Below is our recent interview with Francisco Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer at The ACE Group (TAG):
Q: Please provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: The ACE Group (TAG) is a licensed customs broker and bonded warehouse operator with more than 50 years of combined industry experience as a U.S. Customs broker. We offer warehousing, freight-forwarding, and e-commerce fulfillment. We take great satisfaction in helping brands get their products across borders following all applicable rules and regulations–without hassles and unnecessary penalties. Whether you’re big or small, rest assured we increase efficiency, speed up delivery, and reduce costs, as we do for companies such as Lazy Boy, ZEISS, LEVITON, World Wide Technologies, DECO Lighting, and more. TAG is a one-stop shop for our customers, consolidating accounting, operations, and brokerage data. Culture and environment are essential, and TAG works with our employees to help them grow as people and employees. TAG is a 2022-certified Great Places to Work company, and our headquarters are in San Diego, just miles from the Mexican border.
Q: You’ve recently been accepted into the by-invitation-only Forbes Business Council, can you tell us something more?
A: Forbes Councils are a collective of communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources—sharing their expertise and knowledge in their respective fields. For example, logistics and supply chain management are highly complex fields that demand years of experience and an ongoing understanding of global rules and regulations. TAG CEO Francisco Ramirez’s acceptance into the council speaks volumes of the impact he makes in the logistics business world. Criteria to be an Official Member include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics and personal and professional achievements and honors.
Ramirez is involved in the San Diego community with Barrio Logan College Institute. Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty by preparing underserved students to be the first in their families to go to college. He is a San Diego Vistage member and has university degrees in international business administration, international trade/commerce, and designations as a Global Logistics Specialist from California State University, Long Beach, Certified Customs Specialist (CCS) designation from the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America and International Air Transport (IATA) specialist. Here is a link to Ramirez’s Forbes Profile https://bit.ly/3Dsw4GT
Q: Can you give us more insights into your services?
A: What sets TAG apart is that we are passionate about delivering superior service to our partners with our all-inclusive preparation and ‘give first’ attitude—consistently achieving the best results. TAG is redefining and streamlining warehousing and fulfillment to improve the global delivery of goods in our 63,000 sq. ft. warehouse located just miles from the Mexican border—with additional satellite locations. In 2022 our automated customs experts’ company invested in an AT&T Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which increases our efficiency and that of our customers’ processes — 365/24/7. The ERP systems allow us to operate on a Six Sigma Level with 96.6% accuracy in operations processes; inbounds, outbounds, and e-commerce order fulfillment. This accuracy is required because TAG stores telecommunications equipment, medical supplies, and other items that require strict inventory accuracy standards. Our operations are continually backing up connectivity and powering collaboration with our customers. Click here to read AT&T’s TAG Customer Feature Story at https://bit.ly/3R3hR6S
Q: What can we expect from TAG in the next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: Our new ERP system is a work in progress. The AT&T Office@Hand program gives TAG mobile-first voice, video, conferencing, messaging, and team collaboration solutions. Eighty percent of the implementation is complete, and over the next six months, we will continue to maximize and integrate state-of-the-art technology. For example, we are migrating our logistics data directly from the mobile-first input of our onsite warehouse fulfillment team members to our administration team in front offices. Our goal is to customize our logistics software to meet our specific needs. In addition, during weekly all-company meetings, our team members are educated on how to recognize our customers’ challenges and bring the issues directly to the attention of our operations and sales team.
Since people do business with people they know, like, and trust, we also aim to improve our client relations by fostering goodwill with San Diego Padres tickets. At this type of social event, we generate comfortable personal interactions. All the above are ways we want to educate our clients that we are not a commodity—we are an exceptional team of supply chain distribution experts who consult with your team on the best, safest, and most efficient way to transport your products.
Q: What is the best thing about TAG that people might not know about?
A: TAG is certified as a 2022 Great Place to Work. The prestigious award is based entirely on what current employees say about their experience working at TAG in a global employee engagement study by the Great Places to Work® Institute. The study reported that 100% of TAG employees say it is a great place to work compared to 57% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company. Great Place to Work® is a global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention, and increased innovation. At TAG, we consider our employee experience a top priority every day. We owe our continued success to our team of dedicated employees. We celebrate and thank them all for earning this incredible recognition through their daily dedication.
This honor helps us stay true to our purpose ‘to inspire the self-discovery of our potential’ daily. TAG considers its employees the core of the company’s strength. It prioritizes employee wellbeing–benefits include free health insurance and pet insurance; continuous training in outstanding customer service and emotional intelligence; matching 401(k) contributions up to 3% of salary; and paying for Six Sigma training courses and certification. In addition, TAG celebrates birthdays with ice cream, cake, and a company group chorus of “Happy Birthday.” We address ergonomics with employees with stand-up desk workstations and warehouse operations safety training. We pay employees for two days of community service and a monetary contribution to the charity of their choice. When we hire new team members, we aim to break the ice by celebrating them from their first day. We sponsor a lunch to celebrate our new team member. This fellowship allows them to be more at ease while at the same time creating a magical memory. In conclusion, earning the designation of Great Places to Work means that TAG is one of the best companies to work for in the country!