Special Interest Sessions

Date and Time: Wednesday 8 March, 1.00pm - 2.30pm



We’ve gathered experienced continuous improvement pioneers as facilitators and presenters to provide relevant and cutting-edge information, best practices and essential tools.

AME is committed to helping members and delegates to share, learn and grow. To facilitate meaningful sharing, AME provides this interactive case study led session so that you can learn from others in the community. Each panel will be joined by one international keynote speaker.

Come and share your thoughts about the issues affecting you and your work. Listen, share, ask questions and take away ideas that you can implement right away!


Session 1: A Lean Journey: The Do’s and Don’ts

Experienced lean thinkers share their advice about getting started on lean implementation – the basics and pitfalls. Join in and share your ideas.

Case Study: Andrew Smith, Lean Facilitator, NZ Windows

Andrew Smith is a Kaizen Lean practitioner who was introduced to Lean in 2012 in the Aquatics Environment. Having the opportunity to work in an amazing facility leading the way in Lean with in the Industry. Hosting over 900 delegates on Lean tours through our facility. Since 2014, working in the Manufacturing Industry with Aluminium Windows and Doors. Since 2015 Lean has become a way of living life not only at work but at home as well.

NZ Windows has been on their Lean Journey since July 2014, in this time the organisation has seen some amazing Lean improvements during a period where output has increased by 180%. During this time, Lean has gone from an improvement tool to a way they do business.

In the last year, NZ Windows have learnt from what didn’t go well and now engage their team in Lean and continuous Improvement with everybody, everywhere, everyday. In 2015 they began following the practices from Paul Akers with 2 Second Lean, where they now have everyone doing 3S everyday, all the team knowing the 8 Deadly Wastes and over 600 2 Second Lean videos on YouTube. In this presentation Andrew Smith will share NZ Windows’ challenges and successes when starting their Lean journey.

Case Study: Matt Venn, Managing Director, Southern Cross Ceramics

Southern Cross Ceramics are the last Australian Company still manufacturing decorated tiles for kitchens, bathrooms, living areas and commercial spaces. Matt Venn, Managing Director and his team have faced many challenges in a competitive and somewhat hostile environment and yet continue to not only survive, but are on a program of expansion and growth.
In his presentation Matt Venn will provide an overview of the different stages of their Lean Journey. He will share not only how the company has become more competitive in the market as a lean manufacturer but also the importance of focusing on market trends, continually seeking improvements, reducing costs and applying the latest concepts in design and product development.
Under the direction of its Board, the company continues to focus its lean strategies on the bottom line for long term growth. It has recognised that its future success is determined by the market. Vertical integration has enabled the company to create an amazing customer experience through shortened lead times for orders, the provision of product and service that the customer wants along with the removal of waste from the value stream to enable more market responsive pricing strategies. Daily continuous improvement is crucial to Southern Cross Ceramics success, and is committed to an investment in the knowledge and skills of its staff and hence its Culture which includes; the Board, shareholders, staff, strategic suppliers, contractors and ultimately its customers.

Facilitator: Glenn Seaby (Efficiency Works)  

Panel: Andrew Smith (NZ Windows), Matt Venn (Southern Cross Ceramics), Michael Bremer (Cumberland Group), Guy Bulmer (Tuff Tonneaus)


SESSION 2: Service Excellence and Innovation

Leading companies will share how to break out traditional constraints and turn ‘ordinary’ businesses into extra-ordinary value creating organisations.

Case Study: Adwait Kale, Business Transformation Manager, Transdev Australasia

Adwait joined Transdev Australasia as Business Transformation Manager in April 2015. His role is to manage and execute all large business transformation programs across the 9 Transdev Australasia subsidiaries. Adwait’s 10 year career in project development and change management has spanned a diverse range of industries including utilities, construction and telecommunications. He previously held the position of Senior Advisor – Business Process and Compliance with NBN Co, and before that Program Manager – Compliance and Assurance with Energy Australia. In his time as a program management professional, Adwait has developed and implemented numerous strategies to drive operational efficiencies using innovative and lean techniques.

Transdev aims to be a pioneer in public transport with an exciting mix of new technology and forward thinking customer focus. In order to drive the future of public transport, they continue to adapt their service offering and innovate with new programs, systems and tools many of which have been rolled out in otheir businesses over the past two years. Systems like Infor, VDS and Interframe are about making the day to day operating environments more efficient and streamlining the processes. Their commitment to embracing and using these products will bring about the changes they need to stay ahead of the game in their industry. The purpose of BOOST is to carry on the path that they have started and find ways to continuously improve, learn and share knowledge so that as a whole they leverage and realise the benefits as a whole company.

