In 1974 Russell opened his first independent leasing company – Penny Leasing Systems. He hired several engineers from Georgia Tech to develop a lease analytics tool for the Wang computer that would calculate "Penny Perfect Payments". This was the first technology of its kind and the inspiration behind nearly every technology Market Scan has ever developed. In the early 1980's Russell's son, Rusty, as a high school student, rewrote the software to run on a Radio Shack TRS80 Model 1000 computer. In 1988 Rusty graduated with degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics. At that point Russell and Rusty set out to create the world's most sophisticated automotive analytics system – Market Scan was born. The premise was straight forward: there is only one scientifically perfect solution to any automotive transaction and any solution that is less than perfect undermines 4 sectors of the market:
Rusty spent the next fourteen months programming in a converted copy room he affectionately refers to as "the dungeon". In November of 1990, he pawned the title to his Pea Soup Green 1987 Buick LeSabre Special Edition for $5,700 and moved to Southern California. After a terribly bumpy start due to the first Gulf War, Russell moved to Southern California to take over the marketing efforts for the company. It was then that Market Scan's initial product, Lease Prophet, started gaining tremendous traction. By 1994 over 82% of all new vehicle leases written in California were calculated by Lease Prophet. In 1995 Toyota of North America brought Lease Prophet to the North-East market. In 1996 Nissan of North America brought Lease Prophet to the South-East market and by 1997 Market Scan was a National company with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Tampa, Cincinnati, Dallas and San Francisco. Over the next 4 years Market Scan continued to grow at a meteoric pace and was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. in 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2000.
At this point Market Scan was nationally recognized as the company that wrote the book on auto leasing. 2001 started off to a bang as well and every indication was that the company would continue its rapid growth. On 9/11/2001 the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center brought the auto leasing industry to a screeching halt. This forced Market Scan to create a series of new products for the Automotive Industry. The first product, Market Scan RFS (retail finance system), was a retail finance desking tool with the same powerful analytics capabilities as Lease Prophet. The next product was the mPod Quick Sales Kiosk of which Market Scan still holds a patent. Followed by Market Scan SFA (Sales Force Automation), which was the most robust CRM solution in the space, and SAMM (Services Analysis and Marketing Module) which was a cutting edge extension of SFA for the service department. All of these products were developed by Market Scan's world class team of software engineers in just 10 short months. Market Scan continued to serve the ever changing needs of auto dealers for the next several years; however, the plummeting economy and the non-existent leasing market took its toll. Because of the company's enormous success in the years leading up to 9/11 it was able to weather this second storm. Unfortunately it would be a decade long treacherous path for Market Scan to regain traction in the automotive space. This path was fraught with Russell's death in 2005 followed by a crashing economy just a couple of years later. Regardless of the circumstances, the company continued to provide its customers with world class products and support.
By 2010 the company was in survival mode and focusing most of its technological efforts on supporting products that were outside of its proverbial DNA. Even though mPod, SFA and SAMM were best in class products, they were a departure from the company's passion - it was time to regroup and refocus. Market Scan invested the next 4 years to create the timeliest, most accurate and comprehensive database of manufacturer, lender, municipality and dealership information the world had ever seen. At the same time, the company's development team worked tirelessly to create the most powerful calculation engine in the industry. The culmination of this amazing effort is Market Scan's most exciting product to date: mScanAPI. mScanAPI powers Market Scan's mDesking system which is the most robust desking solution in the industry. mScanAPI also powers dozens of the most highly regarded consumer and dealership focused digital retailing technologies in the space. 1.2 Billion Penny Certain payments were quoted in October, 2018 by mScanAPI and that number is expected to grow every month.
In a recent interview, Rusty West stated "my Dad used to say 'watch out world, here we come!!!' and he meant it. He would be very pleased with our ever-evolving technology, our rapidly increasing portfolio of partners and the exciting direction we have chosen. I know he would be sitting on the edge of his seat, anxiously awaiting our upcoming announcements and cutting edge FinTech performance and diagnostic tools. Thank you to all of our associates, past and present, to our partners past, present, and those considering joining Market Scan's future".