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Guitar Center Doesn't Fret about Global Sourcing and Order Management; Retail Leader Selects TradeStone Software to Amp Up Unified Buying Process.

NEW YORK -- TradeStone Software, the leader in integrated planning, sourcing, product lifecycle management, and order execution applications, today announced that Guitar Center, Inc. has selected the TradeStone Suite to streamline its global sourcing operations. Guitar Center, Inc. (Nasdaq:GTRC), America's leading musical instrument and professional audio retailer, will utilize TradeStone's Unified Buying Process to source its wide selection of 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," reflected Steven Kitay, Director, Product and Brand Management at Guitar Center, Inc. "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."

The TradeStone Suite will enable Guitar Center product managers and buyers to quickly develop comprehensive Requests for Quotes (RFQs) for its global sourcing efforts. The TradeStone Suite normalizes disparate currencies, languages, and lead times, and automatically calculates the estimated landed costs for a clear understanding and comparison of all the offers. For suppliers located around the globe, the TradeStone Suite seamlessly 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 also enables buyers and trading partners to quickly collaborate on change orders to respond to any fluctuations in market conditions.

"We're very excited to get our sourcing department using the TradeStone Unified Buying Process," stated John Zavada, Chief Information Officer at Guitar Center, Inc. "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."

The collaboration features in the TradeStone Suite enable buyers and suppliers to hone in on exact specifications, colors, features, etc. 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.

"We couldn't be more pleased to have such a unique and well-respected retailer as a global sourcing and order management customer," stated Sue Welch, CEO of TradeStone Software. "With growing store and online sales, we look forward to being Guitar Center's partner for both bottom-line savings and top-line growth."

About Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the nation's leading retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards, live-sound/DJ and recording equipment. We presently operate 161 Guitar Center stores, with 126 stores in 50 major markets and 35 stores in secondary markets across the U.S. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates 81 retail locations specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving thousands of teachers, band directors, college professors and students. Guitar Center is also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the U.S. through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's web site at www.guitarcenter.com.

About TradeStone Software, Inc.

TradeStone Software enables retailers and manufacturers to plan, design, collaborate on and purchase goods from across the world as easily as from across the street. TradeStone's Unified Buying Engine uses Web services technology to layer across an organization's existing infrastructure while its modular software fills in buying process gaps to provide a single view, access and interaction across the entire procurement process. The first and only complete solution for global sourcing, product lifecycle management, and unified order management, TradeStone's intuitive "No Training" technology helps people throughout the supply chain to collaborate globally, enabling users to focus on speeding innovative products to market. Marquee customers include American Eagle Outfitters, The Children's Place, Deutsche Woolworth, Ocean State Job Lot, Pacific Alliance and Federated Department Stores. TradeStone Software is based in Gloucester, Mass. and can be found on the Web at www.TradeStoneSoftware.com.
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Comment:Guitar Center Doesn't Fret about Global Sourcing and Order Management; Retail Leader Selects TradeStone Software to Amp Up Unified Buying Process.
Publication:Business Wire
Article Type:Company Profile
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 17, 2006
Words:731
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