sales. Although this was a 17.65% drop compared to 2019 sales, it was enough for the promotional products heavyweight to hold onto the top spot for another year — and what a year it was. In March 2020, when the pandemic first hit, alphabroder | Prime Line moved its entire inside sales and customer service organization to a fully virtual model in less than a week, while distribution and decoration production teammates worked tirelessly to fulfill orders. For Dan Pantano, alphabroder | Prime Line CEO and president, it was a way to put the company’s core values into action.
“Our ability to handle adversity and embrace change in difficult circumstances was inspiring,” he said. “Our team was willing to sacrifice through a variety of necessary decisions at the time, and dealt with facility shutdowns, furloughs, reduced pay, etc. Our leadership team did a great job of communicating transparently as we navigated the challenges thrown our way.”
Outlook: Pantano was promoted to CEO in April 2021, following the departure of longtime CEO Norm Hullinger. When he assumed the role, he acknowledged that the supplier was through the worst of COVID — at least from a demand perspective.
“The challenges we have faced since early spring have been related to staffing our facilities and the broken supply chain,” Pantano shared. “Our entire team is focused on mitigating both, and ensuring we provide the optimal level of service to our customers as possible despite the challenges.”
Beyond dealing with those immediate concerns, Pantano’s goal for 2022 is to make doing business with alphabroder | Prime Line as easy as possible. In Q1 2021, the company unveiled a new alphabroder.com, and in September, it delivered on its commitment to sustainable practices with the launch of its Green Team Initiative. Pantano also plans to invest heavily in technology to propel forward its one-stop shop experience of decorated hard goods and apparel.
“We know we have an incredible responsibility to support and service our customers to enable them to be successful,” Pantano said. “All of us [at] our company recognize that and take great pride in helping our customers ‘Brand the World.’”