Richard J. Schonberger


This Flow Manufacturing ... book (Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2019) tells 101 stories of company efforts to implement the many aspects of flow manufacturing – including such topics as just-in-time production, total quality control, reorganization of factories into product-focused or customer-focused cells, plants-in-a-plant, material flows by the simplicity of visual kanban, supplier partnerships, quick setup of equipment, cross-training and job rotation of the work force, and many more. The 101 caselets include 26 non-U.S. companies from 12 countries and cover a wide swath of industrial sectors, and include many well-knows corporations such as Apple, Campbell Soup, Honeywell, and Boeing.


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Best Practices

 In this broadly and deeply researched Best Practices book (Wiley, 2008) Dr. Schonberger taps the "leanness studies" (15 or more years of hard data on 1,300 large, global companies) backed up by company interviews, and draws often surprising, out-of-the-mainstream conclusions about the global state of lean and process improvement.

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Let's Fix It!

Schonberger's 2001 book details how to cope in the new era of hypercompetition – and accounting scandals (see, especially, Performance Management chapters 6 and 7 – on what must be done inside the firm to reveal real strengths and weaknesses):

Let's Fix It!  Overcoming the Crisis in Manufacturing:   How the World's Leading Manufacturers Were Seduced by Prosperity and Lost Their Way (Paying the Price of Stock Hyping and Management Fads)









Richard Schonberger, Ph.D., is an independent researcher and author  based in Bellevue, WA (Seattle area).  He is author of more than 200 articles and papers,  a 12-volume video set, and several books including:

Flow Manufacturing – What Went Right, What Went Wrong: 101 Mini-Case Studies that Reveal Lean's Successes and Failures (Routledge/Taylor & Francis/Productivity Press, 2018)

Best Practices in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement: A Deeper Look . . . with Telling Evidence from the Leanness Studies
(New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2008)

And from Free Press imprint of Simon & Schuster:
Let's Fix It!  Overcoming the Crisis in Manufacturing: How the World's Leading Manufacturers Were Seduced by Prosperity and Lost Their Way (2001).

World Class Manufacturing — The Next Decade: Building Power, Strength, and Value (1996), in seven languages and six printings.

Building a Chain of Customers: Linking Business Functions to Create the World Class Company (1990), in five languages; over 28,000 copies sold.

World Class Manufacturing Casebook: Implementing JIT and TQC (1987); over 30,000 copies sold.

World Class Manufacturing: The Lessons of Simplicity Applied (1986), in eight languages and 20 printings; over 150,000 copies sold.

Japanese Manufacturing Techniques: Nine Hidden Lessons in Simplicity (1982), in nine languages and 25 printings; over 160,000 copies sold.

Schonberger is originator of the now widely-used term (and supporting concepts), world class manufacturing..

Among his current activities, Dr. Schonberger is director of: 1. The Leanness Studies, an on-going tracking of inventory turnover data for more than 1,500 companies in 37 countries.  2. An international benchmarking  research project called World Class by Principles (WCP),  with assisting research partners in leading nations globally.

E-Mail: sainc17@centurylink.net

177 107th Avenue N.E., #2101, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA
Telephone: (425) 467-1143

2019 Richard J. Schonberger.  All Rights Reserved.


Miscellaneous Schonberger Presentations, 2004-19:

Recent 2-day, 1-day, half-day workshops/seminars: Monterrey, Mexico (Sponsor: Katcon, Inc.); Stockholm, Sweden (Sponsor: Sandholm Associates); Norman, OK (Sponsor: Executive Lean Summit); Duck Key, FL (Hollister, Inc.); Cardiff, Wales, UK (Sponsor Lean Enterprise Research Center, Cardiff University); Steyr, Austria, for SKF Management (Sponsor: Upper Austria Univ. of Applied Science); Manchester, UK (Sponsor: Manufacturing Institute); Mumbai, India (Sponsor: RA Knowledge Forums); New Delhi, India (Sponsor: RA Knowledge Forums); Shanghai, PR China – in 2007 and 2008 (Sponsor: Mena Maxson); Cleveland (Cleveland APICS); Santa Clara, CA (Santa Clara APICS); Nashville, TN (sponsor: Shingo Prize); Tijuana, Mexico (principal sponsor: Calidad Total Empresarial)

Topics: These presentations focus on a wide variety of issues, especially regarding process improvement, lean/fow management, and total quality; some slanted specifically on human resource management, performance management and measurement, supply-chain/value-chain management, management accounting/lean accounting, design for manufacturing and assembly, designing and equipping factories, capital equipment, global/regional/sector trends, and competitiveness/strategic management. Please see "Recent Articles," later in the website, for titles that relate to presentation topics.

Special Topics Presentation - 31st Annual Shingo Conference, Cincinnati, May 2, 2019

Presenter, 17th Annual LLSS World Conference, Las Vegas, April 4, 2018

Tutorial, 15th Annual QRM Conference, Madison, WI, June 19, 2017

Special Invited presenter, The Assembly Show, Rosemont, IL, Oct. 26, 2016

Special Invited presenter, Shingo Insitute International Conference, Washington, D.C., Apr. 27, 2016

Keynote, Decision Sciences Institute Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, Nov. 23, 2015

Keynote, 2015 Shingo Latin America Summit, Queretero, Mexico, Sept. 23, 2015

Keynote, 14th Annual Conference on Quick-Response Manufacturing, Madison, WI, June 23, 2015

Keynote, International DFMA Forum, Providence, RI, June 4, 2014

Keynote, 50th Anniversary of Tec de Juarez, Cd. Juarez, Mexico, March 31, 2014

Keynote, Central Coast Lean Summit, San Luis Obispo, CA, Feb. 21, 2014

Presenter, ASQ 22nd Annual Service Quality Conference, Las Vegas, Oct. 7, 2013

Keynote, 8th Annual Shingo Prize Mexico Congress, Monterrey, Mexico, Sept. 26, 2013

Webinar, Industry Week, Mar. 14, 2013

Webinar, Lean Frontiers, Dec. 11, 2012

Keynote, The Association (of college administrators) Spring Conference, Puyallup, WA April 13, 2012

Keynote, Association for Quality Management Lean and Six Sigma 11th Anniversary Conference, Phoenix, AZ, Feb. 12, 2012.