Case Study: Chris Butterworth, Book Author, AME Board Member and Partner, S A Partners

A Partner with S A Partners for over 10 years, Chris has extensive Lean Transformation experience working with senior teams in multinational blue chip companies.

A winner of the ‘Best New Speaker of the Year 2014’ TEC (The Executive Connection) award and overall Programme Manager for the work featured in the Shingo Prize winning publication Staying Lean.

Chris is co-author to the new book '4 + 1: Embedding a Culture of Continuous Improvement in Financial Services'. The authors combine their seventy years of collective experience in Lean and business improvement to present 5 basic habits to the reader that are easy to learn yet take years to master. A culture of continuous improvement will start to develop almost as soon as the habits are applied and continue to mature as they are mastered.

Case studies in two of the world’s leading banking organisations demonstrate how the culture of continuous improvement has been applied in real-world situations. The authors also discuss the underlying neuroscience explaining why these habits actually work.

Facilitator: Matthew Wall (Boeing)

Panel: Adwait Kale (Transdev Australasia), Chris Butterworth (S A Partners), Norbert Majerus (Goodyear)


SESSION 3: The People Product of Lean Leadership

We see a lot of figures and achievements for projects from a business perspective, but not always seeing what it means for the people implementing it or the people who benefit from it.  Gain insight, from leading companies, into what engagement looks like in individuals, and how as leaders you can show recognition and resect to these people. Join us and share your thinking.

Case Study: Trevor Price, Owner, Rowville Horse Trailers

Rowville Horse Trailers, based in Melbourne, is now in their 35th year of designing & manufacturing horse floats in Australia for Australians. Rowville find themselves with a focus specifically on reducing the horses anxiety during travel. Rowville Horse Trailers have been a market leader for horse sensitive designs and an innovative approach to the way a small business can operate due to a distinct culture that has the customer cause at its heart. A group of around 25 people focused on improving the product and process as a team with following lean principles to best visualise and problem solve any issues that may arise - and there are endless amounts of issues for a small business to work on. Rowville Horse Trailers are a small business to keep an eye on, this is pretty clear when you see the Facebook following of over 21,000 engaged Facebook followers, this a clear sign that they are aligned to their customers cause and are 'on the right track'.

Trevor Price became Managing Director at his first small business at 23 years old - a $5m manufacturing company that serviced the Automotive Industry, his strong focus on linking the customer cause to innovation & people development helped guide this business to business company to new strengths.

His second company Rowville Horse Trailers is another small manufacturing company with this year being in its 35th year of business, this company was chosen for its direct link to clients with a very specific reason for being - to reduce the anxiety of horses during travel. Since his time with Rowville Horse Trailers, Trevor has been developing his internal team and suppliers to prepare for growth, with a complete shift in culture the business has doubled in size and is poised for further growth. Trevor’s determination and relentless drive to improve on the status quo is contagious and this is seen by many who have had the chance to tour through the Rowville Horse Trailers facility, not many small businesses have culture as distinguishable as that – a following that focuses on improving product and process in line with the customer needs is pretty impressive.

Case Study: Amanda Embury, Senior Manager, Continuous Improvement Processes, Human Resources, Zoos Victoria

Amanda Embury has been working at Zoos Victoria for over 30 years. During this time she’s worked in many areas of the zoo’s operations from retail to admissions, business services, education, interpretation and capital developments. However, most of her time has been spent working with Life Sciences teams providing oversight for animal welfare outcomes and species management programs. She has qualifications in zoology, education, interpretation and competitive practices. Currently Amanda is on secondment to the Human Resources team as Senior Manager of Continuous Improvement Processes. This position is facilitating roll-out of Lean across Zoos Victoria, including coaching of staff. Amanda is also involved in the regional zoo community being Chair of the Australasian Species Management Program Committee, a committee which manages collaborative breeding programs of this region’s zoos. With over 30 years’ experience working at zoos Amanda has seen many changes, and indeed improvements, in the way in which zoos operate – aspects such as exhibit design, delivery of animal welfare outcomes, growing involvement of zoos in Recovery programs and ways in which zoos engage with communities. Central to this is embedding scientific methodology, and constant monitoring and review. This data-rich approach aligns well with principles of Lean, enabling gaps to be identified and problem-solving to occur. Ongoing evaluation supports continuous improvement whether it be admission numbers, survival rates of endangered species born or alignment of animal species housed at Zoos Victoria with our true north of a future rich with wildlife.

Facilitator: Ray Littlefield (ILS Australia)

Panel: Trevor Price (Rowville Horse Trailers), Amanda Embury (Zoos Victoria), Billy Taylor (Goodyear), Barry McCarthy (Toyota Australia)


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