Company Name: Sparta Municipal
Headquarters: New York, N.Y.
Signature Product: Municipal Leasing Service
Sparta Municipal recognized that as police departments work to serve their communities, they often require equipment but are without the immediate financial resources to address those needs. Instead of purchasing the vehicles upfront, Sparta Municipal allows police departments to lease vehicles, and thereby pay for them overtime, to avoid entirely up-front expenditures.
What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Our parent company, Sparta Commercial Services, has been involved in consumer leasing for many years and has created strong relationships with the vendors and dealerships that sell police units. We and our vendor partners decided that our leasing facility would serve well in the law enforcement and first responder communities on a town, city, and state municipal level. We reached out to police departments that were in a working radius of our vendor partners and found there was indeed a need for our services. We have grown from that nucleus, of serving only police departments, to expanding to first responder agencies, schools, and other city/municipal departments. To date, 72 jurisdictions in 16 states have utilized our program.
Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
There’s no question that there is a need to supply alternative means of procurement to today’s police community. With budgets being strained and police chiefs and other administrative personnel having to decide between competing needs to stay within those budgets, we provide an option that permits them to not have to make that difficult choice. Our program allows for more equipment to be procured for what amounts to a much less annual outlay than does the method of paying for everything up front at the time of delivery. Beyond the procurement advantage, new fleets represent new technology, resulting in real dollar savings on the costs of fuel and maintenance.
What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Letting the market know we’re here and that our leasing facility option is available to them. Our marketing department’s number one goal is to increase our visibility and to educate the various municipalities across the country, ensuring they know that they have this type of procurement solution as an option. We’ve done a good job of this by simply proving to our existing jurisdictions that the process is very easy and straightforward. The word-of-mouth from those jurisdictions to other jurisdictions has been our best form of getting the word out.
What makes your company unique?
While we have done large and small transactions, we find that a majority of lenders really have a limited interest in serving smaller departments whose fleets might consist of a limited number of Harley-Davidson motorcycles or Dodge Charger squad cars. This is where we have found our market niche. We readily and happily service these smaller fleets in the very same way we have served departments procuring much larger fleets.
What do your customers like best about you and your products?
In addition to offering a financing product that is needed in the current economic environment to ensure the ability to acquire essential equipment and accessories, and by doing so in a truly cost-effective manner, we have created a reputation for providing a complete cradle-to-grave service. The chiefs, captains, fleet directors, and officers we’ve worked with would say that it is our utter involvement from the beginning to the end that separates us from our competition. From the moment a jurisdiction reaches out to us for a quote on equipment, we find out exactly what their needs are and what they want to accomplish. We then offer finance options based on each jurisdiction’s specific criteria and wants. We do all the leg work with the vendor, we follow up with the client’s department heads, and we make it as easy as possible so that it is not a burden but an efficient process. Testimonials are available on our website: www.SpartaMunicipal.com.
What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
We’re often told that we are providing a service that allows these first responders to do what they need to do with the equipment that they need to do it. Whether it is allowing a department to acquire ten squad cars instead of five or allowing another department to acquire new vehicles with higher safety ratings, better technologies, and fuel economy, our service provides for a course of action to do this where it otherwise would not be available.
What’s next for your company? Any upcoming projects or initiatives?
Sparta Commercial Services is the parent company of Sparta Municipal Leasing. Sparta Commercial Services also has a subsidiary that provides mobile application technology to many different industries. We foresee municipal jurisdictions—towns, cities, states—utilizing this kind of technology in the public safety sector. Perhaps for traffic control, Amber alerts, extreme weather warnings… The possibilities are really limitless. We’re very proud of this facet of our business and think it would integrate well in the municipal and public safety communities.
For more information on Sparta Municipal, visit http://www.SpartaMunicipal.com/.