Invited presenter, APICS, Buffalo, NY, Nov. 17, 2011

Invited presenter, APICS, Rochester, NY, Nov. 16, 2011

Keynote, Hand Tools Institute, Chicago, Oct. 24, 2011

Keynote, Slimmer Werken Conference, Van Lente & De Vos, Eindhoven, Netherlands, June 1, 2011

Keynote, 7th Swedish Six Sigma and Lean Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, May 31, 2011

Keynote, First International Value Chain Management Conference, Steyr, Austria, May 5, 2011

Keynote, Vortex 2011 Conference, Polytecnic Institute, Hermosillo, Mexico, Mar. 15, 2011

Keynote, ChemChina annual managers' meeting, Beijing, Dec. 15, 2011

Keynote, Decision Sciences Institute Annual Meeting, San Diego, Nov. 21, 2010

"Hot Topics" presentation, 2010 APICS International Conference, Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2010

Keynote, Oklahoma Conference on Manufacturing, Norman, OK, Sept. 20, 2010

Tutorial, 21st Annual POMS Conference, Vancouver, BC, May 8, 2010

Invited speaker, APICS Puget Sound, Bellevue, WA, Apr. 14, 2010

Invited lecturer, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, WA, Feb. 5, 2010

Keynote, South Carolina Lean Alliances Annual Conference, Greenville, SC, Dec. 9, 2009

Keynote, Annual AME Conference, Senior Leadership Evening, Covington, Kentucky, Oct. 20, 2009

Keynote, Annual Job-Shop Lean Conference, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH, Sept. 14, 2009

Keynote, Annual AME-CME Conference, Calgary, June 2, 2009

Invited Speaker, Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development, at AEM-CEM Annual Conference, Calgary, June 2, 2009

Keynote, 15th Annual IEMS Conference, Cocoa Beach, FL, Mar. 9, 2009

Professional Development Meeting, APICS Bellingham, WA, & Western Washington Univ. student chapter, Nov. 5, 08

Keynote, Lean Accounting Summit 2008, Las Vegas, Sept. 18, 08

Featured Speaker, SABMiller Biennial Technical Conference, Krakow, Poland, Sept. 2, 08

Keynote, SAPAmericas Lean Enterprise Summit, Philadelphia, July 22, 08

Keynote, Lean Enterprise Research Center's 2008 Conference, Cardiff, Wales, UK, July 4, 08

AME Western Regional Conference, San Diego, Supply-Chain Flight, June 10, 08

Plenary Speaker, Forum Production & Management 2008, Upper Austria Univ. of Applied Science, Steyr, Austria, May 29, 08

Keynote, Noria Lean 2008 Conference, Nashville, TN, May 22, 08

Plenary Speaker, 19th IIE Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, May 20, 08

Keynote, Lean Track, IIE Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC, May 19, 08

Keynote, 19th Annual Production/Operations Management (POMS) meeting, La Jolla, CA, May 10, 08

Keynote, 20th Annual Shingo Prize Conference, Dallas, TX, Apr. 3, 08

Professional Development Meeting, APICS-Seattle, Bellevue, WA, Dec. 12, 07

Mini-Seminar, Coloplast, Global Operations Management Seminar, Humlebaek, Denmark, Nov. 14, 07

INFORMS Annual Meeting, Seattle, Nov. 4, 2007

Keynote, Supplier Day, Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Pullman, WA, Feb. 13, 07

Keynote, Manufacturing Teleconference, Genlyte, Jan. 17, 07

Keynote, Lean Accounting Summit, Orlando, FL, Sept. 21, 06

Seminar, SWEP International, Landskrona, Sweden, Sept. 4-5, 06

Keynote, "International Conference on Agile Manufacturing," Norfolk, VA, July 19, 06.

"Lean Services" presentations, IronMan 06 Conference, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore, Jan. 12, 06

Cardinal Health, Columbus, OH, Nov. 16, 05

Keynote, 4th Annual Applied Mfg. Conference, Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center, Arlington, TX, Oct. 27-28, 05

42nd PLAN Logistics Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, Apr. 15, 05

AmorePacific Co., Seoul, Korea, Dec. 3, 04

Lean Enterprise Seminar, Korean Standards Asso. Consulting, Seoul, Korea, Dec. 2, 04

Korean Tools Industry Cooperative, Seoul, Korea, Dec. 1, 04

Korea Western Power Co., Seoul, Korea, Dec. 1, 04

Customers of Arrow Electr., San Jose., Nov.11, 04

Customers of Arrow Electronics, Minneapolis., Nov. 9, 04

Customers of Arrow Electronics, Boston, Oct. 26, 04

Universidad Autnoma del Noreste, Torren, Mexico, Oct. 15, 04

2004 APICS International Conference, San Diego, Nov. 12, 04

RMIT University, Melbourne Australia, Sept. 3, 04

City of Dandenong/Victoria government, Springvale, VIC, Australia, Sept. 2, 04

City of Dandenong/Victoria government, VIC, Australia, Sept. 1, 04

MBA students, PE Technikon, Port Elizabeth, S. Africa, June 21, 04

Lean leader session, Shingo Prize Conference, May 19, 04

Saginaw Valley APICS/NAPM/mfg. asso., Apr. 13, 04

“Lean” event, Manufacturers Resource Center, Allentown, PA, Mar. 30, 04

4th Ind. Engrg. Symposium, Tecnologico de Delicias, Delicias, Mexico, Mar. 23, 04

