Conference Overview

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) will host its 39th annual international conference on October 30-November 2, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Huntington Convention Center. Organized by a large group of volunteers who are passionate about helping manufacturers and other business sectors sustain success through continuous improvement practices, the AME International Conference is the largest lean conference in the world. We are expecting nearly 1,500 in-person participants from over 30 countries. 


Reconnect with your fellow practitioners and meet new peers as you share, learn and grow with the best minds in the lean community. AME is a nonprofit association, and the AME conference is organized by a large group of volunteers who are passionate about helping organizations sustain success through continuous improvement practices.


The AME International Conference is more than attending great sessions and keynote presentations. It's about connecting with your fellow peers. You'll find plenty of ways to forge those relationships before, during and after the conference. Some of our networking opportunities include the AME-zing Race, Club NuBee, and conference Dine Arounds. Get engaged with the world's largest lean community. 


This year, you have the option to attend the conference in person in Cleveland or on demand at your convenience! Those who attend in person will automatically gain access to on demand programming for up to six months after the conference, as permissible by presenters. 


Hear from inspiring keynotes throughout the week — thought leaders in the areas of innovation, leadership, engagement and continuous improvement.

Stay current with new and developing management and operational techniques. At an AME conference, you’re not just hearing about lean — you’re seeing it firsthand. You’ll have the option to choose from a range of best practice facility tours where you will see lean in action. On behalf of our host plants, AME may preclude some attendees from participating in plant tours due to the proprietary nature of some information presented. Attendees may be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before participating in a plant tour. Be sure to review the tour requirements and restrictions before adding a tour to your schedule.

The depth and breadth of our sessions means that you will always find something relevant — an idea, a concept or a success story. Industry leaders and change advocates will share the knowledge necessary to keep you moving forward. This year, explore as many sessions as you would like live or on-demand and gain insights into a broad variety of topics. Various session styles include:

Practitioner Presentation (45 minutes): 35-minute presentation given by lean practitioners (no consultants) + 10-minute Q&A.

Deep Dive Session (45 minutes): Continuation of a keynote/practitioner presentation + Q&A or session with subject matter experts + Q&A.

Idea Exchange (1 hour): Each session has a different topic for discussion with a facilitator guiding the dialogue. Participants can ask questions of the group and share their ideas and perspectives.

Speed Chat with Experts (1 to 1.5 hours): Panel session with senior leaders/subject matter experts. The first half will feature presentations by panelists + Q&A. The second half will consist of panelists rotating around small groups.

Panel Discussion (45 minutes to 1.5 hours): Panel session with senior leaders/subject matter experts + Q&A (no rotation by panelists).

Our pre-conference full- and half-day workshops are ideal for those looking to maximize learning on select topics, including value stream transformations, technology, culture, leadership, visual management, kata and more. There is an additional cost for workshops, and advance registration is required. Workshop content will not be available on demand. 

Exhibitors are strongly aligned with our conference. You don’t become an exhibitor unless your product or service is versed in lean thinking and continuous improvement. Access to the exhibitors is included with your conference registration. AME kicks off the conference with a welcome reception in the exhibit hall on Monday.

All week
AME Cleveland 2023 will also offer a range of networking opportunities and activities so participants can establish contacts within the industry that last well beyond the conference week. Develop new relationships by connecting with and learning from the best.


Future workforce development

An organization’s most important asset is its people. People add value. People develop processes. People design new products. People use technology and automated equipment. The entire enterprise is people-dependent. Learn to create a collaborative work environment with ownership and impact. This theme will explore new ways to engage and develop the changing workforce. (Keywords: respect for people, employee engagement, leadership behaviors, lean culture, people-centric leadership.)



The pace of change is ever increasing. Organizations in all industries must stay ahead or risk being left behind. New technologies to address business and market challenges must be persistently pursued and developed. This can be accomplished by a single organization or entire industries working together collaboratively. Awareness of developments and trends is incumbent in all organizations to better insure their long-term viability. This theme will focus on driving excellence, innovation and improvement in all areas of the organization. (Keywords: lean product/service development, lean process design, 3P, rapid learning cycles, Kata, understanding customer value, agile)

Industry 4.0 into the future

New technologies are making major changes to how work is done and businesses operate. Some of these include 3D printing with different materials, artificial Intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, IOT/digital connectivity, cobots/robotics, machine learning, big data, cyber security, wearables, advanced RFID, nanotechnology, drones, autonomous vehicles, predictive maintenance, blockchain and many others. Hear from companies that are forging new paths into the future. This theme will explore digital transformation, web-based services, data management and a range of other technologies that drive excellence. (Keywords: industry 4.0, internet of things, artificial intelligence, virtual workplace)

Redefine enterprise excellence

For many practitioners, lean implementation has been limited to the operations areas. But the opportunity to transform a great company into an excellent one lies in embracing these practices on an enterprise-wide basis. Explore tools and lean methods that impact your entire organization, including systems, structures, processes, and value streams that support KPIs to drive transformation in customer experience, operational processes and business models. This theme will focus on mastering complexity, stability and improvement. (Keywords: metrics, visual management, daily management, leader standard work, hoshin kanri/strategy deployment, strategic planning, organizational alignment)

Leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion

As leaders, we aspire is to create an environment of trust where people feel valued, and know they truly belong. Respect for people is a key pillar for organizations working to create a culture of continuous improvement. This track will explore leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion strategies for building the future workforce. Hear from organizations whose business performance is thriving as a result of reimagined leadership approaches and deployment. Not surprisingly, these leading-edge companies have all benefited from understanding and strategically focusing on a growing and supporting an ever-growing diverse workforce. (Keywords: coaching, building capability, respect for people, psychological safety, leadership behaviors, lean culture, people-centric leadership, organizational alignment, leader standard work)