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The Johnsonville sausage company began as a rural market in Johnsonville Wisconsin In 1945 The Stayer Family purchased a shop with a slaughter house and within one year several other retail stores Upon graduating form college in 1965 the Stayers son Ralph begun to work in the company and after careful analysis Ralph and his father decided to focus his efforts in building the wholesale aspect of the business Over the years the company enjoyed substantial growth In 1978 the Johnsonville Sausage Co opened a new production facility and Ralph Stayer was officially named president Under his direction the company expanded to capture a greater share of the wholesale business As time went on Johnsonville Sausage Co began serving the states of Indiana Illinois and Minnesota while the companys market position in Wisconsin strengthen R Stayer managed to build the companys wholesale business from 4 million in sales in 1975 to 50 million in 1985 and between 1980 and 1985 the return on equity climbed from 18 to 27 Between 1983 and 1986 sales revenue per dollar of compensation doubled The companys profits were well above average for the industry The company was in great standing The secret to the companys outstanding performance over the period from 1980 to 1985 was the result of a 360o turn around in its management philosophy During the years leading up to 1980 R Stayer had practiced a management style that did not allow individuals to make decisions and assume ownership of their work R Stayer had held centralized control over all aspects of the business from scheduling and quality control to hiring budgeting pricing purchasing and advertising During the early 1980s Ralph observed that a low level of commitment involvement and motivation had become widespread attitudes among the workers in the plant and at the same time he begun to look for the causes to the problems Ralph realized his major problem was that during the past
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