Guitar Center Doesn't Fret about Global Sourcing and Order Management

Retailer selects TradeStone software to amp up unified buying process

Retailer selects TradeStone software to amp up unified buying process

New York — January 24, 2006 — Musical instrument retailer Guitar Center is set to use a solution from TradeStone to streamline its global sourcing operations and order management processes, tapping the solution provider's Unified Buying Process to source musical instruments, equipment and accessories.

Several factors complicate the supply chain for premium merchandise such as musical instruments. Big ticket items, along with high SKU counts of low-cost accessories sourced directly from Asia, require an integrated approach to supply chain management and accurate visibility. Collaboration between suppliers, logistics providers, buyers and product managers is critical throughout the product lifecycle.

"We selected TradeStone as key to meeting our needs in system functionality, global reach and expertise," said Steven Kitay, director of product and brand management at Guitar Center. "TradeStone should help us manage project details, costs and vendor communication so that new SKUs get to market faster and our overall gross margin increases."

Comparing Landed Cost

TradeStone said its flagship suite will enable Guitar Center product managers and buyers to develop comprehensive requests for quotes (RFQs) more quickly for its global sourcing efforts. The suite normalizes disparate currencies, languages and lead times, and it automatically calculates the estimated landed costs for a clear understanding and comparison of all the offers, according to TradeStone.

For suppliers located around the globe, the suite unites and coordinates such details as product specifications, RFQ, quality control, packing list and all the invoices and customs paperwork, eliminating redundant data entry errors and speeding up production, the solution provider said. The suite also enables buyers and trading partners to collaborate on change orders to respond to any fluctuations in market conditions.

"No Training" Philosophy

"We're very excited to get our sourcing department using the TradeStone Unified Buying Process," said John Zavada, chief information officer at Guitar Center. "TradeStone's 'no-training' design philosophy is important to our team members who want to be up and running quickly while gaining access to key suppliers around the world."

Zavada continued: "TradeStone understands how our supplier lead times and seasonal sales patterns can impact our balance sheet. We want to optimize these processes with supplier collaboration features and eliminate redundant data entry."

TradeStone said that the collaboration features in its suite enable buyers and suppliers to hone in on exact specifications, colors and other features to satisfy market demand. This process also takes advantage of available raw materials and factory capacity, facilitating quick change orders for quantities and shipment modes, the solution provider said.

Additional Articles of Interest

— Read about the five phases of global sourcing that, if followed, allow an organization to implement a successful global sourcing strategy in the short-, medium- and long-term. See more in "Making Global Sourcing Work," only on

— Analyzing past transactional spend data will get you only so far in understanding and managing your company's future requirements for direct materials. A new approach to analyzing spend offers opportunities for targeting the most strategic spend categories. Read more in "Transactional Data Don't Equal Spend Visibility" in the December 2005/January 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— Consumers spent nearly $28 billion on the "Black Friday" after Thanksgiving 2005, up 21.9 percent over 2004's results. Great news for retailers, but a potential nightmare for supply chain executives trying to get the right product on the right shelf at the right time. The lesson: Now is the time to plan for the next peak shipping season. Read more in the "Seasons' Peakings," the Executive Memo column in the December 2005/January 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.