Taylor guitars are sold in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in over 60 countries, through more than 800 music retailers. As part of the Taylor brand strategy, dealers must provide customers with a "full Taylor experience", stocking the full line of Taylor's guitars. But stocking the full Taylor line presents a challenge to dealers: a guitar can take up to 6 months to sell from the time it arrives at a dealer, and consumers often ask for extended financing for such a large personal investment. Conversely, manufacturer's terms typically require dealers to pay within 30 days.
Taylor needed help providing inventory finance for stock purchases, and retail sales financing for customers, and turned to GE Capital for a solution in 2000.
The Taylor Guitars and GE Capital partnership enables us to extend flexible payment terms to our vast network of dealers. As a result, our dealers view us as a trusted and invested partner in the success of their business, which ultimately leads to more people playing Taylor guitars.
GE Capital's Strategy
GE Capital offered Taylor a unified cash flow solution: Inventory Financing to help dealers acquire Taylor's products for stocking their stores, and a Sales Finance Program to help the consumers fund their music product purchase. With Taylor taking care of the upfront inventory finance costs, GE Capital enabled the dealer to purchase the full range of Taylor guitars, matching the dealers' turns to GE terms.
Deb Barker, Relationship Executive for GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance, and the music team, worked closely with Taylor Guitars designing programs and terms, to provide cash flow solutions during seasonal peaks and valleys. Taylor offers their dealers the total experience through the Taylor Guitars University, educating their dealers on Taylor's products, managing their business, as well as GE Capital's cost effective finance programs. Deb reckons "We come to Taylor as One GE....a unified team. With our manufacturer-centric model, not only do we offer affordable programs, we also provide valuable insight as subject matter experts."
At the same time, Jon Pershing, Sales Manager for Sales Finance, helped Taylor dealers understand how to use flexible consumer financing programs to attract more customers and provide valuable payment options that work within their budgets.
Providing a streamlined financing solution - has put Taylor's marketing and distribution strategy first, helping their business take off in 2010. Sales volume through GE Capital has increased 25% Year Over Year, with stronger growth trends anticipated.
Both Deb and Taylor are working towards promoting music education. Deb is the chair of the GE Volunteers team in the Atlanta, GA office, and has connected with the “Little Kids Rock” foundation, a non-profit educational program designed to bring instruments and music education to school children in economically challenged areas. As a business passionate about music, the match was a perfect harmony.