AME and where it began ...
The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) was founded in 1985. It is an international, not-for-profit organisation based in North America. The AME is dedicated to the cultivation, analysis and exchange of productivity methods, and their successful application in the pursuit of excellence.
The AME (Australia) was formed in 1999 as the result of a presentation delivered by Jim Watkins as part of a ‘Manufacturing Best Practices’ course, conducted by the Centre for Manufacturing in Melbourne, Victoria. Getting together with a number of interested participants after the presentation, Jim mentioned the AME and the work they were carrying out in North America. After attending a number of their North American conferences, he was well aware of the value of such an organisation, and was keen to develop a local affiliate.
After this initial meeting of the people who were to become foundation members of the AME’s Australian chapter, letters of support were sought and received from a number of local manufacturers, and, due largely to Jim Watkins’ extensive contacts, other interested people soon joined the fledgling project.
Eventually, thanks to the hard work of everyone involved and the support of the then Victorian State Government Office for Manufacturing, a steering committee was formed, and the AME (Australia) began to develop in to the organisation it is today.
Today, the AME (Australia) is not only important locally but also internationally, a fact demonstrated by its hosting of the first International AME Conference held outside North America in Melbourne in May 2004, only five years after the idea for an Australian branch was first floated.