Feeling Proud – S A Partners achieves Investors In People Gold Standard

We are delighted to announce that S A Partners has been awarded the Investors in People Gold standard.

This prestigious award has been bestowed to recognize that S A Partners has achieved exceptional standards in leading, inspiring and empowering it’s team.

We often use the term ‘Cobblers Children’ to remind ourselves we are a leading training and consultancy company that supports organisations globally to improve employee engagement and culture change.

Ensuring we live and breathe the levels of excellence we push our clients to attain has been a particular passion for our Managing Director – Simon Grogan:

“Over the last two years we have deployed a competency based learning and development programme; introduced coaching to improve our people develop; refreshed our reward and recognition process; upped the frequency of team interactions and increased the focus on leading metrics.  These along with other initiatives introduced by our team have brought us together and created a really exciting place to work.”

On a strategic level focusing on team-based projects and targets has alleviated internal competitiveness and a focus on lagging metrics, allowing the company to focus on what matters – future growth, engagement and empowerment.  S A Partners encourages all employees to own their own learning and development, and provides every team member time each month for self-directed personal development.

S A Partners is an approved partner of the Cardiff University Lean Competency System (LCS©), the SHINGO Institute© and Blanchard Corporation©. We support organisations create exceptional leaders and drive culture change by embracing ideal behaviours such as ‘Lead with Humility’ and ‘Respect for Others’. By applying these principles to our own organization we have been able to make significant improvements to engagement and empowerment.

Thank you to Ken Snyder, Executive Director, Shingo Institute for acknowledging our success:

“Congratulations to SA Partners on being awarded the Investors in People Gold award. At the Shingo Institute, we applaud the investment in the development of people in all organizations. Specifically we appreciate the investments made by SA Partners in their outstanding team members. This demonstrates that not only does SA Partners teach the Shingo Model, but also practice what they teach. The Shingo Institute is very proud to have SA Partners as an affiliate partner.”

Simon Elias the Director of the Lean Competency System also commented:

“Congratulations to SA Partners on this excellent achievement. It is fitting that an organisation whose lean business model has a strong focus on the need for an empowered and engaged workforce for sustainable culture change should also demonstrate its own commitment to teamwork and people development”.

As one of the newest Partners to join the company, Garry Corbet (Head of Ireland Consulting) commented:

“This is an incredible place to work, we get the opportunity to make a real impact on our clients. Our team is constantly looking to learn, develop and share their knowledge and we are not afraid to hold each other to account.  There is respect, strong leadership and most importantly trust.”

The IIP Framework assesses companies in three key areas and against 9 principles (see Diagram). Companies are assessed through a rigorous combination of surveys and interviews.  Organisations that meet the world recognized standard, are believed to reflect the very best in people management.


We are delighted that we have been able to achieve this new standard which reflects the work of everyone in the organization to create a positive, empowering and exciting place to work.  This has been a challenging year for both us and our clients, but it has allowed us to reflect on our purpose which is to create a sustainable thought leading continuous improvement consultancy that has a positive impact on both our customers and our team.


For further information contact:

Ailsa Carson
Partner; Group Marketing Manager
S A Partners LLP
E: ailsa.carson@sapartners.com
M: +44 (0) 783 222 3453

NINTEX partners with specialist business transformation company S A Partners

S A Partners is delighted to announce a new partnership with the world’s leading digital transformation specialists NINTEX.  The partnership will support S A Partners to deliver it’s world class transformation and training solutions with digital capability. 


Today, over 10,000 public and private sector organizations, including more than 50% of the Fortune 500, turn to the Nintex Process Platform to accelerate digital transformation. Their process management and automation software improves the way you work with easy-to-use tools for visually managing, quickly automating and continuously optimizing business processes and workflows.

For over 30 years S A Partners has supported organisations around the world with cultural change and organisational transformation.  This partnership will allow them to support their customers with the solutions they need.

Simon Grogan, Managing Director of S A Partners comments:

“The workflow solutions that NINTEX provide, compliment the S A Partner offering so well it seems like a natural extension to the way we work.  We work with a diverse range of companies on business transformation, cultural change and workflow optimisation. Supporting our customers with their digital transformation in this space is the next step and I believe we have chosen the best possible partner to do this.”

Image of Simon Grogan

The Nintex platform supports a wide range of functions in process mapping, management and automation. It makes it fast and easy to manage and optimise processes within every area of an organisation. It also allows for the all-important continuous improvement element.  Integrations with other leading platforms such as Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce and Sharepoint ensure it fits within existing digital frameworks.