Takata Seat Belts, Monterrey, Mexico, Mar. 10-11, 04


To Order Products & Services

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For book information,  please contact:

e-mail: sainc17@centurylink.net
177  107th Ave. NE, #2101
Bellevue, WA 98004
425-467-1143 (tel/fax) 



To order books:




Beginning in 1982 Dr. Schonberger offered open-to-the-public and on-site one- and two-day seminars and workshops in major U.S. cities, and in 25 other countries.  The workshops and seminars were conducted at over 300 host companies worldwide, nearly always customized to the company involved. Seminar topics drew from Schonberger's broad and deep research, and latest books and articles.



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To order, contact:

Routledge - www.routledge.com        1-800-634-7064 or +44 (0) 1235 400524

                                       order@taylorand francis.com

John Wiley Publishers  -  www.wiley.com    201-748-6000 

The Free Press/Simon & Schuster       800.223.2336      201.767.5000
                                    Volume Orders:     800.323.7445      212.632.4910

McGraw-Hill Irwin and Irwin Professional Publishing     800.634.3963

Flow Manufacturing – What Went Right, What Went Wrong: 101 Mini-Case Studies that Reveal Lean's Successes and Failures (Routledge/Taylor & Francis/Productivity Press, 2018)

Best Practices in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement: A Deeper Look . . . with Telling Evidence from the Leanness Studies, New York: Wiley, 2008.

Let's Fix It!  Overcoming the Crisis in Manufacturing:   How the World's Leading Manufacturers Were Seduced by Prosperity and Lost Their Way, New York: Free Press, 2001.

World Class Manufacturing—The Next Decade: Building Power, Strength, and Value, New York:  Free Press, 1996, six printings. (Also available in German, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Taiwan Chinese, and Bahasa Indonesian).

SynchroService! The Innovative Way to Build a Dynasty of Customers (with Edward Knod), Burr Ridge, Ill.: Irwin Professional Publications, 1994.

Operations Management: Meeting Customers' Demands (with Edward Knod), Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 7th ed., 2001. (Also available in Chinese and Italian).

Building a Chain of Customers: Linking Business Functions to Create the World Class Company, New York: Free Press, 1990. (Also available in Italian, Portuguese, French, and Spanish).

World Class Manufacturing Casebook: Implementing JIT and TQC, New York: Free Press, 1987.

World Class Manufacturing: The Lessons of Simplicity Applied, New York: Free Press, 1986, 20 printings. (Also available in Italian, Portuguese, German, French, Finnish, and two versions in Spanish).

Japanese Manufacturing Techniques: Nine Hidden Lessons in Simplicity, New York:  Free Press, 1982, 25 printings. (Also available in Swedish, French, Finnish, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Thai, and Russian).

Recent Articles

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"Lean Production - Perspectives from the Its Primary Caretaker: Industrial Engineering" Chapter for the International Handbook in Lean Organization, forthcoming, Cambridge University Press.

"Four Decades of Hits, Misses and Smiles," ISE Magazine, 51/9 (Sept. 2019), 38-43.

"Assessing the State of Lean: Reflections from the 2019 AME Pacific Northwest Lean Tour," Target, 35/3 (Fall, 2019), 26-31.

"Packaged Food Industry wake up: Your Complex, Costly Equipment Excends Lead Times – and Hides Pathogens," Quality Management Journal, 26/3, 122-128.

"Disintegration of Lean Manufacturing and Lean Management, Business Horizons, 62/3, May-June 2019, 359-371.

“Frustration-Driven Continuous Process Improvement,” Business Horizons, 61/2 (Mar.-Apr.), 2018, 297-307.

“Reconstituting Lean in Health Care: From Lean Efficiency to Lean Effectiveness,” Business Horizons, 61/1 (Jan.-Feb.), 2018.

"Elevate Your Strategy: Broaden Your Understanding of Design for Quick Response to Boost Customer Satisfaction," Quality Progress, 50/8 (Aug., 2017): 30-35.

“With Machinery Purchases, Small Can Be Beautiful,” ISE Magazine, 49/6 (June, 2017): 40-43 (Original unpublished paper, 1985: "Sizing Equipment to the Piece.")

“Add QSFV to the 'Four P's of Marketing',” Marketing, 31/304 (May-June), 2017, 22.

 “Missing Link in Competitive Research and Practice: Customer-Responsive Concurrent Production," special issue on Competive Manufacturing in a High-Cost Environment, Journal of Operations Management (with Karen Brown), 49/51 (March), 83-87.

Cycles of Lean: Findings from the Leanness Studies – Part 2, Management Accounting Quarterly, 18/1 (Fall, 2016): 18-27.

Cycles of Lean: Findings from the Leanness Studies – Part 1, Management Accounting Quarterly, 17/4 (Summer, 2016): 21-33.

“Rewriting History: How Lean Manufacturing Erased the Vibrant Pre-Lean Era of the 1980s,” Decision Line, 47/5 (Oct., 2016): 17-19.

“Schonberger on Discontinuous Improvement, Frustration Data …,” IndustryWeek, Apr. 5, 2016.

“Toyota Production System,” The Sage Encyclopedia of Quality and the Service Economy, Vol 2, Ed. Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2015, 813-814.

“Lean Six Sigma Concepts and Methods,” The Sage Encyclopedia of Quality and the Service Economy, Vol 1, Ed. Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2015, 377-379.

“Just in time,” The Sage Encyclopedia of Quality and the Service Economy, Vol 1, Ed. Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2015, 339-341.

