From the CEO: We will miss you, Doc.

AME | February 20, 2024

In my January 31st letter, I shared how one of our AME founders, Robert “Doc” Hall, has been the heartbeat of AME for forty years and how incredibly important he is to AME and me personally. Long-time AME members shared in this letter how much Doc has meant to them over the past four decades.

It is with a heavy heart that I share with the AME community that Doc passed away peacefully last week, according to his son, Michael R. Hall. This loss leaves a void in our hearts, but Doc leaves an indelible mark on the lives of all of us who had the privilege to know and love him. He was a visionary leader who challenged us all to be rebels. Doc honored the past while enthusiastically embracing change and the future. And he always had time for a “quick” phone call.

There are so many things to share about Doc. As an AME founding member, he also edited our AME publication, Target, for 22 years. When his book "Zero Inventories" was published in 1983, the term "lean" had yet to be introduced into the manufacturing lexicon. Yet its pages described many of the ideas that evolved into what later became known as lean manufacturing. In 1992, he wrote "The Soul of the Enterprise: Creating a Dynamic Vision for American Manufacturing," a critique of the system that led to his unending book, "Compression: Meeting the Challenges of Sustainability Through Vigorous Learning Enterprises." He went on to become the chair of the Compression Institute.

He received the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Gold Medal and the AME Mac McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and is an AME Hall of Fame recipient. Doc was again recognized by AME at the Dallas International Conference in 2022 for his lifelong achievements. He virtually welcomed everyone to last year's AME International Conference in October, where he even shared how he got the name "Doc." He challenged us to "reimagine excellence" and "not to repeat the past." He also asked us to think above our pay grades and make something happen. He had a passion for sharing with next generation leaders.

I am sure I speak for the entire AME community when I say it was our honor to know Doc and when I express how much we will miss him. He was a true legend in our community.

Again, I encourage you to take a moment to think about the legends and role models in your own life. Consider today how you can honor them and, above all, tell them. They should know. We honor them and Doc by celebrating and preserving their contributions. In doing this, we ensure that their influence illuminates the path for those who follow in their footsteps.

Please keep Doc's family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as they navigate this difficult time. Their loss is immeasurable, and we extend our deepest condolences.

We will miss you, Doc. As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.