Hall of Fame–Tevis Paves His Own Path to Success
Those years of experience have taught Tevis to concentrate on seven areas that led to running a successful business:
- The customer is king. Make sure your business strategy and culture support your customers’ needs.
- Understand your customers’ markets and their growth potential. Too often we invest in a customer segment that has limited potential.
- Building a low-cost platform must be one centerpiece of a strategy. Not low price, [but] simply focusing every day on ways to take the cost out of the manufacturing and indirect areas, through continuous process improvement and prudent capital investments.
- Develop a team-based environment with employees informed in all aspects of the company’s strategy, culture and financial position.
- Single source suppliers when possible, as it helps to build a partnership with each vendor.
- While customer is king, cash is a very close second.
- Give something back to the community.
Terry A. Tevis was born March 29, 1942, in Los Angeles. His father, a career Army man, served in World War II and received a battlefield commission. The Tevis family frequently moved, and Terry attended a dozen schools before graduating, including an exotic two-year grade school stop at Japan and high school experiences in Heidelberg, Germany, and Monterey, CA.
After graduating from San Jose State with a BS and MBA, Tevis emerged a 2nd Lt. in the Army ROTC and went on active duty in 1965. His professional career started with a two-year stint at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC. After working as a pricing analyst for IBM and a financial consultant with Plan Metrics, Tevis found his way into the world of commercial printing as a financial manager for Arcata Graphics in 1971.
Arcata National was forming the Graphics Service Group in New York City and was in need of a financial manager to consolidate the various printing divisions of Arcata Graphics. He initiated a computer-based financial reporting system, a new capital budgeting methodology and a formal annual planning process. Tevis’ success in selling the ideas led to a career change and move to Los Angeles as a sales executive in 1973. He remained there and was elevated to vice president of Western sales until 1978, when Tevis returned to New York as vice president and general sales manager for Arcata’s Publication and Commercial Printing Group.