“’Battleship Lean’ Sets Sail: An Allegory Tale,” Forum, Analytics Magazine, May-June, 2015, 32-25.

“ASP, The Art and Science of Practice: Three Challenges for a Lean Enterprise in Turbulent Times.” Interfaces, 45(3), May-June, 2015 (co-authors, Karen Brown & Thomas Schmitt): 260-270.

"Better Together: Combining Process Flow with Quality," Quality Progress, 48/3, March 2015, 38-43.

"Planning for Concurrent Production," (original title: Concurrent Production: Lean's Unfulfilled Mandate," Industrial Engineer, February 2014, 33-37.

"Catching Lean's Drift: The Essential Message of Time-Based Completition," cover story, APICS Magazine, January-February, 2015, 40-43.

"De-proliferation: Third Lean Pathway," Lean Management Journal, October 2014, pp. 12-16.

"Producing in Synch with Sales," Assembly Magazine, cover story, http://www.assemblymag.com/articles/92341-producing-in-synch-with-sales August 2014, pp. 42-45.

"Quality Management and Lean: A Symbiotic Relationship," Perspectives Feature, Quality Management Journal, Vol. 21, 3 (July 2014) pp, 6-10.

"Lean – Going Astray in Healthcare?" Competitive Advantage, (Service Quality Div., ASQ), Vol. 21, 1 (Spring 2014), pp. 1-2.

"Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing" by Vaclav Smil; book review, Target, Summer 2014, pp. 54-55.

"Coping with Takt-Time Tyranny and Capacity Confusion - Part II," Target, Winter 2013, pp. 31-33.

"Coping with Takt-Time Tyranny and Capacity Confusion - Part I," Target, Fall 2012, pp. 46-50.

"DFMA – Potent Lean Methodology," Assembly Magazine, http://www.assemblymag.com/articles/91095-dfma-a-potent-lean-methodology Apr. 2013, pp. 48-51.

"Lean's Western Beginnings: Part II - The Lean Era," Lean Management Journal, Issue 8, Vol. 2, October 2012, pp. 19-23"

"Lean Management Accounting: What Has Changed in 25 Years?" Cost Management, May-June, 2012, pp. 15-19.

"Tangled Mess" (full title: "Quality-Beneficial Factory Designs: Avoiding Long, Cold, Entangled Audit Trails," Quality Progress, cover story, May 2012, pp. 16-22.

"Lean's Western Beginnings: Part I - The JIT Era and Transition to Lean," Lean Management Journal, Vol 2, No. 2, March 2012, pp. 26-30.

"Management of Lean Value Chains: Weak Effectiveness Metrics Hamper Executive Oversight," in H. Jodlbauer, J. Olhager, and R. Schonberger, eds. Modeling Value. Selected Papers of the 1st International Conference on Value Chain Management (Springer, 2012, pp. 65-75).

"Unjumbling Value Streams Could Make Boeing's Impressive Lean Gains Even Better," featured cover story, Industrial Engineer, June 2011, pp. 26-30.

"Can Lean Manufacturing Find Its Way in Packaged Goods?" Target, 2nd Issue 2011, pp. 19-24.

"Lean Production: Hard to Find in China," Manufacturing Engineering, April 2011, p. 112.

"Taking the Measure of Lean: Efficiency and Effectiveness, Part II, Interfaces, March-April 2011, pp. 188-193.

"Taking the Measure of Lean: Efficiency and Effectiveness, Part I, Interfaces, March-April 2011, pp. 180-187.

"Fixing Toyota: Quality Is Hard, Lean Much Harder," FT Press, fall, 2010.

"The Human (HR) Side of Lean," Target, 4th Issue 2009 (Target's Inaugural "Insights – Leading Edge Ideas Feature), pp. 54-59.

"Overall Equipment Effectivess: An Unworthy Metric," Cost Management, May/June 2009, pp. 46-48.

"The Lean League," Works Management (U.K.), June 2009, lead (cover) article, pp. 14-17.

"Plight of the Detroit Three," iienet2, IIE Website articles, April 13, 2009.

"Consider the Downside of OEE," Manufacturing Engineering, Dec. 2008, p. 128.

"The Skinny on Lean Management: Learn Why This Process Falls Flat in Marketing . . . and Why It Matters," Sales & Marketing Management, Nov.-Dec., 2008, pp. 11-12.

"Tracking Toyota's Postion: Is This All-Out-for-Growth Automaker Losing Its Advantage?" APICS Magazine, Sept.-Oct., 2008, pp. 34-37.

"Lean Performance Management (Metrics Don't Add Up)," lead article, Cost Management, January-February, 2008, pp. 5-10.

"Unsung Stars of Lean," Industrial Engineer, February 2008, p. 22.

"Faltering Lean," Industrial Engineer, November 2007, p. 22.

"Doing Offshore Assembly Right," Industrial Engineer, August 2007, p. 26.

"Japanese Production Management: An Evolution – with Mixed Success," Journal of Operations Management, 25, Issue 2 (March 2007), pp. 403-419.

"Supply Chains: Tightening the Links," Manufacturing Engineering, Sept. 2006, pp. 77-92.

"Lean Extended:  It's Much More (and Less) than You Think," Industrial Engineer, Dec. 2005, pp. 26-31.

"Lean s in i Norden" (The Nordic Countries:  Lean Leaders), Verkstaderna (Sweden), May, no. 5, 2005, pp. 46-50 (with Jan Olhager).

"U.K.:  Less Keen on Lean?"  Lean Manufacturing Research Report, The Manufacturer (U.K.), April, 2005, pp. 5-7. 

