Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users, will commemorate 10 years of operation throughout 2011. GC Pro has changed the way audio professionals can access equipment sales and service from Guitar Center..
It has been a decade where the requirements for sound were vastly increased and broadened, as venues such as houses of worship and schools that previously hadn’t paid critical attention to their audio needs began to address issues ranging from P.A. intelligibility to large-space acoustics.
The music industry has exploded into a universe of personal and project recording studios that range from large conventional facilities to laptop-based home spaces.
The ability to make music, edit audio and take quality live sound into spaces that had never benefited from it became a national phenomenon that needed a comprehensive and consistent solution when it came to technology sales, service and advice. GC Pro was there to provide that solution.
“Ten years ago, Guitar Center made the decision to create a division that could address the business-to-business aspects of the audio industry primarily,” explains GC Pro Director, Rick Plushner. “The division is organized to reach out to communities and address various markets such as recording studios, post-production facilities, house-of-worship accounts, live sound venues, schools for the teaching of the recording arts, and other business-to-business entities, [including] restaurants, clubs and similar venues.”
“P.K. Pandey, a long-time employee of Guitar Center who helped launch our early pro audio sales efforts, actually coined the phrase ‘GC Pro’ – he was calling himself a GC professional and it was the first time it was utilized. P.K. is still with the company today as a Senior Account Manager working out of our Boston location, which says a lot about the dedication of GC Pro associates.”
“Tom Menrath was then hired to pull this idea together within the GC organization, and working with Marek Stycos, gathered the top audio sales professionals in the company to form the original team. I joined in 2005 and took over as Director in January 2008.”
Plushner points out that before GC Pro became a reality, the then-highly localized pro audio retail sector was moving towards an online paradigm, which offered wider access to more equipment to more users, but left them disconnected from the personalized service necessary when purchasing, using and integrating expensive and complex technology.
“In the age of the Internet, you can go to a website, buy a product and have it shipped to you. GC Pro utilizes all the resources of Guitar Center including web based purchasing but that’s were our services begin – we also provide the ability to have a local person in your area that you can visit, converse with and come out to your facility providing onsite consultation. We can bring you demo gear to try out, providing services only done in person,” Plushner explains. “We’re a boutique style operation networked across the country, utilizing the full power of Guitar Center’s infrastructure and reach.”