When the American company Taylor Guitars decided to capture the European market, it needed a suitable head offi ce. “Founders/owners Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug had a clear list of the requirements the location had to meet,” says Dave Kentie, Europe Operations Manager. “Taylor Guitars is Rock & Roll! So it was also extremely important that we were located in Amsterdam, a place with a sexy image.”
There are more business parks near Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, but it was the Amsterdam name that had to grace the calling card. And so it did. That the price per square metre was a few euros more than in a park outside the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area was something the management was willing to accept. “See it as part of the advertising campaign,” said Dave. “Besides, this park has a beautiful green appearance and we like that there is park management that ensures that the quality remains high.”
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol mainly handy for passengers
“Of course it was important that Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the high-speed train lines were easily and quickly accessible; after all, we are an international company. For us, however, this wasn’t about freight transport. We send the guitars we have in stock in our warehouse throughout Europe with UPS. It’s handy for us to be close to the airport, though, because Taylor Guitars does a lot in terms of exchanging knowledge and skills between employees as well as with the sales people across Europe who sell our guitars. Knowledge exchange is something we do face-to-face, either here on the shop floor or in our showroom.”
For the collector
Taylor Guitars makes, sells and distributes guitars around the world, as it has for almost forty years. From customised items to stock from the collection, every piece is of extremely high quality. Among their clients, they count Prince, Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz and Alain Clark, but devoted collectors and well-paid professional guitarists are seduced by the quality of Taylor guitars too. The office at Business Park Amsterdam Osdorp serves mainly as a distribution centre and training facility, but repairs are also performed here. Ten employees work in the office here and another 11 sales staff are on the road working to expand the network of some 200 shops. Annually, Taylor Guitars sells more than 100,000 guitars around the world.
Click here for more information about Taylor Guitars and their business.
Compassion and sustainability
Although Taylor Guitars is flourishing, the company is definitely not just in it for the money. Taylor Guitars has its heart in the right place, as they showed when they had the opportunity to buy an ebony tree farm and sawmill. The ebony mill in Cameroon cuts down and processes the threatened exotic black wood. Ebony is used in guitar production and is extremely expensive, because the wood is on the verge of extinction. Immediately after the purchase, Taylor and Listug doubled the workers’ salaries and legalised the entire logging and production process. They also addressed the waste aspect; previously, many trees were cleared unnecessarily. If, after cutting the tree down, it turned out the wood didn’t possess the desired black colour, the wood was discarded. They decided to also use the more flamed wood from that day forth. Watch the video interview with Bob Taylor for the vision on sustainability.