McCullagh Leasing has entered a new era. One of the larger lessors in the vehicle leasing business, McCullagh leased a limited number of cars and trucks in the early fifties building to a force of 22,000 by 1970, and climbing to 75,000 in the last 14 years. Along the way, McCullagh also created an impressive portfolio of equipment and aircraft leases.
But times are changing. The costs of fuel, vehicles, and maintenance have skyrocketed. And sophisticated management information systems have become a must. In short, corporate fleet management responsibilities have grown much more complex.
To better meet the needs of this dynamic marketplace, McCullagh Leasing is giving major emphasis to expanding vehicle leasing and related products. Its first move - in the third quarter 1983 - was to reorganize the company by product line with that objective in mind. Steve, Leskovsky, president of McCullagh, explains: "We knew our goals were ambitious, and we couldn't succeed with multiple product-line management."
Leskovsky, who is also the chief architect of the new organization, adds, "We had to provide more focused product-line sales management to increase our growth rate, and we had to achieve this growth objective without diminishing the quality of our client services. In addition, we wanted to provide for increased product development and additional funding programs. Each of these will add real value to our products."
McCullagh's new look is built around a three-tiered approach to product-line management, with marketing, systems, and operations as three distinct entities, a structure that McCullagh believes will allow them to enter a new era poised for growth.
James A. Culotta, senior vice president and general manager, is responsible for marketing in the new organization. Culotta, who has 15 years experience in vehicle leasing with McCullagh, says, "We're now committed to expanding activity in all areas of the fleet industry, including leasing, maintenance services, and management information systems, by using our resources to a fuller capacity."
McCullagh's resources are considerable. In addition to their own unique distribution and used car sales system, McCullagh is backed by two giants in the field of financing and computer technology. Commercial Credit Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Control Data Corporation, with its assets of more than $6 billion, is a financial services organization, offering a wide range of financial, insurance, realty, and leasing programs. And Control Data, with its vast technological resources, is a leader in the computer industry.
All of McCullagh's funding is done exclusively through Commercial Credit, assuring it's a stable, reliable source, competitive rates, and sophisticated packaging.
With its new organization in place and corporate resources in hand, McCullagh has set out to increase its market share through aggressive marketing to Fortune 1,000 corporations. According to Culotta, "We'll be offering customers more choices, more sophistication, and improved program delivery by implementing new business lines and services."
Culotta goes on to explain, "McCullagh's funding means we can offer a complete menu of funding packages to meet the varying needs of our customers. We have bundled or unbundled fixed rate plans, tied to prime or other indicators, with the advantages of known costs over particular budget periods."
A unique program offered by McCullagh is the popular Variable Preference Rate Funding Plan, designed so interest costs fluctuate with 30-day certificates of deposit, with the security of a fixed-rate ceiling. Its advantage for customers is that they are assured minimum interest costs at all times.
Under another plan, the Grantor Tax Trust program, customers receive all the benefits of leasing through a McCullagh-managed trust fund that allows the customer to use its own money while using McCullagh's expertise and services. The trust program allows customers to take advantage of tax depreciation and the investment tax credit. Additionally, McCullagh also offers closed-end leasing.
In the information age, state-of-the-art computer applications are essential for effective management information systems. McCullagh has two mainframe computers - one to support customer applications while the other handles internal data processing needs to avoid interrupting customer services.
Customer terminals are linked to a customer services mainframe at McCullagh's Roseville, MI, headquarters. McCullagh's nationwide telecommunications network, along with input computer terminals and and output printers, provides a tested and mture interactive system at the fleet manager's own location or multiple locations.
Driving its leadership in the field of management information services is SAVE II, McCullagh's new fleet management information system introduced last spring. SAVE II is flexible, user oriented, and designed to get the right information to the right level of management.
Chief among McCullagh's strengths is a unique vehicle delivery system that includes 19 regional offices, hands-on personal delivery of new cars, complete control of all used car sales through the McCullagh offices.
Paul Allmacher, vice president for national account sales and services, recently joined McCullagh to direct the national account marketing effort. He has over 20 years experience in the automotive industry and most recently was manager of fleet administration services for Control Data, Allmacher believes, "McCullagh's timing is perfect; complex changes are impacting the fleet industry today, and McCullagh is structuring itself to meet these new challenges. To improve our marketing and service capabilities we have added six new national account executive positions."
McCullagh also recognizes the importance of the regional aspect of the fleet industry. William Wise, vice president of regional vehicles sales, and a McCullagh veteran, will direct 72 sales representatives who work out of the 19 regional locations.
Looking to the future, McCullagh's ambitious growth objectives call for increased product development and additional funding programs. On the drawing board are plans for a new maintenance management program, tax leveraged leasing, and third generation enhancements to the McCullagh teleprocessing system. And the company is developing maintenance systems designed to complement those already existing - such as its national account credit card plan, FAST, providing service from more than 18,000 suppliers in the United States. All in all the company is aggressively poised for growth.