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Both President Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich have referred to Lincoln Electric as an example of an American firm that is one of the best in the world This statement may be bold though holds truth in many respects and Lincoln managers like George Willis who was the CEO in the late 1980s and early 1990s adds to this statement I believe that we are the best manufacturing company in the world Lincoln Electric is best known for its productivity incentive program which has been widely cited over the years and has attracted thousands of managers to companys headquarters in Cleveland Ohio to learn about one of the countrys oldest and most radical pay-for-performance systems Founded in 1895 by John Cromwell Lincoln to manufacture electric motors and generators The Lincoln Electric Company shifted its resources into manufacturing arc-welding products in 1911 Today welding products account for more than 90 percent of net sales and range from basic units for light manufacturing to highly sophisticated machines used in robotics applications and high-production welding and fabrication The remaining income is generated by electric motors and oxy-fuel and plasma cutting tools The company is also the leading producer of self-shielded cored-wire electrodes and currently holds ninety percent of the world market in this area With its over a 100 year existence Lincoln Electric has had a successful past with a few downtimes like the one during the 1991 recession because of an ill-conceived foreign-acquisition spree Even during this time the company kept its promise to its US workers to pay their bonuses and went to extremes such as borrowing 100 million in 1992 and 1993 even though it lost 84 million in those years The retired CEO Donald F Hastings quoted saying We cant break our trust with this group because of management mistakes and recessions elsewhere From this unique example we can understand the companys genuine commitment to its compensation system However some
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