Learning and collaborating to make Maine manufacturing better.
Looking to sharpen your skills as a Lean practitioner? Attending the Lean Round Table Series is one of the best ways in Maine to do just that. But you may be wondering, “What goes on at these Round Tables?” And, “What exactly is SME?” Read on to find out!
What is SME?
The letters SME stand for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Originally a professional organization for manufacturing engineers, the mission has since grown. Now, the name is a bit misleading. That’s why most people refer to the organization simply as SME. A better way to think about SME is as a professional organization for people who make things.
SME is an organization for individuals. Industry organizations, like the Manufacturers Association of Maine, are for companies. You may still be thinking “I’m not a engineer, though.” That’s ok, you don’t need to be an engineer to be a member of SME. In fact, most of our members aren’t. Maybe you’re a line supervisor or a technician. At Maine Dirigo Chapter #46 our mission is simply stated as:
“Passionate leaders connecting the Maine community of industry professionals through networking and learning events.”
What are the Lean Round Tables?
The Lean Round Table Series is a set of four events, each about three hours long. Each event is hosted at a different volunteer company in Maine. The topic is “Lean Manufacturing Practices” and how that company has applied them. Each company chooses their specific topic. Companies typically choose topics where they can both show off what they’ve achieved and are also open to feedback from participants. Each event includes a meal, presentation, tour, and a discussion.
Participation is limited to about fifty people per event. So, sign up quick! Many host companies can’t support more than fifty guests at a time, and the collaborative nature of the event prevents larger crowds. Participants are free to send substitutions to an event if they can’t make it.
Maine Dirgo Chapter #46 is fortunate in that we always have many great companies volunteer to host the Round Tables. When selecting hosts each year the board considers:
- The quality of content a host can provide.
- Balancing the location of events throughout the state. (We host events near population centers, but still strive to serve our rural members the best we can. Additionally, we time events to minimize driving during inclement weather.)
- Maintain a mix of small and large companies.
- Try not to revisit companies too frequently.
Why do I care? Why should I go? Why should I join?
The Lean Round Tables are Maine Dirigo Chapter #46’s premier event. The benefits are many! Perhaps the largest benefit is: How else can you see, up close and personal, the inner workings of world class companies throughout Maine? Attendees get to see host companies close-up and meet the professionals who lead them to success every day. It’s really a unique opportunity!
Networking is a buzz word often thrown around describing industry events. The Lean Round Tables offer something more in two ways. (1) Each event has a specific structured networking session and (2) the collaborative nature of the event promotes deep discussion. You can’t leave a Round Table without speaking with somebody interesting. We like to say:
“SME is a place to meet your next boss or employee. Your next customer or supplier.”
Some other benefits of attendance include:
- SME is a nonprofit organization. Proceeds from events support scholarships for local college students and other local educational causes.
- Learning events may count as professional development (PD) credits for licensure. (For example, professional engineer’s licensure.)
2017 Lean Round Table Series
The 2017 Lean Round Table Series is shaping up to be a great one. If you’re interested in attending, sign up here. Our hosts and topics this year are:
- LGC Maine Standards – “Incremental Improvements: Small Changes Lead to Big Impacts”
- Tuesday, February 28, 2017
- New England TechAir – “Implementing Lean- Where to Start? Stories of Starting Lean from People Fresh into Leading Lean”
- Tuesday, March 28, 2017
- Panel Format w/: N.E. TechAir, Envirologix, and Lanco
- Texas Instruments – “5S: First Stop on the Road to Lean”
- Tuesday, April 25, 2017
- The Baker Company – “Lean Progress: What Does Good Look Like?”
- Tuesday, May 23, 2017
- Panel Format w/: Baker, Lonza