Keivan Zokaei, Partner and Head of Financial Services

“As we grow our enviable list of blue chip clients across four continents, we have recognised the need to enhance our digital offering either directly or through partnerships to our customer base. At the same time that we create and grow direct digital services such as virtual coaching, virtual Enterprise Excellence© Assessments and our bespoke Learning Management System. We can now also provide our clients access to workflow mapping and automation through partnership with Nintex.”

image of keivan

To discuss how we can further support your business with digital transformation please contact Megan James at megan.james@sapartners.uk or call us on +44 2920 881014.

For further information, please contact:

image of ailsa carsonAilsa Carson
Partner, S A Partners LLP
Phone: 0783-222-3453
Email: ailsa.carson@sapartners.uk

Useful resources on Covid-19

Here are a list of useful resources that should help you cope with the crisis a lot better. We have split these into two parts, information and Inspiration.


Gaining better understanding about COVID19

These are resources that give you a better understanding of what’s actually going on, from health to financial markets and economic outlook.

Covid-19 Advice & Guidance for Manufacturers by John Quirke of S A Partners

Goldman Sachs research and insights relating to Covid19

Rated as one of the best investment podcasts. It sometimes presents fairly controversial points of view. The Investor’s Podcast dedicates its recent release to COVID-19. *Recommended*

Why COVID-19 is hitting us now – and how to prepare for the next outbreak?, by Alanna Shaikh

Bill Gates predicted the pandemic two year ago. But nobody listened. 25 million people have watched this Ted Talk

Podcast by Mark Graban on Gemba Academy that explains some very basic aspects of Covid19 from a health point of view


Improve your psychological well-being in dealing with Covid-19

Convert the crisis into a gift by Shirzad Chamine. *Recommended*

Happiness Lab Podcasts: A series of podcasts with practical suggestions on how to coach yourself through Covid-19 by Dr Laurie Santos of Yale University. Dr Laurie 8 special episodes on Covid-19. *Recommended*

Checking-in Podcast: Susan David, psychologist at Harvard Medical School talks about managing fear and panic during uncertain times.

Free online course at University of Pennsylvania. Resilience Skills in a Time of Crisis.

Simon Sinek explains why Covid-19 is an opportunity, if you approached it as one.

Award Winning Financial Services Book Give Away

This has now been paused, but feel free to fill in the form for any future campaigns we might run for this.

About the book

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 in your organisation 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. This book is essential reading for leaders and business improvement professionals alike.

The Award

The book has been awarded the prestigious Shingo Publication Award for 2019. By design, the Shingo Award represents the highest standard of excellence in the world.

This award recognises and promotes writing that has had a significant impact and advances the body of knowledge regarding operational excellence. The Shingo Institute is most interested in recognising thought leadership.

How to win

All you have to do to win a copy of this award winning book is fill outthe form below, we will then be pulling out the first 100 names and posting them out.

Good luck!

4+1 Book Entry Form

National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition

We are pleased to announce that S A Partners will be attending the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition which is being held at the City West hotel in Dublin on the 29th & 30th January 2020.

With an impressive line-up of manufacturing leaders, academics and government agencies who will engage in a stimulating blend of key note addresses and debates.  Our head of Irish operations, John Quirke, will be attending along with other members of the S A Partners team, so why not  come along to our stand and have a chat with themto find out more about what S A Partners can do for you, how we do it, along with the impressive results we help our clients achieve.

S A Partners Gain Investors In People Recognition

We are pleased to announce that after carrying out the IIP Assessment in accordance with the requirements of UKCES, the Investors in People organisation have confirmed that S A Partners have been awarded Investors in People Silver Standard, and thus recognised as an Investors in People organisation.

This is a significant achievement for S A Partners after a year of change, and one that demonstrates the strengths in the organisation and its commitment to continuous improvement for itself and its clients.

Their prestigious accreditation is recognised across the world as a mark of excellence, and is based around optimising performance by championing best practice in people management and equipping organisations with the tools to succeed. Organisations that demonstrate the Investors in People standards achieve the accreditation through a rigorous and objective assessment to determine performance.

Investors in People is owned by the UK government, managed nationally by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).  Investors in People provides a best practice people management standard, offering accreditation to organisations that adhere to the Investors in People framework. Investors in People assessments are conducted locally through seven local Delivery Centres.

IIP was formed in 1991 to protect the integrity of the Investors in People framework. It was a non-departmental public body and received funding from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Webinar: Gaining true commitment to the revised 91XX series of standards

Whilst many organisations already meet the requirements of the 91XX series of standards, the question remains, is the intent and commitment to high performance and a culture of quality truly met?

