AME Blog

AME Blog
  “Blame lean manufacturing.” According to the subheadline from an August 21 Wall Street Journal article, our community is to blame for continued shortages of paper towels in the United States because of just-in-time inventory practices and the “decadeslong quest by businesses at all levels, handling... More
AME Blog
As I’ve mentioned before, I love movies. Enjoying a movie in the theater is the simple pleasure that I’ve missed most during the pandemic. Like many of you, I am focused on the many bigger issues at play in the world, but seeing a movie in the theater has always been where I escape from the everyday. You... More
AME Blog
  It’s back-to-school time and — even though this year is different than any other — students are getting ready to continue learning or have already headed back to class and campus. Whether virtual or in-person, the start of the school year is a time to recommit to learning something new. This... More
AME Blog
  Like many of you on the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada and in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and neighboring islands, I am dealing with the fallout from Tropical Storm Isaias. I consider myself fortunate because, outside of power outages and connectivity issues, my neighborhood was largely spared by... More
AME Blog
  I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say that our industries and our vocations have been affected in dramatic ways by the pandemic. Whether you’re in manufacturing, health care, finance, government, tech or the other sectors that AME serves and represents, your organization has undoubtably... More
AME Blog
  I have officially passed six months on the job as president and CEO of AME. Over these past few months, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard people ask if a global pandemic was part of my first-year plan. And, yet, AME members, volunteers and employees have done what lean practitioners... More
AME Blog
  I may be one of the only people who has not seen Hamilton. I love theater and movies, but it’s never worked out to see the Tony Award-winning musical. I’ve also not heard the soundtrack, nor did I join the millions of people who streamed it when it recently became available. There’s just something... More
AME Blog
  They say, “It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.” For the continuous improvement community, we live this everyday as we move our organizations toward an ideal state of enterprise excellence. This is the lean journey, and AME considers itself a navigator or wayfinder on your pathway to... More
AME Blog
  The majority of AME members come from Canada or the United States, so for most of you, this is a week of celebration with Canada Day this past Wednesday and U.S. Independence Day on Saturday. These two celebrations remind me of the importance of celebrating and remembering our successes. In our own... More
AME Blog
  North American industry and the economy are facing unprecedented challenges brought on by the global pandemic. Organizations are grappling with employee engagement, supply chain disruptions, retraining employees, implementing new safety procedures and other complex, pandemic-related issues. Industries... More
AME Blog
  Beyond the personal relationships and networks I discussed in last week’s email, AME has created formal groups around North America through our AME Consortia program. An AME consortium is a tight-knit group of local companies that collaborate for broad and deep accelerated lean progress through... More
AME Blog
    I have been blessed with formal mentors from whom I’ve learned a lot, but much of my learning has come from informal peers. These relationships have helped me develop as a leader and lean practitioner. Through both AME events and personal invitations, my fellow lean practitioners have opened... More
AME Blog
  Each week I conclude my message with the same statement: keep looking out for one another. These aren’t just words tacked on with little thought. I mean them sincerely. I think about them often as a personal guiding principle and particularly every week when I type them. Likewise, they aren’t... More
AME Blog
  In Col. Arthur Athens’ recent story for Target Online, he shared the powerful story of Adm. Jim Stockdale’s time as a POW during the Vietnam War. During his captivity, Adm. Stockdale continued to lead his fellow captives with what Athens refers to as “hope anchored in reality.” Athens shares... More
AME Blog
    Working in the pandemic era has presented new challenges. While some of you have returned to or never left your offices or the production floor, many are working remotely from home. For those in the latter situation, you might have experienced the phenomenon that I experience each day: I look at... More
AME Blog
  Last August, the Business Roundtable released its Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, which refocuses businesses from shareholders to stakeholders. The shift is important: the 181 CEOs who signed the statement have effectively said that the business industry must create a thriving economy for... More
