Doing More with Less at Ariens: A Leadership and Transformation Case Study
Author(s)Hartwell, Jennifer K.; Roth, George
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This case study illustrates the challenges of organizational change and transformation. The company studies, Ariens Company, used "lean" principles and methods in making these changes. As a manufacturer of snow and lawn equipment, the promises of lean manufacturing from the automotive industry were very appealing to Ariens' management. Indeed, the company faced a crisis in 1998 - overproduction had left it with excessive inventory, and its costs were too high to sell its products through retail channels. Distribution costs are most of the possible profit margins in selling through dealers. The company needed sweeping changes - a financial restructuring, change in its distribution system, reduction of inventory, new production methods, and lower cost and better quality products. The company as a whole, from senior leadership to shop floor workers, needed to work together to achieve these changes. The thinking, process and sequence of top, middle and front-line management changes, is the focus for this case study of lean transformation.
organizational change, transformation, Ariens Company, lean, costs, transformation
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