Memory card wholesaler expands Reno operations

Since Prime Memory Solutions moved headquarters from Florida to Reno in November 2005, it has nearly doubled its sales volume, from $5.7 million to $10.6 million last year.

But to make that gain, the company has shipped four times as many units, says Volker Huber, president and chief executive officer.

"There has been a tremendous price reduction these past years," he says of the generic memory cards the company wholesales. Despite that, Huber says profit margins have also increased.

Employment has doubled as well since the company hired one more person Tom Simpkins.

And now Huber expects more growth, as he's seeking a sales manager to build a brand and a sales force. (Experience with German companies and language is a plus because the parent company is in Germany.)

Meanwhile, a network of subcontractors and independent sales reps have covered the West Coast and is branching out over the nation, says Huber. But Reno remains the hub of coordination.

The company's products are memory modules for computers and Flash cards, which increase operating speed in digital products from cameras to cell phones.

A new market niche Huber sees for his company's USB drives is the swag bag. The pocket-sized, plug-in portable computer hard drives make great giveaways, he says, for under 10 bucks. Companies use it to upload a sales presentation and give it away at trade shows.

Prime Memory Solutions has won a place as a vendor for the State of Nevada, says Huber, and now Division of Wildlife field rangers use his company's memory cards when they take pictures of wild bears for relocation and release.

"I like that the product has found an environmental use," he says.

"The environment of Reno gives us an advantage over our competitors because they are largely located in California," says Huber. "Our move paid off already. When it comes to companies with a low margin base, honestly, I don't understand why everybody doesn't come to Reno."


Foreign exchange

Volker Huber first came to Reno as a 15-year-old exchange student through PRIME and attended Reno High School. While here, he made friends and returned to visit eight times before moving here with his wife. "Without the PRIME program, I probably wouldn't be here," he says.


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