Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 18: 'Double every five years'

Elmer visiting the St. Paul Plant of H. B. Fuller in the early 1970s, discussing raw materials used in making hot melt adhesives with process man Bill Tester

"The little one-plant glue company I bought in 1941 had become an adhesives industry leader, with twenty-seven plants and offices in the United States and ten in foreign countries. The goal I set decades before of doubling our sales volume every five years was still before us and was still being met. In 1970, we had reached about $48 million in sales. At the Christmas party that year, I spoke to the assembled workers. 'We have to stand by what we believe, and act on it. What we believe is that we're going to double every five years. If we're going to double in five years, that means it will be $100 million in 1975, and that means we'll need new plants and new territory.' After I finished speaking, I was told later, some people said, 'Elmer's been smoking that stuff again.' But I knew it was possible."

Image courtesy H. B. Fuller Company

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