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 significant, locally based activities.
AME consortia provide a substantial way for organizations to network, not just individuals.
Throughout the pandemic and as we begin phased reopening, these consortia have provided a strong network for companies to collaborate. In the San Francisco Bay Area Consortium, for example, members are collaborating via biweekly video calls, facilitated by Katie Anderson, during which they discuss the most relevant topics on their minds and collect input from fellow members on “case studies” that highlight the work they’re currently doing.
You may be aware that Ryan Mecham had been leading the overall AME Consortia effort until this past November. He remains the facilitator for the Salt Lake Area Consortium, and his efforts have helped us create a thriving system of consortia across North America, with 13 consortia cities and more to be announced soon.
To build on what Ryan started, I am excited to announce that Dale Gehring has stepped up to lead the continued expansion of AME Consortia. Dale has been intimately involved with the program as the leader of our efforts to integrate consortia within the AME regional structure.
Dale recently retired after 40 years of manufacturing experience with ESCO, a corporate division of Weir. As director of lean enterprise development, he led the effort to build systems and coach people in support of continuous improvement and sustainability.
He is a past chair of the AME Board of Directors and has been an active AME member over the last 20 years while participating in the Champions Club. Beyond AME, he also serves on the board of Clackamas Academy of Industrial Science – a charter school with targeted high school education for manufacturing, the trades and engineering.
This is an incredibly important role for AME and the industries we serve. AME consortia provide the deep connections that successful organizations rely on as they seek proven best practices and deep continuous improvement know-how.
I know that many of you are engaged in this pursuit, so I wanted to devote my weekly email to this topic. While I hope that your organization will seek out an AME Consortium to help your business thrive, I also know that there are plenty of areas where we have not yet established a formal consortium. If you do not currently live in one of our 13 consortia cities, please stay tuned, as we will be announcing additional cities soon. Or if you’re interested in spearheading the effort to form a consortium in your area, Dale and his team would love to support you and connect you to other local lean companies with whom you can network. Do not hesitate to contact Dale or me if we can help you in this pursuit.
To amend a statement I made in last week’s email: a network is powerful – not just for an individual, but for forward-thinking organizations and companies as well.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.