History

Our Heritage and Future

From military equipment manuals to safety and operator training software solutions.

Ken Cook Co. was born when our founder and hardworking entrepreneur, Kenneth A. Cook, Sr., aimed to fulfill the growing demand for producing, writing and printing high-quality military equipment operating manuals for manufacturers selling their equipment to the United States government. Kenneth, an aviator and technophile, used his keen business sense to create the product documentation company that flourishes today. At the heart of the company vision was Kenneth’s astute and patriotic awareness of the power of training people using solid, clear documentation. This vision made him a true pioneer in the product documentation and training industries. 

The company soon developed a reputation for delivering excellent technical documentation and devoted customer service. As the company grew in size and strength, it began to expand its professional services on a worldwide basis. Over time Ken Cook Co. has been able to nurture and maintain loyal client relationships building upon the trust of its customers in the construction equipment, energy, durable manufacturing, lawn and garden, agriculture, marine, construction and automotive industries. 

Kenneth’s legacy of providing quality technical documentation and upholding traditional values of customer service energizes our culture today, and is proudly carried on by a second generation Ken Cook.

1944
1950 - 1959
1960 - 1969
1970 - 1979
1990 - 1999
1994
1997
2000
2003
2005
2009
2012
2015
2015
In the Beginning
Ken Cook Co. is founded by Kenneth A. Cook, who started out writing and producing military equipment manuals for manufacturers.
Head of the Class
Ken Cook Co. is the first technical publications business with all services provided under one roof. Design, writing, editing, illustrating, page-making, prepress, printing, binding and distribution of product manuals were performed in one location.
A Pioneer in E-learning
The self-paced audiovisual teaching machine SR100 becomes the company's first electronic learning system. This was an advanced concept with interactive testing and hands-on learning. Courses and equipment were installed in vocational schools across North America. The packages included engines, motorcycles, outboard engines and welding equipment.
Paving the Way with Technology
Ken Cook Co. is the first Wisconsin company to install a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) system. The Auto-trol CAD system and plotter converted pump curves from English to metric units, enabling clients to market pumps worldwide.
Dawn of a New Era
Desktop publishing replaces the proprietary page-making equipment. Apple computers were considered the gold standard in graphics and publishing.
Half-Century Mark
Ken Cook Co. celebrates 50 years of business, continuing to implement emerging technologies. The company became the information resource and manual center for Volvo Cars of North America and Motorola Semiconductor.
The Digital Age
The company adds digital print capabilities to the print production area. It started with one high-capacity printer and has since grown to eight high-speed digital production printers.
The Dot-Com Era
The company's first e-commerce website launches. The website allowed users to order technical literature using a credit card or an invoice account. The website eventually expanded into other literature types and marketing materials. Today, Ken Cook Co. hosts dozens of customer websites
ISO 9001:2000 Certification
Ken Cook Co. expands on our long history of producing quality products using streamlined processes by becoming ISO 9001:2000 certified. The certification required a substantial amount of teamwork and effort from every area of the company and ultimately helped Ken Cook Co. become a Ford Tier 1 supplier.
An On-Demand World
media1off®, the company's true one-off print and deliver system, launches. The system was designed and developed by Ken Cook Co. and is capable of producing printed materials, CDs and DVDs one at a time and all on demand. media1off® currently produces hundreds of orders every day.
ISO 9001:2008 Certification
Ken Cook Co. continues our commitment to process improvement along with a focus on customer satisfaction and achieves ISO 9001:2008 certfication.
Going Mobile
Smartfolio, the company's mobile digital delivery platform, is introduced. With the increasing use of mobile devices, Ken Cook Co. saw an opportunity to offer our customers the very latest method of delivering important customer information.
Expanding Our Services
Online training is officially added as expansion of services
ISO certification 9001:2015
Ken Cook Co. continues our commitment to process improvement along with a focus on customer satisfaction and achieves ISO certification 9001:2015