For nearly 20 years PRIMMS LP has been providing equipment financing, full-service leasing, contract maintenance and other transportation management services targeted specifically at food distributors. Robert Shingle, president of Lisle, IL-based PRIMMS, says: “We provide the equipment, mechanics, inventories, road service, and other things necessary for customers to deliver food in a safe and timely manner.
“Our goal is to help our customers meet the product quality and on-time delivery demands of their customers. In the current regulatory environment placed on food distributors, the proper equipment and a sound equipment maintenance program are a must.”
PRIMMS works directly with customers to meet their individual needs. It can either lease a maintenance garage for a customer or move into a garage on the customer's premises. In either case, the customer outsources its maintenance to PRIMMS. “The customer enjoys the advantage of a maintenance facility that is 100% dedicated to its specific operation,” Shingle explains.
PRIMMS also offers other types of dedicated maintenance programs for customers who choose to own their equipment or use a separate finance source for equipment purchases. Currently, PRIMMS has 21 captive shops dedicated for single-customer use across the U.S.
PRIMMS leases and maintains approximately 3,800 tractors, refrigerated trailers and straight trucks across the county. “We combine our expertise in food distribution and refrigeration technology to design vehicle programs that are customized to each fleet operator,” Shingle explains. “Our customers own a myriad of equipment. The primary focus is on multi-temp and route deliveries of food products.”
Depending on the customer's application, vehicles are spec'd with either Carrier Transicold or Thermo King refrigeration equipment. PRIMMS' varied customer base calls for everything from cold plates to large, multi-temp configurations.
To assist in the maintenance arena and help guarantee product quality and on-time delivery, PRIMMS recently invested in the Enrich information system from Richer Systems Group. Enrich became fully operational in all PRIMMS locations on October 1st.
“Enrich's data tracking and reporting capabilities are enabling us to provide our customers with fleet management data that will help them better manage costs and develop equipment and driver performance metrics,” Shingle says.
“Using this tool in conjunction with other real-time data capture devices, we can closely monitor things like the range of temperatures in the refrigerated trailers to ensure that product quality isn't compromised,” he continues. “Enrich will ultimately help us specify and design equipment better because of the ‘fact-based’ equipment performance data that we capture.”
Shingle notes that PRIMMS held three four-day, intensive training classes conducted by Richer Systems Group to update technicians on the use of the Enrich product. Training was tailored to PRIMMS' market niche of food distribution. An online training program also was implemented for training personnel on the shop floor.
“The old computer system in all 21 of our maintenance shops had to be converted. Only after running parallel tests alongside our present system to ensure the data was viable did we go live with Enrich,” Shingle reports.
Two key features of the software are its ability to combine vehicle maintenance data with PRIMMS' monthly financial reporting requirements, as well as web access that allows customers to drill down into their individual fleet cost and performance information.
In sum, Shingle says, “Enrich is going to help us analyze our operations, our productivity and our efficiency better than anything we've had before. That means PRIMMS can offer our customers better programs and services.”