"Quadrant Homes Applies Lean/JIT Concepts in a Project Environment," Interfaces, Nov.-Dec. 2004 (with co-authors), pp. 442-450.

"Make Work Cells Work for You," Quality Progress, April 2004, pp. 58-63 (alternate title, "The Quality Dividend of Cellular Manufacturing," short version of same article in ASQ Seattle Newsletter, Jan. 2003, p. 7).

"Mandate to Grow," Cost Management, March-April 2004, pp. 43-44.

"The Baldrige Revisited," Quality Digest (interviews of Baldrige officials and Richard Schonberger), March 2004, pp. 25-30.

"Is South African Manufacturing Lean?" Management Today (South Africa), Feb. 2004, pp. 20-22.

"Good to Great?  Mostly Not," book review, Target, First Issue, 2004, p. 58.

"Inventory Bloat at Toyota. What Gives?" Industry Week interview: Richard Schonberger discusses some findings of "the leanness studies"; at:   http://www.iwvaluechain.com/Features/articles.asp?ArticleId=1444

“The Right Stuff, Revisited,” Manufacturing Systems, Sept. 2003, pp. 26-30.

“Canada Needs to Go on a Lean Diet,” Advanced Manufacturing (Canada), July-August 2003.

“How Lean/TQ Helps Deter Cooking the Books,” J. of Cost Management, lead article, May-June 2003, pp. 5-14.

“Your Lean Team—Use It or Lose It,” Target, 1st Quarter 2003, lead (cover) article, pp. 13-21.

"Jack Spratt Diet:  Schonberger Talks Lean with the Likes of Toyota," cover-story interview with Richard Schonberger, The Manufacturer (U.K. version) Nov. 2002, pp. 34-37.

"Lean and Fat Factories," The Manufacturer (U.S. version), Nov. 2002, lead (cover) article, pp. 16-19.

"Leaning the Wrong Way,"  Decision Line, Sept.-Oct. 2002, pp. 15-17.

"Global Leaning – The Lean League," in White Paper:  "The Road to World Class Manufacturing 2000," The Manufacturer (U.K. version), 2002, pp. 26-31

"Lean Is as Lean Does," Manufacturing Engineering, June 2002, p. 104.

"Open-Book Management:  Less than Meets the Eye," Journal of Cost Management, Jan.-Feb. 2002, pp. 12-17.

"Is the Baldrige still about Quality? Quality Digest, December 2001, pp. 25-30.

"Kanban—Automatic Constraints Manager," Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance (May-June 2000), pp. 73-76.

"Comment on 'Using Product Profiling to Illustrate Manufacturing- Marketing Misalignment,'" Interfaces, 29, No. 6, Nov.-Dec. 1999, pp. 127-132

"Performance Management for a World-Class Work Force," Target, Forth Quarter 1999, pp. 36-40

"Time-Relevant Metrics – Avoiding the Unbalanced Scorecard," electronic proceedings, Association for Manufacturing Excellence annual conference, Oct. 11-15, 1999

"Economy of Control," Quality Management Journal, 6, no. 1, 1999, pp. 10-18.

"Becoming Extra-Lean: Competitiveness in the Next Century," Proceedings Notebook, The Best of North America: Becoming Lean Conference, Chicago, Nov. 2-5, 1998, pp. 477-488.

"Customer-Focused Service Management: Driving Change up the Hierarchy and Outward," Hospital Material Management Quarterly, 19, no. 3, February 1998, pp. 35-41.

"Seeking Solid Ground for Strategic Management," Productivity (National Productivity Council, India), Vol. 38, No. 3, October-December 1997, pp. 355-61.

"Rate-Based Scheduling at OPW Fueling Components," Production and Inventory Management Journal, Third Quarter 1997, pp. 6-10.

"Two Implementation Approaches:  Systematic and Dynamic," APICS — The Performance Advantage, March 1997, pp. 46-50.

"Inventory Turnover Makes a Statement," Industrial Engineering Solutions, November 1996, pp. 16-17.

"The Next Decade:  Driving Change Up the Hierarchy and Outward," 1996 Conference Proceedings, APICS International Conference, October 13-16, 1996, pp. 112-113.

"Backing Off from the Bottom Line," Executive Excellence, May 1996, pp. 16-17.

"Signposts on the Road to 2005," Manufacturing Engineering, April 1996, p. 136.

"World-Class Manufacturing:  The Next Decade," book excerpt in Industry Week, March 18, 1996, pp. 21-24.

"Strategic Collaboration:  Breaching the Castle Walls," Business Horizons, March-April, 1996, pp. 2-8.

"TQM: What's in It for Academics?," Business Horizons, January-February, 1995, pp. 67-70.

"Product Costing as a Rare Event," Target, November-December 1994, pp. 8-16.

"Get Your Service Elements Chained Up and Synchronized," Boston Business Journal, December 16-22, 1994, p. 11.

"Human Resource Management Lessons from a Decade of Total Quality Management and Reengineering," California Management Review, Summer 1994, pp. 103-123.

"Total Quality:  Teamsmanship Over Leadership," Benchmarking for Quality and Technology Management, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1994, pp. 38-47.

"Less Scorekeeping as TQM Takes Root," Journal of Cost Management, Summer 1994, pp. 3-4.

"The Typical Manufacturing Firm:  Two Companies in One," Management (Australia), June 1994, pp. 5-8.

"The Human Side of Kanban," Industrial Engineering, August 1993, pp. 34-36.

"Is Strategy Strategic?  Impact of Total Quality Management on Strategy," Academy of Management Executive, August 1992, pp. 80-87.

"Total Quality Management Cuts a Broad Swath — Through Manufacturing and Beyond," Organizational Dynamics, Spring 1992, pp. 16-28.

