Guitar Center Tunes Up Sourcing Processes

Retailer selects TradeStone to streamline global sourcing operations, expand private brand offerings and improve gross margins

Guitar Center selected the TradeStone Suite in January 2006 to streamline its global sourcing operations, expand its private brand offerings and improve gross margins. Phase 1 implementation of the Suite, which includes TradeStone's Unified Buying Engine and modules for Product Development, Sourcing and Logistics, took 90 days to complete.

Guitar Center said the TradeStone Suite allows it to quickly create requests for quote (RFQs) and put those quotes out for bid to manufacturers worldwide. By normalizing currencies, languages, lead times and automatically calculating the estimated landed costs for goods, Guitar Center can accurately compare offers from different manufacturers, no matter their location.

"For us, TradeStone Suite unifies a number of separate and disparate communication threads into a singular, streamlined platform. This consolidation allows manufacturers, product managers, and buyers to literally be on the same page, confirming specs, viewing and exchanging images, requesting quotes — all in real-time and in historical context," said Steven Kitay, director, Product and Brand Management at Guitar Center. "The TradeStone Suite helps dramatically reduce the risks inherent in global sourcing. From quote to product, it's fast, easy and, ultimately, it makes us more profitable."

Additionally, TradeStone allows Guitar Center to react to market fluctuations, providing products when and where they are needed, coordinating RFQs, quality control, packing lists, as well as invoices and Customs paperwork.

Sue Welch, CEO of TradeStone, commented, "Guitar Center leveraged our rapid implementation methodology to not only save services and consulting dollars, but to also receive value and ROI more quickly. With the software in production, Guitar Center is poised to better source goods for their private brands, improve shelf fulfillment and increase profits."