New Allied Chief Gets Moving Fast Customer Satisfaction First on His List

By DeFotis, Dimitra | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 1, 1996 | Go to article overview

New Allied Chief Gets Moving Fast Customer Satisfaction First on His List


DeFotis, Dimitra, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Dimitra DeFotis Daily Herald Business Writer

The Allied story

Owned by NFC International Logistics and Moving Services of London since 1988, Naperville-based Allied was split into two companies in 1995: Allied Van Lines, which has a 15 percent share of the interstate moving market in North America, and Allied International, the global arm.

- NFC's North American revenues increased 4 percent in 1995 to roughly $1.1 billion. The figures include earnings from Allied, Excel Logistics and Merchants Home Delivery.

- NFC's North American profits for 1995 were down 49 percent to roughly $22 million before restructuring costs. Earnings suffered at the hands of unfavorable exchange rates, increased Allied claims costs and other factors.

Source: NFC annual report

Michael P. Fergus isn't afraid to work up a sweat as the summer moving season heats up.

He is, at age 43, one of the youngest men ever to take the helm at Allied Van Lines. The Downers Grove native spent 21 years globe-trotting for the Naperville company and moving up its ladder.

Fergus admits he was the third choice for president since British parent NFC International took over in 1989. Older men were chosen first. But several years of turnover made Fergus a prime candidate last July.

He has plenty of sweating ahead of him as the household moving season starts: Sales in the $7 billion U.S. residential moving market are flat.

The company is banking on baby boomers moving more as they age and using movers more than their parents. And the emergence of a middle class in Asia is an emerging market. The downsizing of the U.S. military has forced movers to look elsewhere for customers here and abroad.

While Allied is among the top five residential movers with more than a 13 percent market share, competition is stiff: United Van Lines and North American Van Lines are on top, followed by Mayflower Transit and Atlas Van Lines, according to the American Movers Conference in Alexandria, Va. …

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