"Take Out What Doesn't Add Value by Doing It 'Just-in-Time'," Chemical Processing, April 1992, pp.58-62.

"Lurking Issues in Cost Management," Journal of Cost Management, Summer, 1991, p. 3.

Richard Schonberger is director of two sizeable research/benchmarking endeavors:

1. The "Leanness" Studies, which track inventory turnovers for more than 1,500 companies in 33 countries for at least 15 years. The research began in 1995 and add new data from latest audited financial reports yearly. Eye-opening findings from this research lead to deeper studies of causes, trends, and course corrections. Findings and conclusions are prominently featured in Schonberger's  book, Best Practices in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement: A Deeper Look . . . Telling Evidence from the Leanness Studies (Wiley, 2008).

2. The evolution toward World Class by Principles (WCP). A WCP international benchmarking  research project began in 1995-1996 with 130+ companies, business units, or plants in various countries scoring themselves—zero to five points—on 16 customer-focused, employee-driven, data-based principles.  See a brief synopsis in his article in Industry Week magazine. "His (Schonberger's) research reveals the true predictors of future success in 16 customer focused principles validated and tested by more than 100 pioneering manufacturers in nine countries."
              - Industry Week

The project (now inactive) with over 500 participating business units in 15 countries, wa aided by WCP research partners in leading nations globally. Many of the participating business units were hand-picked for already having had some success in implementing "world-class" concepts; several, for example, were selected for having been awarded a Baldrige, Shingo Prize, "Best Plant," or other notable recognition.  This research continues, for both manufacturing and service organizations. Names of  participating companies are listed and research results fully reported in Schonberger's 2001 book, Let's Fix It! Overcoming the Crisis in Manufacturing: How the World's Leading Manufacturers Were Seduced by Prosperity and Lost Their Way

For further information  please contact:

Richard Schonberger
177 107th Ave. N.E., #2101
Bellevue, WA 98004
E-mail: sainc17@centurylink.net


WCP International Benchmarking Research

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World Class by Principles (WCP) is:

  • A set of core concepts and enduring basics
  • A self-assessment tool
  • An in-process international benchmarking study with WCP research partners in Italy, Germany, France, the U.K./Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong/China, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, and the U.S.
  • A comprehensive strategy effective for any organization
  • A system of implementation for much-elevated 21st-century competitiveness

A WCP benchmarking study began in 1995-1996 with 130+ companies, business units, or plants in nine countries participating.  The project is now in phase 2 and is aided by WCP research partners in leading nations globally. All together, more than 500 largely manufacturing organizations have participated in the two phases.  (The small number of non-manufacturers that have been heard from thus far include several value-adding distributors, plus a scattering of service organizations such as hospitals, government agencies, and insurance companies).

The WCP centers on 16 "customer-focused, employee driven, data-based principles." The principles include all competitively vital processes – from organization to quality to promotion and marketing. Written criteria permit scoring an organization from zero to five points on each principle, thereby highlighting strengths and weaknesses. The scoring criteria are tough, so much so that some of the world's most admired companies and plants (e.g., recipients of international or national recognition of Baldrige Award stature) generally score an average of only 3 to 3 1/2 points per principle on the five-point scale, with lowest scores pointing to blind spots.  Average companies score much lower, and below-average companies often score less than one point on most principles.

The WCP's very high standards are deliberate – aimed at alarming the weak and overcoming the tendency of high achievers to become complacent and then to regress or be outflanked. The WCP system provides step-by-step pathways to global competitiveness well into the next century.

This benchmarking differs from others in several respects. For one thing, there are no external auditors or public awards. All benchmarking data arise from self-scoring by teams of knowledgeable managers. This simplifies and holds down the costs and time commitments for participating companies. All scores are held in strict confidence – which serves to keep the validity level high. That is, there is no reason for a company to inflate its scores; they are strictly for internal assessment, comparison with external benchmarks, and the basis for discovering and responding to discovered weaknesses.

The WCP research partners (past and present) include: 
Apogee Consulting (Singapore)
Appleton Consultants (Taiwan)
EFESO Consulenza (Milan, Italy)
High Performance Consortium (Victoria, Australia)
Hong Kong Productivity Council (Hong Kong/China)
Korean Standards Association Consulting (Seoul, Korea)
Nestadt Consulting (Melbourne, Australia)
Northwest Development Agency (U.K.)
PE Technikon - Dr. Koot Pieterse (Port Elizabeth, South Africa)
Proconseil (Paris, France)
Sandholm & Associates (Stockholm, Sweden)
Sintec Consultores (Monterrey, M�xico)
Strat do Brazil (Brazil and Argentina)
Transfer-Centrum f�r Management und Technologie (Munich, Germany)
World Class International (U.K.)
Schonberger & Associates, Inc., and various others (United States).

Sample of Participating Companies/Business Units/Sites/Plants. The following is a small sample of the 500+ participants in the WCP benchmarking:

