Become a better enterprise excellence assessor with host Hansen Plastics

January 13, 2021 | 7:30 am to January 14, 2021 | 4:30 pm
Central Time
Contact AME: 224-232-5980 |
Non-Member Fee: $250
Member Fee: $200

Learn how to more effectively assess improvement effectiveness in your organization using the AME Excellence Award criteria.

It's very difficult to get a deep understanding of how highly effective improvement practices actually work. Perhaps only 10% of the organizations in any given industry — including manufacturing, health care, government or other sectors — are highly effective at improving. Why? Because most people don'thave the discipline to consistently align daily improvement activities to the organization's key strategies and leaders underestimate the behavioral changes needed by senior executives and middle managers. Participants in this workshop will learn practical actions to encourage their organization to more consistently practice getting better at getting better.

On Day One, participants will work a case study that demonstrates the attributes and practices of a company that is highly effective at improving. AME’s Lean Sensei self-assessment and Excellence Award criteria will be used as templates to define excellence. You will learn a lot about excellent improvement practices by studying this company.

On Day Two, you'll apply what you learned on Day One when we go to the gemba to practice your assessing skills while virtually visiting the Hansen Plastics facility.

You'll leave the workshop with the skills to:

  • Better recognize excellence and areas for improvement in your organization
  • Use the excellence criteria and/or the AME Lean Sensei™ self-assessment instrument
  • Ask good questions when doing an assessment
  • Write good feedback reports
  • Be more confident in your assessment capabilities
About the AME Excellence Award

The AME Excellence Award primarily recognizes North American manufacturing plants that have demonstrated excellence in manufacturing and business. The award acknowledges continuous improvement, best practices, creativity and innovation. Learn more about the award and how to apply here. 


Hansen Plastics Corporation

Hansen Plastics Corporation is a plastic injection molder, producing parts for a number of industries, including automotive, consumer plumbing, water treatment and life safety. The Elgin, Ill.-based company started in 1971 and became a fully owned ESOP in 1998, currently employing 150 fellow owners.

HPC values lean manufacturing to ensure it uses all resources available. To sustain efficiency, HPC's team utilizes an ERP system to make sure processes are running error-free with access to real-time data acquisition. The company demonstrates expertise in insert molding as a streamlined alternative when forming plastic pieces around non-plastic pieces, and proficiency in cost-effective vertical molding processes. HPC was recognized by AME for excellence in lean manufacturing as a tour site at the AME Chicago 2019 Internationa Conference. Learn more at


Day 1: Classroom and case study

This segment introduces AME's definition of excellence and delves into the assessment framework and key documents and tools that support the assessment process. In the afternoon, we'll discuss and score segments of a case study from a sample AME Excellence Award application. You'll gain valuable information about what “excellence” looks like based on the AME Excellence Award framework and come away with a clear picture of how the free Lean Sensei™ self-assessment instrument can be leveraged to perform self-assessments.

Day 2: Hands-on, real-world assessment practice

This segment is focused on "go and see" activities. You'll virtually go to the gemba to practice your assessing skills, visiting assigned areas within the HPC facility to apply what you learned in day one. After each gemba visit, we'll spend time discussing and developing consensus scores and capturing key observed strengths and opportunities.


Larry Anderson

Larry Anderson is a Bronze, Silver and Gold certified lean practitioner with over 40 years of operational excellence experience. He brings many years of experience with organizational assessment to identify best practices to this panel discussion. He is president of the AME Southwestern Region and serves as a Shingo representative on the lean certification oversight and appeals committee. Anderson is also certified as a facilitator for all Shingo Institute workshops. He has a deep understanding of Shingo Model principles and application gained through an 18+ year association with the model; 20+ assessment site visits, many as the senior examiner/team lead; numerous application desktop assessments; participation in the Shingo publication review process; and assisting two Shingo Institute Medallion recipients. He received a BSME degree from Texas Tech University and is a registered professional engineer.

Pat Wardell

Pat Wardell is a senior consultant for the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership. She is an experienced lean practitioner, trainer and consultant and serves as a member of the AME Excellence Award Council. In addition to being a lead assessor, she is one of a handful of people who have achieved the gold level of Lean Certification through the joint AME/SME/Shingo certification program.

  • Improve your ability to assess any organization’s excellence maturity level through the completion of hands-on, guided "go and see" assessment activities at an award-winning site.
  • Understand the AME Excellence Award criteria and annual award process.
  • Learn how to use the criteria and the Lean Sensei™ instrument as self-assessment tools.
  • Learn how Achievement Reports are evaluated and scored.
  • Understand what assessors do during a site visit.
  • Gain hands-on experience reviewing and scoring a sample Achievement Report.
  • Become more confident if you are or plan to become an AME Excellence Award assessor.

Anyone who wants to improve their enterprise excellence assessment capabilities
AME Excellence Award applicants or potential applicants
Individuals who are or wish to become AME Excellence Award examiners


To fully participate in this virtual event, a high-speed internet connection, speaker/headphones, microphone and webcam are needed. While not required, you will have a better online experience if you do not use wireless internet service. A wired/ethernet connection will have a stronger signal than wireless. Make sure you download the Zoom Client for Meetings desktop application for the best experience. Do not use the version available through your web browser as it has limited features.


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.

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 canceled 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.