The year is 1980. It was a year of “firsts”.
Ted Turner launches the Cable News Network (CNN) forever changing the face of news reporting as we know it.
The timing benchmark for the first Global Positioning System was established paving the way for implementation of the most accurate navigations system known to man. man.
Lech Walesa leads the first labor strike at the Gdansk Shipyard, setting the path to his ultimate election as the first democratically elected president of Poland.
On the Aviation front, Gulfstream delivered its first G-1159A (G-III) at what we thought was an exorbitantly high of price of $10 million U.S.
And far below those levels of significance, but every bit as important to me, in that same year I first opened the doors at SCM Associates, Inc. my fledgling corporate jet aircraft brokerage business. Its first listings included for sale, a Falcon 20F for Bristol Myers of New York and a Gulfstream II for International Nickel of Toronto.
In those days, Purchase Offers and Sales Contracts were typed on an electric typewriter; changes took days to accomplish. (There was no such thing as cut and paste.) Urgent written communications before fax, email, the internet and other such instant communication modes we now take for granted, were all done by TELEX. Domestic aircraft sales transactions were difficult enough; international transactions were complex, time consuming and in some cases nearly impossible to conduct. Brokers worked much harder to earn their commissions.
Advertising of listings consisted primarily of ads (very expensive ads, at that!) in the Aviation Section of the Wall Street Journal, listings in Trade-a-Plane and direct mail contact. Data was difficult to obtain; there were no worldwide “for hire” aviation research data bases to access for instant aircraft owner information. The overnight letter service was yet to be introduced by Fedex and the U.S. Mail was the primary document sending medium. Conklin DeDecker didn’t exist to provide research on performance, range and operating costs. We didn’t have cell phones so we could work on the go. To be successful, aviation brokers worked long, hard hours and when they weren’t sitting behind the desk in the office tied to the telephone in the middle of the night because of time zone restrictions, they were on a commercial airliner winging their way to meet a customer face-to-face. Brokers had to learn and retain a significant knowledge base of details and statistics on the specific aircraft they dealt in. A strong work ethic was mandatory and honesty was an absolute necessity.
The interactions involved in such transactions created long term business relationships in the aviation world. And reputations were built to stand the test of time. This is something that continues to serves as the foundation of my business today.
Times have changed and almost all the methods involved in selling aircraft have become much easier. And while we here at SCM have embraced these changes, there is one thing that has remained the same as the first day I opened the doors at SCM Associates, Inc. – honesty and integrity are the rule of thumb in all our transactions. I will have it no other way. To my long standing customers, I thank you for your business. To those customers I haven’t met yet, I sincerely hope you allow us the opportunity to show you how good we really are in serving all of your aviation needs in the not too distant future!
SCM Associates, Inc.
SCM Associates, Inc.