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The Bluegrass Automotive Manufacturers Association (BAMA) was established in 1989 as an independent corporation consisting of local Kentucky suppliers.  In 1991, BAMA expanded to include 6 additional local suppliers.  At that time, the main purpose of the association was to give Toyota Motor Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc. a standard forum to provide an introduction to basic Toyota philosophies with an emphasis on the Toyota Production System (TPS). 

Since 1991, BAMA has undergone significant expansion in both its membership and mission.  In 1993, membership was expanded to include 20 additional suppliers, many from outside the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky.  In 1994, 27 new members were added bringing the total number of members to 67 from throughout the United States, including some Canadian suppliers.  In 1995, 26 new members joined BAMA bringing the membership to 93.  In 2006, GAMA suppliers joined BAMA.   The current membership is about 90. 


Originally focusing on the introduction of TPS principles, BAMA has become a key educational and developmental resource for its members with topics ranging from Human Resources Management to Cost Management.  BAMA is now a major supplier development tool used to improve the overall performance of Toyota’s supply base.


The Purpose of BAMA is to share Toyota philosophy, techniques, and experiences with the supply base, providing an opportunity for interaction between Toyota and BAMA members and between the members themselves.  This sharing of continuous improvement methods between members should lead to long-term survival and mutual prosperity among members.


There is a yearly membership fee to participate in BAMA.  Companies need to solicit membership from Toyota by submitting a letter of interest to the department responsible for BAMA support.  The request along with the letter of commitment would then be reviewed by Toyota and BAMA.  The representative from the BAMA member company is typically a senior level operations executive who is committed to attending each BAMA meeting and in a position to assimilate the information presented within their own organization. 


The BAMA Board of Directors consists of the following four officers:


  • President

  • Vice-President

  • Treasurer

  • Secretary



These officer positions are BAMA member representatives who are voted upon by the BAMA general assembly.  It should be noted that oyota is not a member of BAMA and therefore not eligible for a position on the BAMA Board of Directors.                                                                                                                                                                              

Toyota’s role is to serve as a consultant and an administrative facilitator. 


It is also important to note that direct competitors are among the BAMA member companies.  However, member companies are never requested to share proprietary or confidential information and can request that competitors not enter their facility if they are hosting a plant visit.



BAMA members are expected to seek and further develop and strengthen current relationships with Toyota and fellow BAMA members.  Additionally, members are expected to take advantage of the educational and developmental opportunity offered through participation in BAMA, and become active participants.  This includes consistent meeting attendance, participation in the roundtable discussions as well as in their assigned Committee, question, and answer sessions held at each meeting, and a willingness to share problems, experiences, and problem solutions with fellow members.


The time commitment associated with BAMA membership varies for new members and fully assimilated members (members with more than one year of membership).  All members are expected to participate in quarterly general assembly meetings, including an Annual Business Meeting.  BAMA members are also given the opportunity to participate in up to two plant visits per year.  


BAMA Board of Directors

BAMA BOD_edited_edited.jpg


BAMA is currently divided up into 9 regions and 3 national committees.  Regions are geographically based with usually between 8 and 12 member companies.  Regions select their own focus, but it must be plant floor activity.  The plant floor activity is to last 2 to 3 days and the regions are required to have at least 3 per year at different member plants.  The 3 national committees are the Education Committee, Safety Committee, and Voice of Supplier. 
There are 3 National meetings per year that usually last a day and a half.  These will include presentations from Toyota, BAMA members, and guest speakers.

BAMA members need to select an "BAMA Executive Champion", “Manufacturing Executive” and “Plant Region Lead” person as defined below:

BAMA Executive Champion - member is responsible for championing BAMA support within their organization, ensuring the right people are placed in the Manufacturing Executive and Plant Region Lead roles, and is ultimately accountable for company involvement in BAMA. It is optional for this person to engage in BAMA activities, however we encourage this person to support where there is capacity.

Manufacturing Executive - member is responsible for the overall relationship between the Member Company and BAMA. This person should be the most engaged with the organization, and Executive Level representative with influence to make changes to manufacturing operations are advised for this role. If desired, this person can be the same as the BAMA Executive Contact. 

(1) Attends ALL 3 BAMA National Meetings/Conferences, and at least 2 regional workshops.
(2) Attends attend their companies’ regional workshop if they are the host
(3) Should be prepared to serve in a leadership role in their region within 4 years.


Plant Region Lead - an individual who is able to implement and/or disseminate learning’s from BAMA. This position can be filled by multiple individuals in a company as necessary and can be any staff or functional person within a BAMA member company who can derive direct benefit/value by participating in a BAMA sponsored activity. This person can come from many parts of the supplier organization depending upon the scope and focus of the activity (Program Management, Quality, Production Management, Engineering, Information Systems, etc.) The key person may participate in a one-time activity (Plant Visit, Focus Group, Survey) or a repetitive activity, (Kaizen Workshop, Trial activity, etc.) as determined necessary by the member company.  


(1) Attends all regional workshops, or send designate that is a SME and workshop and planned activity

(2) Attends BAMA National Meetings/Conferences if able

Toyota supports the activity with an Advisor as defined below:

Advisor role - an individual or individuals who understand the processes related to the region theme and can assist in the problem-solving process and people development. They are responsible for keeping plant activity focused on improving plant condition and people development of all attendees.


(1) Attend Plant activity at suppliers

(2) Participate in conference calls as requested by the Region Members.

(3) Follow-up with Toyota groups as needed at TMNA R&D

(5) Assist in teaching the Toyota 8 Step problem solving process.

(6) Review / improve all presentation and workshop material to be used outside the region.

(7) Assist in Training

(8) Explain the Toyota 8 step problem solving process

(9) Guide committee to use the Toyota 8 Step problem solving process

(10) Follow-up with Toyota groups as needed at NAMC

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