In this webinar hosted by Megan James, Robin and Leigh will share their experiences deploying quality and enterprise excellence systems within industry and discuss:

  • Going beyond conformance: Discover how to meet the intent behind the revised requirements based on leadership, strategy and a culture of continuous improvement
  • Driving best practice: Understand how the leading companies are embedding and sustaining a high-performance culture through purpose, process and people
  • Building a culture of quality and improvement: Deploying high performance behaviors at all levels of your organization to ensure you meet and exceed the 91XX series requirements
  • Creating alignment: Building a bridge between quality, operations and HR to build one approach to Enterprise Excellence that will create competitive advantage and provision for growth

Fill in the form below to receive the webinar link

Toyota Production System in House Building

To view, use the download button provided.

Professor Hines illustrates how quick changeover methods have been deployed requiring a high degree of precision in the manufacturing process alongside modularity. The company also actively involves their supplier in what might be described as ‘high pressure’ improvement collaboration.

While the advantage of Japanese car makers over their western counterparts is well-documented in the existing lean literature, Professor Peter Hines identifies that interesting applications of lean can be found in other parts of the Toyota Corporation. For example, evidence of the application of lean thinking can be found in Toyota’s house building operations.

Toyota decided to enter the prefabricated housing market in 1975 in order to leverage the competitive advantage accrued in the car industry. Their customer order to final production leadtime is less than a month, typically 20-25 days, with 80% of the construction activity taking place within the factory.

25 Years of Lean Publishing

The purpose of this paper is to take a critical, analytical approach to explore the growth and spread of Lean through the academic and practitioner community over the last 25 years to understand the impact of the book The Machine that Changed the World on management thinking.

A comprehensive and systematic review of the extant literature of lean was undertaken and analysed critically to observe patterns and trends that could explain the acceptance of Lean as an operations management philosophy. The review spans from 1987 to 2013. To enable us to effectively manage and understand the diffusion of this literature a database, the Lean Publications Database, was constructed. The number of publications has been adjusted to compensate for growth in the total number of articles published in the same period.

Lean has evolved to be one of the best-known, yet fiercely debated, process improvement methodologies. It emerged during a proliferation of such methodologies in the business and management literature. Lean has developed from a generic description of Toyota Production System (TPS) to a particular type of organisational and management intervention focused on best practice and process improvement methodologies.

Webinar: Voice of the Customer

In this webinar we will explain a simple yet powerful method for understanding value in the eyes of the customer and show how this insight can be used to redirect your organisation’s improvement efforts. Finally we demonstrate how this approach has been usefully deployed with impressive benefits in both small companies and global multinationals alike.

Understanding value in the eyes of the customer is the first of the original lean principles (see Womack and Jones, 1996). However, companies embarked on an improvement programme tend to focus their efforts on waste removal and typically neglect value enhancement. Often this is for lack of a practical approach to harness understand and improve their customer value proposition.

View the Voice of the Customer webinar.

Webinar: The Core to Sustainable High End Lean

Citing research from his forthcoming book Peter Hines will provide a framework that will help you understand what core operating systems you will need to develop for sustainable High End Lean.

Not to be missed if you want to reach the higher echelons of lean!

You can also join Prof. Peter Hines’s at his Masterclass which will be carrying out Gemba visits at award winning organisations [view brochure].

Viewers of this webinar will also find out the answers to the following questions:

  • What is core to a sustainable Lean implementation?
  • Where am I on the journey?
  • What do I need to do next?
  • What do I need to do to create a culture of continuous improvement?
  • What are the core systems I need to develop?

Webinar: The Core to Sustainable High End Lean

S A Partners Launch Brand New Promotional Videos

S A Partners start the new financial year with two BRAND NEW promotional videos as part of our online advertising campaign.

Video 1 (Left) ‘Competence, Efficiency, Colleagues and Company’

Video 2 (Right) ‘Minimise Waste and Maximise Customer Results’

More videos are on the way in alignment with; introductions to our various sectors, our Shingo Institute Affiliation and our Enterprise Excellence Masterclass.

Like, comment and subscribe to our YouTube channel (access via the videos below) to continue being the very first to see our forthcoming promotional content.

We’d very much like you to provide some feedback on what you think about these videos. We’d like to know 1) what you like, 2) what you dont like and 3) what you think it needs.  All submissions will then go into a draw to win the Shingo award winning book, ‘Staying Lean, Thriving not just Surviving‘.

