Oz-Is Improves Delivery

September 20, 2000

The Turkish lira has dropped by 50 percent in each of the last three years, said Ozer Ozbarut, partner with his brother Onder in Oz-Is, a trimming producer. "Life is very difficult in Turkey. We're paying off loans today with 20-25 percent interest rates. We hope this will change when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visits Turkey and reconfigures interest rates here." Oz-Is opened a new facility named Trimland three years ago to better present its lines with the addition of more modern manufacturing plants as well.

Oz-Is produces machine-made cords, fringes and handmade tassels from the middle to upper price levels. In the last three years, the number of employees at the company increased from 187 to 265.

"We have increased delivery response times from 6-8 weeks to 3-4 weeks," he said. "Our capacity has increased and service is better."

"Our business is steady. We're shipping containers to the Far East, U.S.A. and by truck to Europe. We use airfreight for worldwide shipments, but Russia, South America and the Far East hit the wall in 1999, dropping by 90 percent."

Oz-Is has looked to the U.S.A. to make up for the declines in those markets. "Now China and India are getting in to the trim business. Some of our Far Eastern customers began to produce their own trims as well," said Ozbarut.

Oz-Is began to produce custom-made catalogs in the U.S.A. for specific customers for the first time to promote new business. "We're making 250-6,000 catalogs per customer. The customer pays the cost price for each catalog we make. We look at the catalog as a promotional vehicle for Trimland."

Oz-Is opened a U.S. office in the New York area and counts Penney as its largest American customer. For the local contract market. The company supplies hotel chains directly. For example, Oz-Is supplied all of the trims to the Intercontinental Hotel in Istanbul.

Oz-Is introduced imported fabric lines three years ago through its showroom here but has decreased emphasis on small quantities of imported fabrics from Spain, England and Italy due to intense price competition from local Turkish mills. "The imports were just too expensive for the Turkish buyers," he said.

Oz-Is designs all trims in house on CAD systems with Italian-made software and production equipment from Switzerland, Italy Germany and Spain. Onder handles coloring and export markets; his wife Berna is in charge of the local market; Oya handles production and Ozer watches over technical matters including machinery, computers, marketing and merchandising.

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