From the CEO: Inspiring the first step toward a lean journey

AME | September 18, 2020


In the lean, continuous improvement world, we talk a lot about “the journey.” It is a long march made up of many steps — and missteps  that bring us closer to operational excellence.

Along the way, folks like you and me seek out expert insights that inform our journey, point us in the right direction or help us become better excellence assessors. We seek out tools like the free AME Lean Sensei® to benchmark how we’re doing on the journey and where our organization can improve. The AME International Conference has empowered this quest for 35 years and we’re looking forward to helping you energize your journey at the 36th annual AME International Conference next month.

But how does someone begin the journey? Even before a person becomes aware of continuous improvement processes, what is their very first step? How do they learn about the realities of a career in manufacturing and become excited about industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing?

The National Association of Manufacturers Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey reports that — even as businesses struggle with economics related to the COVID-19 pandemic — attracting and retaining a quality workforce remains the second highest primary business challenge facing manufacturers of all sizes. This will be even more challenging as manufacturing jobs return to North America in the post-pandemic economy.

It is incumbent on all of us to help strengthen manufacturing.

To address these challenges Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) was established in the United States by The Manufacturing Institute with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association as a founding partner. As you might expect, this year’s MFG Day will be mostly virtual. It will take place on Friday, October 2, and will showcase the reality of modern manufacturing careers to the next generation by providing a platform for thousands of companies and educational institutions across the U.S. to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.

AME is proud to support this important endeavor and to play a role in creating a pipeline for our next generation to pursue careers in manufacturing.

If you are a U.S. manufacturer, I encourage you to get involved and consider hosting an MFG Day event. For those not in the U.S. or not in the manufacturing sector, please consider organizing a similar event to help inspire and expose local students to your career and industry.

Understanding the opportunities and the realities of manufacturing and other careers is the first step toward a lean journey.

As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.