Getting to the Bottom Line: Revised Business Strategy Propels Tara Picture Frames toward Growth

By King, Carol | Art Business News, December 2003 | Go to article overview

Getting to the Bottom Line: Revised Business Strategy Propels Tara Picture Frames toward Growth


King, Carol, Art Business News


In a marketplace that some define as turbulent and bleak, Tara Picture Frames has thrived and blossomed. The company recently tripled the size of its operation, relocating to an expanded 83,000-square-foot headquarters and warehouse facility in San Diego.

David Twite, president of Tara Picture Frames, credits the company's growth to a revamping of business methodologies.

The company manufactures and distributes custom-made, dosed-corner-solid-wood frames, as well as ready made, Tara was established in 1972 as Hy-Jo Picture Frames. In 1990, Hy-Jo was purchased by Tara Materials Inc., a Lawrenceville, Ga.-based manufacturer of Fredrix artist canvas.

Although the union occurred more than 10 years ago, the business relationship between the pair was not officially solidified until recently. "Hy-Jo's name was changed to Tara Picture Frames in 2002 to reflect the decade-long affiliation with Tara Materials," Twite said. "However, Hy-Jo operated as a stand-alone company that did well in the framing market. It was not until recently that file two companies became fully integrated."

Michael Benator, who became president and chief executive officer of Tara Materials in 1996, is the visionary behind the successful unification of the two companies, according to Twite. "Michael has used exhaustive recruiting methods to build a world-class management team.

Decisions implemented by the management team so far include consolidating the companies' information systems, eliminating slow-selling items from Tara's product line, homogenizing the canvas and framing-related product offerings and targeting products for specific consumers.

Room for Growth

Twite, a Harvard University graduate, joined the company two years ago. "My focus, since day one, has been on bottom line growth" he said. "We have been making strides by implementing systems that improve efficiency while reducing costs. The consolidation of our information systems has been a key element in that process."

The revised computer system now has one central data-base that is used by Tara Picture Frames and its parent company. "One company does not need two database," Twite said. "Now, we have all product files, vendor information and accounting files combined. Orders taken by our customer service department used to take two weeks to process, now they go directly to the warehouse with a shipping goal of 24 to 48 hours"

By eliminating divisions between Tara Picture Frames and Tara Materials, each company is able to broaden its offerings to the marketplace. "We recognize that many customers who buy canvas also buy frames, and vice verse" said Twite. "It made sense to combine the products and provide easy, transparent access to the customer:" Therefore, Tara Picture Frames offers a line of pre-stretched canvas products.

Customer Concentration

In reviewing the bottom line, Twite made the decision to scratch nearly 25 percent of the company's frame offerings. …

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