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Helping Dealers Succeed: GreatAmerica Leasing Takes the High Road

5 Sep, 2006 By: Alicia Ellis imageSource

Helping Dealers Succeed: GreatAmerica Leasing Takes the High Road

No matter how great your products or salespeople are or how efficient your
customer service department is, your prospects for attracting and retaining
customers without the right financing solutions, will most certainly falter.

According to the Equipment Leasing Association, 80 percent of U.S. companies
lease all or some of their equipment. Approximately $850 billion was spent by
businesses on productive assets in 2006, and $229 billion, or 27 percent, is
estimated to have been acquired by American businesses through leasing.

For many years, financing companies and leasing have had a stigma associated
with “fine print” contracts, inflated costs, and hidden fees. Many dealerships
found themselves with serious problems at the end of a client’s term and,
despite their best efforts, the company’s reputation was tarnished and the
customer lost.

Seeing a need for integrity in leasing, and honest, quality service for
dealers, 35-year leasing veteran, Tony Golobic, founded GreatAmerica Leasing in
1990 to become a true partner in expanding services provided by leasing

Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, GreatAmerica Leasing, with more than 100
people in the Office Equipment Group, prides itself on its ability to provide a
full range of leasing services and support for dealers. Customized programs to
fit every dealers’ needs has caused the company to more than double its volume
in the past four years. GreatAmerica not only finances the hardware, but the
software and connectivity solutions to bring a total solution to the table.

As part of its initiative to overcome leasing stereotypes, GreatAmerica has
instituted a “Customers for Life” program that includes a “Truth in Leasing”
statement given to each dealer’s customer that outlines what the customer can

1. The customer will never pay more than 15 percent of the leased equipment
cost on a Fair Market Value purchase option

2. Monthly invoices will be mailed 25 days in advance of the due date

3. Customers will be charged a one-time  documentation fee

4. Customers will NOT be charged a handling fee for property taxes

5. Should your lease contain a $1.00 purchase option, customers will NOT be
billed  renewal payments

6. At the end of the lease term, customers will be notified on the last
scheduled invoice

7. Equipment used following the end of the lease term without exercising a
purchase option will have a month-to-month renewal vs. annual

“Our ‘Customers for Life’ initiative is just one more way that GreatAmerica
goes beyond the norm to care for both the dealer and their customer,” said David
Pohlman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Office Equipment
Group. “In addition to our quality service and support which includes no voice
mail and one-time call resolution, we are able to offer a variety of value-added
services to ensure that all parties are taken care of.”

According to Pohlman, GreatAmerica will not only bill and collect a dealers
service and supplies, but is also set-up to accept meter reads electronically.
Any overage amount is automatically billed and the money is passed through
directly to the dealer free of charge. With online tools dealers can check on
their customer’s accounts, look at invoices, see cash application, and review
reconciliation reports. Marketing material for dealers helps explain leasing
questions to customers and aids in proposal generation.

Going a step further, GreatAmerica has teamed with providers of parts,
software, and training/consulting to further aid dealers in choosing quality
products and services to offer their customers. “It’s like a referral program
for dealers if they need help choosing a provider,” said Pohlman. “We’ve taken
the trouble out of searching for a provider for them, finding the best available
solution to any problem or need.”

Pohlman added, “Utilizing GreatAmerica as your lease provider is a great way
to continue the tradition of honesty and integrity that you want to provide to
your customers.”

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