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SA Scale Company to revert to its original trading name “Sasco”

It is very interesting to look at the history of Sasco and to see that it has come full circle.

The history of Sasco commenced in the year 1906 when W & T Avery in England decided to send Mr. C.E. Graham to South Africa to open a branch. The original idea in opening a branch was to sell direct to end users, but Mr. Graham soon found that there was scope for a repair and service business as well. IMr Grahamt is interesting to note that the first weighbridge Mr. Graham sold was in 1907. It was a road weighbridge with a capacity of 40,000ibs, and the price quoted was 175 British pounds.

In 1918 it was evident to the Managing Director, Mr. Graham and his management team that the future growth of the business would be hindered unless a wider range of goods could be sourced from a number of different suppliers. Accordingly, the company’s legal name was changed at this time to SA Scale Company Limited, to enable it to handle goods other than those manufactured by Avery. However its trading name soon became S.A.S.C.O. Under the focused and determined leadership of Mr. Graham,  the Company achieved unrivalled growth in revenues and profits and by 1948, being the date of Mr. Graham’s retirement, S.A.S.C.O had established a country wide network of sales and service branches based on a multiple supplier policy aimed at meeting the needs of its weighing customers.

In 1949, the management of S.A.S.C.O decided to restructure the Company’s growing sales operations to follow more of an industrial focus. At this time the Company also decided to commence with an expansion program outside South Africa. Over the next thirty years S.A.S.C.O opened offices in Zambia, Rhodesia, Mozambique and Malawi and acquired a weighing company in South West Africa. All of these operations grew to the point that they were subsequently incorporated as wholly owned subsidiaries of S.A.S.C.O reporting into the Johannesburg head office. Such was the success of S.A.S.C.O that by 1974 the Group was making in excess of R1, 000,000 in consolidated profits. In addition to this the Company had put in place its’ own in house weighing training school so as to secure a long term supply of well trained technicians.

Head OfficeHowever, 1975 was a turning point in S.A.S.C.O’s history with the construction of a large 40,000 sq.ft factory at Apex Park in Benoni. With this large investment came a change of focus from sales and service to manufacturing and with this also a change in trading name with the S.A.S.C.O name slowly giving way to SA Scale, a name more closely associated with the now core manufacturing operation. The next thirty years in the Company’s “SA Scale” history could not have contrasted more sharply than with the pervious thirty years. By early 2000 the company was making substantial losses, had lost its sales and service focus, was selling only Avery product, was heavily unionized and had no significant non South African operations.

In 2003, the Company along with various non South African weighing operations were acquired from Avery. The past six years have seen a complete restructuring of the Company, a total change in its management and suppliers, a move  to a multiple supplier policy, a return to industrial sector sales and service focus, an exit from all manufacturing and a return to highly focused management approach.

The Group is now back where it was in 1974 both operationally, structurally and culturally. In recognition of this reality the decision has accordingly been taken to once again revert back to the Sasco trading name and from the 1st of January, 2010 the Group will once trade as “Sasco”. Many challenges lie ahead however, it is our commitment to dedicate ourselves, with the same vigor and determination as motivated Mr. Graham and his team, to build an outstanding business committed to servicing our customers’ needs.