AME Blog
  The famed architect Daniel Burnham once said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood.” When I began in my role as AME's president and CEO on January 20, I had grand plans for AME’s future. As you might imagine, my 90-day plan went out the window with the onset of COVID-19,... More
AME Blog
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone. But when we maintain our continuous improvement mindset, we recognize the opportunities to adjust and adapt to our current situation. On a Champions Club call this week, Marc Kuzik from Argus Machine mentioned that his company has adopted a “yes,... More
AME Blog
I continue to hear examples of AME member companies stepping up to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. A-dec, a dental supplier in Oregon, is making PPE for health care workers. Genie, A Terex Brand, has undertaken tremendous efforts in North America and around the world to help support... More
AME Blog
It is fitting that next week is National Volunteer Week here in the United States. The week gives us an opportunity to reflect on the importance of volunteerism across the world at a time when we’re all pulling together to help one another. For AME, volunteers always play a crucial role in our ability... More
AME Blog
The irony of the coronavirus pandemic is that while we’re all apart, we’re also realizing just how interconnected we are professionally and personally. It’s true — as I’ve seen in public service announcements for week’s now – that we are all in this together. This doesn’t only mean those... More
AME Blog
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Fred (Mr.) Rogers  Amidst the 24/7 COVID-19 news, my spirits were lifted after hearing how the AME St. Louis Consortium has banded... More
AME Blog
  When the U.S. Federal Reserve cut rates last week, its chair, Jay Powell, said, “[A rate cut] won’t fix a broken supply chain. We get that.” At AME, we get that, too. Since 1985, we have helped our members understand and remedy supply chain disruptions, process flows and other manufacturing... More
AME Blog
The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is excited to announce that is has appointed Rich Fitzgerald, Margaret (Peggy) Gulick and Sapna Sharma to its board of directors, effective December 4, 2019. They will serve as directors-at-large for a two-year term ending in December 2021. “Rich,... More
AME Blog
The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is pleased to announce that Kimberlee A. Humphrey was named AME president and chief executive officer, effective today. Humphrey has a long history with AME as a member and volunteer. She has served in several volunteer roles including director of alliances... More
AME Blog
Attending a conference involves commitment of both time and money. If you were fortunate to attend the world’s largest lean conference, AME Chicago 2019, earlier this month, here are some suggestions on how you to make the most of your conference experience: 1) Connect. Chances are, you collected a... More
AME Blog
Researcher and author Mike Rother brings a brand new take on his always-in-demand Kata in the Classroom (KiC) sessions to AME Chicago 2019. In this expanded, hands-on KiC-1 and KiC-2 training, participants will gain a deep understanding of how to help educators bring scientific thinking into their classrooms.... More
AME Blog
The world's largest lean conference, AME Chicago 2019, is just weeks away. Our passionate team of volunteers have put together an amazing schedule of learning activities: 9 keynotes, 25+ tours, 30+ deep-dive workshops, 50+ sessions and, of course, limitless networking with your peers and leaders in... More
AME Blog
by Tim Piotrowski Chicago is the site of the 35th annual Association for Manufacturing Excellence International Conference from November 4 – 7, 2019. With the theme of Leading on the Edge, keynote speakers include Menlo Innovations CEO and chief storyteller (and author of “Joy, Inc.”) Richard Sheridan,... More
AME Blog
Whether an AME conference, regional summit or event, plant tours provide participants an opportunity to witness operational excellence in person. Our friends at Metcam detail the tour that participants witnessed at the 2019 Atlanta Lean Summit in a press release: ALPHARETTA, GA., 5/9/19 – Metcam, an... More
AME Blog
by Tim Piotrowski  In 2018, AME’s digital publication, Target Online included articles authored by lean and continuous improvement leaders. Most of these were written specifically for Target Online while some appeared in other sources including AME’s flagship publication Target magazine. Here’s... More
AME Blog
by Susan McCabe This article originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of Target magazine. A focus on operational excellence brings innovation to municipal government The mere mention of San Diego conjures up images of sun and surf. After all, San Diego is among the top five leisure destinations... More

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