Regular readers know that I believe there are two must-attend conferences each year, and especially in 2006: the annual Association for Manufacturing Excellence Conference (Dallas, 16-20 October 2006) and the Lean Accounting Summit (Orlando, 21-22 September 2006). I’ve been involved with AME for many years, and our own Bill Waddell is a key player behind the Lean Accounting Summit. This year Superfactory provided the design and execution for the new AME 2006 Conference website, which launched yesterday.
AME and the AME conference are by practioners for practioners… direct presentations by consultants are not allowed. The 2005 AME conference sold out, and pre-registrations for the 2006 conference have doubled the previous record… which is an indication that manufacturers are rapidly realizing that the competitive landscape has changed, and they must improve to succeed. Interestingly enough, over the last few years a larger and larger percentage of the conference has dealt with the application of manufacturing excellence methods, especially lean, to enterprise and non-manufacturing organizations. "Lean healthcare" has been particularly well-represented recently, and will be again in 2006.
The theme of the 2006 AME conference is "Thriving in Change", which pretty much describes the world we’re in right now. The ideas behind this year’s conference are built around "The Six Revolutions", which is based on the Seven Revolutions and Seven Futures described by the Global Strategy Institute of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which we blogged about several months ago. These revolutions are not just forces… they are fundamental upheavals in our socioeconomic structure that will radically change how we do business.
The Six Revolutions:
- Globalization – This is the perspective-changing Revolution that awakens the custodians of our quality of life to the reality of the all-pervasive global marketplace and of the strategic need to serve it with all our being. Globalization, for many, has become real as they appreciate that their competitors are only one mouse-click away from them on their customers’ computer. This realization of the intenseness of global competitiveness makes vivid the reality that suppliers can no longer give a customer even one bad day. Such realities cause our workforces to ‘Think Globally, but Act Locally.’
- Collaboration – Time is the currency of the 21st Century. Quick access to knowledge held by others has high competitive value. The power of human collaboration has roots in the reality that “no one is as smart as all of us” – and, in the global world – to tap such resources requires an understanding that a culture of trust and respect must be its starting point. Century competitiveness demands both internal collaboration among all employees, and, external collaboration with all elements of the extended enterprise to accelerate designs and throughput to customers. The laser alignment of all internal and extended collaboration drives waste from our enterprises to put us in the fighting trim needed to win in the global marketplace.
- Innovation – This Revolution is a prime key to achieving the huge multipliers of the quantities – and of the velocity of throughput – to global customers. Such multipliers, and such velocity, enables our ability to achieve global competitiveness with low wage countries. Formidable are the competitors, who develop the culture of innovation that inspires the openness, involvement, achievement, and deployment of streams of new products and services. Success demands finding the means of harvesting and deploying every single idea from a vision-driven, collaborative workforce. The power of consortiums brings the safe opportunity to test, strengthen and tune the innovation needed to enhance and sustain one’s competitiveness.
- Humanation – Perhaps the most potent Revolution of them all, as it is people who make processes and technology productive. The successful winning paradigms cannot be sustainable without the growth of a culture with a clear focus that unites people in an environment of trust, respect, and in makes accuracy and sustainment possible in an infrastructure where it is people that make processes and technology productive.
- Information – This powerful enabling Revolution is the winning catalytic force that enables the velocity of communication and throughput to drive competitive leadership. Information is muda if not used – and information’s value is geometrically proportional to its velocity as it unties people instantly around the world.
- Perpetuation – This Revolution, based on no-compromise-standardization is generating sustainable processes, products and quality – and more importantly, once in place, to full power of Continuous Improvement can be unleashed upon a customer whose processes melt away, whose hard fought innovation never reaches its potential. Perpetuation includes Life-Cycle thinking, and the pursuit of perfection in a predictable environment that changes only by design.
It becomes very obvious how lean manufacturing can mesh with these concepts. The impact of globalization on supply chains and targeted customers, collaboration to drive waste out of extended processes, innovation to increase throughput velocity, humanation to take advantage of huma potential, and perpetuation to drive standard processes and sustained improvement.
The 2006 AME conference shouldn’t be missed. Take advantage of the early bird and volume discounts available for the next few weeks, and definitely register before this conference, like the 2005 conference, sells out around mid-year. Keynoters include Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great" and "Built to Last", and there will be 20 plant tours, 60 best practice presentations, and 30 workshops.