Lean leadership boot camp

April 24, 2017 | 8:00 am to April 28, 2017 | 5:00 pm
Contact AME: 224-232-5980 | conference@ame.org
Non-Member Fee: $1,795
Member Fee: $1,545
Champion Member Fee: $125
Student Member Fee: $125


Kappler Inc.
55 Grim Drive
Guntersville, Alabama

Going beyond simple lean tools, this learning opportunity is a combination of techniques, practical application and leadership strategies for people involved in implementations of lean and continuous improvement. A mixture of theory and practical applications offers attendees useful practices they can apply immediately at their organizations. Attendees will be able to observe and interact with the host company, where the techniques are being successful applied.

Please note: Dress casual, but do not wear shorts or open toed shoes. You may be touring a manufacturing facility during the week.         


Kappler Inc.

Kappler is a cut and sew factory specializing in high-tech fabrics and applications. Kappler products are used in the hazmat, biohazard and chemical industries requiring the highest levels of end-user safety and features. Kappler leadership has demonstrated a proactive attitude toward process improvement, training and the application of continuous improvement techniques. For more than 40 years Kappler has defined the protective apparel industry with patented fabrics, innovative seaming technology and unique garment designs. kappler.com


David Hicks

David Hicks is a licensed professional engineer with more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing and test engineering, quality and plant management. With a background in the automotive and high volume metal fabrication industries, Hicks has extensive history with lean implementation with both small and large companies. In addition to assisting with floor level lean projects, as a plant manager Hicks experienced firsthand the challenges and rewards of leadership in a lean environment. Hicks is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. He has earned an M.S. in engineering from The University of Alabama Huntsville and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Tennessee State University. 


Toyota Kata – Improvement and coaching:
Leaders need the dual ability to improve processes and develop people to create and sustain a culture of improvement.  A kata is a discipline through which the lean leader serves as a coach/mentor to develop team members. This training introduces the improvement and coaching kata. In the improvement kata, participants follow a four-step, scientific pattern which challenges team members to strive for improvement. Through the coaching kata, participants learn to follow a mentoring methodology that develops a leader’s skill to coach while simultaneously developing team members’ knowledge. The kata process is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) scientific method through which actions are planned, tested, measured and adjusted towards achievement of a target condition. Teambuilding exercises reinforce the improvement kata process and the communication skills essential for the coaching kata.
Creating a foundation of stability and value stream mapping (VSM):
The foundation of lean is standardization and stability. The eight wastes are introduced coupled with lean tools and countermeasures. Value stream maps provide the plan in the PDCA improvement cycle. Value stream mapping gives leaders a picture of the entire production process, both value and non-value-creating activities. The VSM process consists of identifying value streams/product groups, mapping a current state of material and information flow, assessing waste in the process, and designing a desired process. With this knowledge, leaders can direct the application of precious resources toward the creation of a sustainable process and culture.
Leading and sustaining with 8-step problem solving:
Leading and sustaining lean requires a framework of strategic alignment, disciplined culture and operational transparency.  The Lean Management System is comprised of elements including process metrics, leader standard work, A3 problem solving, accountability boards, suggestion systems and Gemba walks. This training is designed to provide leaders a disciplined process to foster a problem-solving culture, to build accountability and to reinforce PDCA thinking and management. Combining the kata process with the leading and sustaining lean system builds the disciplined structure for successful lean implementations. Participants then apply these tools in an exercise that guides them through the problem solving system.
Importance of standards – 5S, TWI Job Methods & Job Instruction:

The foundation of continuous improvement is stability and standardization. Before a problem, a gap from a standard, can be identified a standard must be in place. Utilizing a stamping press simulation, participants use the TWI Job Methods questioning process to breakdown the changeover. Stability is introduced via the 5S methodology (Sort, Set-In-Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain). PDCA kata iterations are used to improve towards the target conditions. The four-step Job Instruction is demonstrated stressing important steps, key points and reasons for key points as the standard for consistency in training methods. This class provides leaders with a structured approach they can apply within their own organizations to reinforce a culture of discipline and process improvement.
Lean culture and Disc profile:

Sustaining a continuous improvement efforts requires defining the company culture and developing team members. The lean philosophy and process must be systematically aligned with the organizations core values in order to seamlessly cultivate a problem solving culture. Lean Culture exposes the participants to the systems necessary to prepare lean leaders, to foster the sustained process of continuous improvement and to permeate continuous improvement throughout the organization. The Disc profile assessment is used for participants to better understand behavioral and communication preferences within themselves and among others.

  • Senior and mid-level leadership    
  • Lean/continuous improvement leaders    
  • Group leaders    


  • Overview of lean tools, techniques, and practices                                                                                                    
  • Leadership strategies for application of continuous improvement                                                                                                     
  • Practical tips, forms, and documentation for successful application of lean                                                                    
  • A blended approach to using lean, problem solving, and structured improvement methods for long-term sustainment

You can become an AME member during the registration process for $150 per year and obtain the discounted AME member rate for this event. Your membership will also entitle you to a registration discount for all future AME conferences, seminars, workshops and webinars for one year. Additionally, you will receive a subscription to the award winning Target magazine and much more. 

Payment or purchase order must be received by the AME office five days prior to the event start date. If no payment or PO number is received, you will be asked to pay with a credit card or check at the event before entry. 

Cancellation Policy: Enrollment fee less a $100 non-refundable registration charge will be refunded up to one week before the event. Substitutions may be made up to three days prior to the start of the workshop. 

Notes: This event may be cancelled by AME for any reason. AME is not responsible for incidental costs incurred by registrants. By registering for this meeting, I hereby acknowledge and agree that AME or its agents may take photographs of me during events and may use those photographs for AME’s purposes, including but not limited to news and promotional purposes, without further compensation to me.