United States
A. T. Cross Co., Lincoln, RI (quality writing instruments)
ADAC Laboratories, San Jose, CA (diagnostic medical imaging)
Aeroquip Corp, New Haven, IN (marine products & Teflon bulk hose)
Alcatel Network Systems, Inc., Raleigh, NC (telecommunications equipment)
Allied-Signal fluid systems, Tempe, AZ (starters, valves, actuators)
Arkansas Eastman Div., Eastman Chemical Co. Batesville, Arkansas (specialty chemicals)
Armour-Swift-Eckrich, Downers Grove, IL (packaged and frozen meat products)
ATK Thiokol, Promontory Operations, Brigham City, UT (solid rocket motors, ordnance devices, energetic materials)
Baldor Electric, Fort Smith, AR (industrial electric motors)
Bama Pie, Ltd., Tulsa, OK (fresh & frozen bakery products, trucking)
Boeing Welded Duct plant, Auburn, WA
Carpenter Technologies, Reading, PA (specialty steels)
Chicago Metal Rolled Products Co., Chicago, IL (custom metal bending, curving, rolling)
Coach Leatherwear, Lars, PR (leatherwear)
Continental-General Tire, Mt. Vernon, IL (passenger and truck tires)
Copeland, Sidney, OH (air conditioning & refrigeration compressors)
Dana Spicier Axle Div., Columbia, MO (automotive axle assembly)
Dell Computer, Round Rock, TX (assembly-to-order personal computers)
Double G Coatings, Jackson, MS (galvanized & galvalume sheet steel)
Du Pont Furnishings, Camden, SC (Nylon carpet yarn)
Dynametal Technologies, Brownsville, TN (powder metal bearings & structurals)
Eastman Kodak Co., C.I. Worldwide Single-Use Camera Business, Rochester, NY
Ennis Automotive, Ennis, TX (remanufacture of armatures, copper motor windings, stators)
Exxon Baytown, Baytown, TX (chemicals)
Fender Musical Instruments, Corona, CA (guitars and amps)
Folger Coffee Co., Kansas City, MO (roast and ground coffee)
Ford North Penn Electronics, Lansdale, PA (automotive electronics)
Gates Rubber, Denver, CO (industrial belts & hoses)
G.E., ED&C Div., Auburn, ME (components for electrical devices)
GM Corp., Delphi Energy & Engine Mgmt. Systems Div., Grand Rapids, MI (valve lifters)
Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, MO (greeting cards, boxed cards, envelopes)
Harland Co., SE Regional Printing Facility, Greensboro, NC (check printing)
IBM Corp., Rochester, MN (AS/400 midrange commercial computers)
Intel Puerto Rico, Las Piedras, PR (desktop motherboards, server boards, network adapter cards)
Intermec, Everett, WA (barcode printers, readers, scanners)
ITW-Signode Engineered Products, Glenview,  IL (strapping tools, machines and strapping heads)
JDS/Uniphase, San Jose, CA (commercial lasers)
Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc., Southington, CT (peripheral intravenous catheters)
Jostens, Denton, TX (class rings)
Kawasaki, Maryville, MO (small gasoline engines)
Kyocera Group, AVX Business, Vancouver, WA (electronic components, ceramic capacitors)
Lockheed Martin, Gov’t. Electronic Systems, Moorestown, NJ (phased-array radars & electronics)
Lucent Technologies, Oklahoma City, OK (wireless, switching, networking comm. infrastructure products)
M&M/Mars Confectionery Co., Hackettstown, NJ (confectionery products)
Marlow Industries, Dallas, TX (thermo-electric heat pumps and cooling systems)
Medtronic Promeon, Brooklyn Center, MN (medical device components)
Miller Brewing Co., Trenton, OH (beer)
Milliken, Business A (textiles)
Milton-Bradley Co., East Longmeadow, MA (games, puzzles, toys)
Nypro, Inc., Clinton, MA (custom-molded plastic components)
Oakwood Interiors, Ontario, CA (oak furniture)
Oral-B Laboratories, Iowa City, IA (manual and interdental tooth brushes)
Parker Hannifin Corp., Brookville, OH (tube fittings)
Pella Corp., Pella, IA (windows and doors)
Phillips Plastics, various sites in Wisconsin (injection molding)
Pilot Chemical Corp., Red Bank, NJ (detergents)
Planters-Lifesavers, Fort Smith, AR (peanuts and tree nuts)
Schindler Elevator Corp., Clinton, NC (escalators)
Senco Products, Inc., Cincinnati, OH (precision, collated nails & staples)
Solectron Washington (electronic manufacturing services)
Square D Company, Groupe Schneider NA, Columbia, SC (motor-control equipment)
Teledyne Electronic Technology, Halco, Londonderry, NH (hot-air solder leveling/application systems)
Tellabs, Inc., Bolingbrook, IL (telecommunications transmission and access products)
Tennalum - Kaiser Aluminum, Jackson, TN (hard alloy aluminum machining stock)
Texas Instruments, Lubbock, TX (semiconductor chips)
Textron Systems Corp., SFW Manufacturing/Engineering, Wilmington, MA (sensor-fused weapons)
Thomas Steel Strip Corp., Warren, MI (cold-rolled steel strip, plain and plated)
3M Printing & Publishing, Weatherford, OK (proofing film)
Trident Precision Manufacturing, Inc., Webster, NY (sheet metal fabrication, electro-mech. assemblies)
U.S. Steel, Irvin Plant, Dravosburg, PA (low-carbon sheet steel, galvanized sheet steel)
Wainwright Industries, St. Peters, MO (aerospace and automotive components)
White Cap, Downers Grove, IL (metal & plastic closures for glass & plastic jars and bottles)
Wilson Sporting Goods Co., Humboldt, TN (golf balls)
Zebra Technologies, Vernon Hills, IL (printers)

