Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner. It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.
Our Industry Roundtable group recently toured Manhasset Specialty Company. This special little Yakima company has been supplying high quality music stands to vendors all over the world since the early 1940’s.
This company’s origins are especially interesting. In 1935 Otto Lagervall developed the Manhasset music stand because he was not satisfied with the music stand of the day. A few years later Otto relocated to Yakima. Lagervall was an inventor – he developed the Yakima Rack and dabbled with log homes and orchard heaters.
He eventually sold the company to the Paisley family in 1959 (who owned Price Apples). Eventually Manhasset was sold to its employees. The company currently employs 18. Employee ownership assures that employees earn a living wage and a good retirement. The company has almost no turnover - its most junior employee has been with Manhasset for over 10 years. Heid noted that employees with skin in the game do their best and are invested in making the company as efficient as possible.
Operations Manager Barry Heid explained that the company has always done well. Manhasset changed a lot about 15 years ago when we introduced them to Lean Manufacturing. By analyzing and adopting efficient practices the company became a lot more competitive, agile and efficient. During this period Manhasset reduced their head count from 25 to 18 but increased production over 50 percent.
Heid believes Manhasset weathered the Great recession with minor impacts due to their ongoing Lean focus. More recently Manhasset invested in new technology to eliminate almost all waste produced at their facility.
Over the years, new stand features, colors and various accessory products have been added to the company product line. Manhasset has, however, never let go of their focus on quality. They are the only music stand producer that offers customers a lifetime guarantee. The company enjoys a stellar reputation throughout the music industry and we should all be proud of this American made manufacturer in our community