Lean Blossoms: The U.S. Pioneer of Lean Spreads the Knowledge

(This is the fourth in a 12-part series on the origins of Lean in the U.S. and my role as one of its pioneers.)

By 1984 Omark was gaining wide recognition as one of the best companies in America. The company was featured in what I believe was the first book written in the U.S. on the application of Lean methods brought back from Japan. Dr. Richard Schonberger’s 1982 book, Japanese Manufacturing Techniques: Nine Hidden Lessons in Simplicity.

We appeared in many articles and delivered results that were hard to beat. In 1984 we reported an increase in sales of 18 percent over 1983 (from $252 to $297 million) and our net earnings were up a whopping 115 percent (from $6.8 to $14.6 million. Things were going well.

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