The AME New England Lean Consortium recently held a Lean Leaders Meeting at one of our members location. This member is a defense contractor, so I cannot give their name. This company was once a Danaher company and is well down the road in Lean. The company presentation took twice as long as the schedule allowed and the Plant Tour took twice as long as the schedule allowed. This was all due to the wealth of information and best practices that the company was willing to share. On the way back from the Plant Tour, I thought about the number of years, and the hundreds of people that helped this company get to this point in their journey. And the attendees benefited greatly by being at this meeting. If they adopted just one of the many best practices and innovative ideas that were presented and shown, it would advance their Lean Program significantly.
As the Director of the Jacksonville Lean Consortium for three years, I saw how membership in a Lean Consortium benefited the companies, the people in those companies and the communities where those companies were located. We reached a total of 52 companies and organizations in the Jacksonville Lean Consortium.
When I came back to Maine in 2013, I started the Maine Lean Consortium, as I wanted those same benefits for the manufacturing companies in Maine. However, growth in Maine proved to be slow. The BOD agreed to expand to the rest of New England and we have achieved significant growth as a result. I can't overemphasize enough, about the benefits of belonging to a Lean Consortium.