Implementing a Successful Continuous Improvement Journey

Senior and Team Leaders of Musgrave Distribution Centre in Fonthill Ireland, look back at the past few years of their successful CI journey.

They focus on health and safety, behaviours, purpose, standard work and leader standard work. The team talk you through the practicalities of implementing CI from the early stages, and how the culture grows through the entire organisation from the top-down.

retail distribution sector s a partners
Sustainable Continuous Improvement

End of Year, Two-Day Event 2017

On July 13th – 14th 2017 we celebrated the end of our 24th year of S A Partners. As we progressed into the new financial year, all our employees and partners met at our offices in Wales to share their ideas and discuss how the business will evolve for years to come. In the image above you will see this years award winners voted by all people within our company.

Exceptional Contribution:

Clare Pryce – Finance Manager
John Quirke – Partner, Ireland Regional Head, Life Science Sector Head

Continually Putting Our Business First:

Lee King – Senior Finance Officer
Jeff Williams – Partner, Food & Drink Sector Head, Business Development Director

Outstanding Performance Improvement:

Kate Murphy – Finance and Business Support Coordinator
Alex Everitt – Marketing and Design Coordinator
Phil Spooner – Principal Consultant

The two days consisted of various talks and exercises including; a premiere of our brand new videos, an insight into the performance of current offers, plus updates and feedback submissions for future offerings.

Day 1 concluded with a wonderful meal at The Black Cock Inn in Caerphilly. A huge thank you to all the staff there for providing a great service!

Check out some snaps and selfies of our activities throughout the 2 days…

TPM of a world class cyclist

Many of you will have seen the documentaries about Team Sky, following the record breaking Tour de France wins by Sir Bradley Wiggins win and Chris Froome. Team Sky take a holistic and systemic approach to looking after their riders and the team – it’s like applying TPM to people!

I recently read Geraint Thomas’ auto-biography which provides excellent insights into the Team Sky world of ‘marginal gains’ and the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) of its world class riders.

Learning from experience – and especially mistakes is important in continuous improvement.  Everything is subjected to Plan > Do > Review in a systematic and systemic fashion.  The obvious areas for improvement are technological advances to materials, kit and equipment (e.g. bikes and helmets) and measuring and analysing rider performance, but personalised training plans, diet, clothing, bedding & mattress toppers, the team bus, warm down regime and recovery care are all subject to this scientific level of scrutiny.

Psychological ‘mind management’ support is available from Professor Steve Peters and the approach he has developed  – called ‘The Chimp Paradox’ – for example, time and effort lost on emotions and worrying is still a waste.

Famously, riders have stated ‘it’s not about the bike’ – the system that supports the world class rider goes much further than the bike.  Marginal gains come from everywhere. And many sports are now adopting this systematic approach to improvement!

So how do you look at your ‘production system’ and performance?  Any lessons from cycling?

Visit our events section to see what TPM workshops are planned.

Glastonbury Festival, a Lean Operations Management Challenge

If you have just been to, or watched the Glastonbury Festival – this is a real feat of ‘Lean operations management’ that we may not usually consider.

For example:

Last year there was 3 Days of production planning and operations. This year there is 4 as Thursday hosts the ‘surprise act’.

10 stages – or production lines per day, but there are somewhere between 90 and 100 places where music is played.

Min 12 hour shifts per production line (less set ups and planned down time!).

Thousands of food traders, charities, campaigning organisations and peddlers of the bizarre and unique apply to trade at Glastonbury Festival each year.

8 ‘quick changeovers’ per day, per line.

Inbound and outbound logistics management.

Delivering ‘On Time in Full’ to around 135,000 ‘customers’ at the site plus millions around the world via a global distribution network 24/7.

Micro and macro benefits for the UK economy (I won’t talk about the traffic – a constraint outside the control of the festival organisers).

The team are already carrying out a Plan>Do>Check>Act to learn from this years’ experience and continuously improve all aspects for the 2017 plan.

Thanks Glastonbury – another great festival – the clean-up operation begins …..


Funding for Lean Projects in Ireland

SA Partners work closely with Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland client companies introducing lean principles, partnering & driving business improvement projects and company wide transformation projects, you can visit our Ireland regional page to find out more.

Both Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland support their clients Lean business activities by offering a suite of supports:

LeanStart – provides an introduction to Lean concepts and allows organizations to gain an understanding of what lean tools and techniques can do for your company in a short, focused engagement.

  • Companies can apply for grant support towards the cost of hiring a Lean consultant.
  • Assignments will typically be carried out over 8-10 weeks.
  • Companies will be eligible to receive support for a maximum of 7 consultancy days.
  • Maximum funding is €3,150

For more detailed information or to apply, go to LeanStart.