Americas (Other than U.S.)
Albany International, Perth Forming, Perth, ON, Canada (forming fabrics)
Baxter Corp., Alliston, ON, Canada (IV solutions, nutritional & irrigation solutions)
Becton Dickinson Vascular Access, S.A. de C.V., Nogales, Sonora, Mexico (medical disposable devices)
Bird Packaging, Guelph, ON, Canada (corrugated packaging solutions)
C�ble Alcan - Lapointe, Div. of d’Alcan Aluminium Limit�e, Jonqui�re, Qu�bec, Canada (wire and cable)
Ford Electronics, Markham, Ontario (automotive electronics)
G.E. Multilin, Markham, ON, Canada (microprocessor-based power system protection relays)
Harris Farinon Div., Quebec, Canada (digital microwave radios)
Inglis Ltd., Cambridge, Ontario (clothes dryers, trash compactors)
Johnson Controls, Inc., Ju�rez, Mexico (pressure/temperature electromechanical. devices)
KI Pembroke, Pembroke, ON, Canada (filing, storage, and desk manufacturing)
Levical division of Leviton, Tecate, Mexico (electrical products)
Mercedes-Benz do Brasil – Axles (S�o Bernardo do Campo, SP, Brazil)
Metalsa S.A., Apodaca, N.L., Mexico (fuel tanks & pickup frames)
Multibras, Rio Claro Plant, Brazil (clothes washers)
Northern Telecom, Calgary, Alberta (telephones)
Philips Consumer Electronics, El Paso/Ju�rez, Mexico (TV's, etc.)
Polywheels Manufacturing Ltd., Oakville, ON Canada (aftermarket and OEM wheeled products)
Rockwell Automation, Allen-Bradley, Cambridge, ON Canada (adjustable frequency drives/system products)
Transmissiones de Patencia Emerson SA de CV, El Salto, Jalisco, Mexico (ball bearings, sprockets, gears)
TRW Canada Ltd., Tillsonburg, ON Canada (automotive linkages and suspension products)
Yazaki – Productos Electricos Diversificados, Cd. . Ju�rez, Chih. Mexico (auto wiring harnesses)
Whirlpool Puntana S.A., San Luis, Argentina (refrigerators, washing machines)

Ahlstrom Pumps Corp., M�ntt�, Finland (specialty pumps)
Aritech Europe, Dusermond, Netherlands (security equipment)
ArvinMeritor, Blackpool, U.K. (automotive components)
BICC Components Ltd., Prescott, Merseyside, U.K. (cable components)
Caradon Trend, Horsham, West Sussex, U.K. (advanced electronics for building control)
Enermet GmbH, Dulsburg, Germany (electronic control devices)
Hamberger Industriewerke GmbH, Stephenskircken, Germany (hardwood flooring, laminates, toilet seats)
Herdmans Ltd., Country Tyrone, N. Ireland (linen yarn)
Hewlett Packard FCO, Ipswich, Suffolk, England (opto-electronic components)
Honeywell Scottish Operations, Motherwell, Lamarkshire (heating/cooling/microswitches)
Interlux Louvre Manufacturing, Milton Keynes, U.K. (louvre controls for lighting)
K&L Microwave Ltd., Bridlington, East Yorkshire, U.K. (microwave filters)
Killeen Corr Products, Dublin, Ireland (paper)
Kn�rr AG, M�nchen, Germany (sheet-metal enclosures)
Microsoft, Dublin, Ireland (software manufacturing)
Lilly (Eli), Fegersheim, France (pharmaceuticals)
Munster Simms Eng. Ltd., Bangor, N. Ireland (water systems for rec. vehicles)
Norelem, Cedex, Paris, France (work holding products)
Power-Packer Europa B.V., Oldenzaal, Holland (customized motion-control actuation systems)
Saman, Vitrolles, France (food products)
Schroff SAS, Betschdorf, France (electrical products)
Sew Usocome, plant no. 3, Haguenau, France (motors & engines)
Telemecanique-Ireland, Cophridge, Ireland (contactors)
TRW Airbag Systems GmbH & Co., Aschau, Germany (inflators for car passenger safety systems)
Unipart Industries, Ketlon, Kent, U.K. (gears, shafts)
Vitronics Soltec, Oosterhaut, Netherlands (reflow soldering ovens)
Waterford Crystal, Kilbarry, Ireland (crystal glasses)
Whirlpool Europe, Amiens, France (clothes washers, dryers)

South Africa
Amalgamated Beverage Canneries, So. Africa (carbonated soft drinks)
Cullinan Refractories, So. Africa (refractory products)
Daimler-Chrysler So. Africa (motor vehicles)
Eddels So. Africa (footwear manufacture)
Illovo Sugar Ltd., So. Africa (sugar)
Lever Brothers, So. Africa (detergents)
MG Glass, Durban, So. Africa (beverage containers)
Power Engineers, So. Africa (distribution transformers)
Rhomberg Electronics Manufacturing, So. Africa (industrial electronics)
South African Nylon Spinners (synthetic fibres & polyester polymers)
Toyota Auto. Comp., So. Africa (exhausts, fuel tanks, seats, chassis, box bodies, fabrication)

Australia & Asia
Adaptec, Singapore (raid server products, SCSI host adapters, ASIC, software)
All Head Services, Braeside, Australia (vehicle cylinder head reconditioning)
Bonlac Foods, Melbourne, Australia (cheese, milk powder, dairy products)
Cel Coatings Industries, Singapore (plataing for electronic metal components)
Davey Products, Huntingdale, Vic., Australia (pumps)
Dulmison (Thailand) Co., Bangkok, Thailand (transmission & distribution goods for power industry)
Indian Aluminum Co. Ltd., Belgaum, Karnataka, India (aluminum powder, special alumina products)
Knight Wah Technology Ltd., Hong Kong (contract electronic manufacturing)
MICO-Bosch, Jaipur, India
Morgan Zibo Insulators, Shandong, China (ceramic insulators)
Morlynn Insulators, Yarraville, Vic, Australia (ceramic insulators)
National Dairies, Muray Bridge, Australia (dairy dessert/cheeses)
Olex Cables, Tottenham, Vic., Australia (cables)
Onn Wah Prcision Engineering, Singapore (metalworking, machining, semicoductors, medical devices)
Tetra Pak Jurong Pte Ltd., Singapore (packaging for beverages)

Email: sainc17@centurylink.net

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Telephone: (425) 467-1143

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