History 

Experience means a bit more when you’re talking about 55 years.

 

With a track record of success that now runs 55 years, LMI has lots of reasons to celebrate.  We’ve accomplished far more than could possibly have been envisioned back in 1961, when we began as a small group of logistics specialists. Since then, we have grown into a thriving, diverse, 900+ person strong organization that serves every agency in the U.S. government, and numerous state, local, and global organizations. We have worked on thousands of engagements, solving problems that cross a broad spectrum of functional areas—from long-standing logistics challenges to new areas, such as environmental management and sustainability.

The past 50 years have been good to LMI, but we’re just getting started. Read below for highlights of our storied career, and see why we’re ready to keep making our mark on government management, far into the future.

Our Origins

In September 1961, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara sent a memorandum to President John F. Kennedy, advising “that we can achieve major breakthroughs in logistics management, where we spend half of the Defense budget, by sponsoring the establishment of a special, full-time organization of highly talented business management specialists.” President Kennedy agreed, and three weeks later—October 3, 1961—the Logistics Management Institute was born.

The Early Days

LMI’s Certificate of Incorporation established LMI’s objectives, which included engaging in and procuring research, development, engineering, and advisory services for the United States government or any nonprofit organization operated exclusively for scientific, educational, or charitable purposes. Secretary McNamara summarized LMI’s original intent this way: “LMI is to be a fact-finding and research organization, designed to seek solutions to [highly complex logistics] problems.”

The first group of LMI Trustees included such luminaries as Charles H. Kellstadt, former Chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Company, writer and management consultant Peter Drucker, Professor Carlton Pederson of Stanford University, Dean Stanley E. Teele of Harvard University, and Professor Sterling Livingston of the Harvard Business School.

As an FFRDC

In 1985, after nearly a quarter of a century as a nonprofit, the Deputy Secretary of Defense designated LMI a federally funded research and development center. As an FFRDC, LMI was precluded from competing with profit-seeking firms to obtain its work. However, by 1998, LMI had grown substantially and faced compromising limitations as an FFRDC. Congressional restrictions on FFRDC funding were forcing LMI to turn away long-standing clients that needed research and analysis support. Meanwhile, demand grew to apply LMI knowledge and expertise across both civil and defense agencies.

Thus, the Board of Directors voted to end LMI’s status as an FFRDC and to return the company to a not-for-profit government consulting firm status. This change allowed LMI to maintain the ethics and cultural practices it developed as an FFRDC, but freed it to pursue government consulting work without restriction.

Today

Today, LMI is still governed by an esteemed Board of Directors and operates with complete integrity, free of commercial and political interest. We continue to act as a trusted advisor to government managers, both global and domestic, and to bring the best, most creative management and technical minds to bear on solving complex issues.

We still operate the world’s most advanced logistics consulting group, but have expanded our scope to provide world-class expertise in the following:

We now serve public sector clients in: