The Channel: UK distributor SCV

SCV, London
This month's The Channel is celebrating the 10th anniversary of our esteemed UK distributors, SCV London. We are exceedingly pleased to have them as one of Universal Audio's most productive and supportive international trading partners.

What follows is the result of a cyber-interview I did with Steve MacDonald, UK Marketing and Strategic Sales Manager for SCV London. Happy 10th Anniversary SCV London. Here's looking forward to celebrating your 20th.

Steve, give us a little background on SCV.
SCV London founded in 1986 as manufacturing company by Julian Blyth is one of the most high profile distributors in the UK Music Industry today. Offering a wealth of recording technology products for professionals and hobbyists alike, SCV London can offer over 1,000 products from 17 different manufacturers ranging from computer products to award winning studio monitors.

2004 is a landmark year for SCV London, being our 10th anniversary since the start of our distribution activities with the
acquisition of the Fostex line in 1994. This last decade has witnessed possibly the most rapid changes in music technology since the advent of professional recording. In the beginning we were selling multi-track reel to reel recorders, whereas today we can offer devices that record onto a range of digital media including compact flash, Hard Disk and DVD-RAM at a fraction of the cost.

Who is SCV?
SCV London is overseen by Julian Blyth, our Managing Director and founder. Working directly with Julian, are Tony Besgrove - UK Sales Manager, Richard Sawle - Sales representative in the North of England and Scotland, Steve McDonald - UK Marketing and Strategic Sales Manager, Winston Douglas - Service and Operations Manager, and Matt Esau - Sales office manager. Add to this a further 12 employees that cover sales and technical support, service, PR and design, that are here to respond to all customer enquiries whether they are pre, or post sales.

What does the acronym SCV stand for?
The SCV acronym is French and stands for Studio Chemin Vert. This translates to 'Green Lane Studio' or as the French would view it 'Track Studio'. The name comes from our association with SCV Audio and their first incarnation as a music studio in France.

Where is SCV located? Why?
SCV London is located in Loughton in Essex. Our location is within easy reach of one of the busiest, and sometimes slowest roads in the UK, the M25, and we are also easily accessible via the Tube from London. We were previously based in Islington, London, but the move to Loughton has allowed us greater warehousing facilities and easier access for our customers.

How long has SCV been in business? How did SCV get started?
SCV London has been in business as a UK distributor since 1993, but we originally started as a manufacturer of signal processors back in 1986. Due to our manufacturing expertise, SCV Audio, a large distributor in France, were sold a large interest in our manufacturing business. Not long after this exchange, we were given the opportunity to take over UK distribution of Fostex Professional products, a product range represented by our colleagues in France. That is how we began our business in distribution and some 10 years later, we still represent Fostex amongst a further 14 brands.

What is it about SCV that makes your company unique among UK distributors?
I think the strongest praise you can get from UK dealers is being referred to as 'Nice guys to do business with'. That term has become something of a mission statement for us, and all of our employees will go that extra mile to ensure that all of our customers receive a friendly and efficient service from us. Add to this that we have a large field sales team that regularly call on our dealers, and that we attend major trade shows such as Sounds Expo to share our knowledge with dealers and end-users alike, I think you could say that we are truly committed to our purpose and our customers respond to that.

How many dealers are currently on your distribution roster?
We deal with a little over 650 dealers in the UK and Ireland. Our dealers offer anything from small portable 4-track multi-trackers, to the greatest Limiting Amplifiers from Universal Audio. With over 1,000 products on offer from SCV London, we usually have something to offer most UK dealers.

Do you distribute to all of the UK countries? Any other European countries?
Our guys regularly traverse Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland and Wales. It's a huge task to ensure that all of your dealers get regular visits and are up to date with all of the latest product information. I think we have our hands full without going in to the rest of Europe.

Why is Universal Audio important to your business?
What we love about dealing with Universal Audio is that you have the same mindset as us. We are both passionate about our products and the service we give to our customers. The Universal Audio range fits extremely well in our product portfolio and allows us to offer tailored solutions for studio customers rather than just individual products. What's equally important is that our dealers love dealing with Universal Audio too, it makes business better for everyone, including the end-user.

What is the coolest thing about Universal Audio as product line to sell?
That's a hard question. You could ask every member of staff at SCV London and get a different answer as it all depends on what Universal Audio product they are currently using. The UAD-1 Project Pak has to be one of the coolest things about the product range for me. For such a small price, you can get a hardware DSP card for your computer that will give you access to some of the best in the classics range, but at a price everyone can afford. For a lot of home users, such as myself, space is also at a premium and this card can give you the sounds of the hardware versions without the space requirements."

What makes selling Universal Audio gear a pain in the neck?
Lifting the boxes. Seriously, all of the traditional electronics used in the classics weighs a lot more than modern integrated circuits. You try carrying three or four classics in a rack around London when visiting dealers. Would I like you to change that? No way! Maybe just send our guys on a bodybuilding course.

-Terry Hardin

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