Organization Management Journal


Ariens is a family-owned manufacturer of lawn and snow equipment that designs, manufactures, sells, distributes, and supports its products in the United States, and more recently, internationally. Ariens faced and overcame a number of difficult challenges over the last decade by adopting and sustaining lean production principles throughout the organization, as well as with its suppliers and customers. This case study describes earlier business challenges, the changes that were made, how they were led, and the response of the workforce. The case study focuses on the period from 1998 to 2005, and a post-script updates what has happened up through early 2009. Ariens was studied because industry experts suggested that it was an exemplar of making and sustaining lean transformation. Our research confirms the commendable nature of these changes and their results. This case study details what happened and provides commentary on why Ariens has been successful.