LeanPlus – is a medium-term business process improvement project, which results in sustained use of Lean techniques and related methodologies by the company, and will achieve significant measurable gains in capabilities and competitiveness. The LeanPlus assignment should:

  • Deliver significant productivity improvement and cost reductions
  • Embed a culture of business improvement and lean techniques to a cohort of trained staff
  • Introduce a programme to pursue company-wide improvement
  • Assignments may vary in size and scope but will typically be completed within 6 months and will not exceed a total project cost of €70,000

For more detailed information or to apply, go to Business Process Improvement Grant  .

LeanTransform – is a large scale, extensive and holistic company transformation programme delivered by an external training team of international reputation. The main support mechanism is by training grant; support is available for consultancy costs for SMEs, but not large companies. Lean Transform projects should:

  • Deliver company-wide transformation in culture & productivity performance
  • Embed the competencies necessary for on-going competitiveness gains in the company
  • Result in sustainable improvement in the business and across its supply chain
  • The LeanTransform initiative is primarily designed for larger companies with significant operations who can demonstrate to Enterprise Ireland that they have existing capability and resources to implement a programme of this scale. Assignments will typically run for at least 1 year.

For more detailed information or to apply, go to LeanTransform.

For further information on all of the Lean supports listed above please visit the Lean Business Ireland site.

Please contact your Enterprise Ireland Development Adviser or IDA Project Executive to check your companies eligibility for the above supports.

Funding support for a Lean Start, Lean Plus and Lean Transform is based on application to Enterprise Ireland/IDA and cannot be guaranteed by SA Partners.


Continuous Improvement at Suez

This is a short video highlighting the CI journey so far for the Suez Environmental company.

Jeff’s Top Tips for a Continuous Improvement Journey

Jeff Williams recently attended the Asda Sustainability Conference which was held on January the 13th with great success. At the Conference Jeff went through what sustainable continuous improvement looks  like, and covered the key essential points on what is needed to implement  a Continuous Improvement journey that is sustainable, and that delivers real, measurable results. He also covered in detail why this approach is the right way, and why its always successful.

We’ve attached the essential points that all organisations need to adopt for a successful Continuous Improvement journey.  Just click on the down load link, and if you want to learn more about what we can do to support Food & Drink companies, contact Jeff directly.

Jeff Williams works with Food & Drink clients in the UK, Ireland and internationally.  His wealth of experience has brought him to the attention of conference organisers in the UK and beyond and he is increasingly being invited as a guest speaker to provide thought provoking presentations at high profile to Food & Drink and wider Lean & Continuous Improvement audiences.

You can also read some great case studies from the Food & Drink sector by following the links below, and downloading the case study document.

A case study on Lean Business Improvement & Transformation at Vimto

Implementing TPM in a Food Processing plant to improve OEE and productivity

This case study looks at Creating an accredited Lean Academy for a food & drink multi-national

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 in your organisation 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. This book is essential reading for leaders and business improvement professionals alike.

Purchase this book amazon.com.

Purchase this book amazon.co.uk.

Please note that all profits will go to Redkite – a Children’s cancer charity – their logo is on the front cover.

For more information about the book and how to embed a CI culture in Financial Services, contact sector head and author, Chris Butterworth.

S A Partners Attend Asda’s Sustainability Conference

The new year started with a bang as Jeff Williams, Head of our Food & Drink Sector at S A Partners was invited to run a break-out session workshop at the Asda Supplier Sustainability Summit on how to embed improvement journeys within Food & Drink businesses and supply chains. Over 400 delegates attended the event and delegate feedback on Jeff’s sessions was excellent. Why not read Jeff’s top tips on a sustainable Continuous Improvement journey.

Below is a picture of Asda’s President and CEO, Sean Clarke, addressing the conference audience.

image of Asda CEO Sean Clarke

Predictions for 2017

My predictions for 2017

Given the curveballs that 2016 threw at us, I can’t help feeling a bit foolish in trying to predict what will happen in Sustainability in 2017. Brexit, Donald Trump’s election and a number of forthcoming elections across Europe have created unparalleled uncertainty for the 12 months ahead. Having said that, the big global megatrends are largely positive: growth in global carbon emissions has stalled, population growth is easing off and extreme poverty is falling. So there is an argument that short term noise will do little to derail those patterns.

So, looking into my crystal ball:

1. Coal Takes The Hit

Coal is the climate’s worst enemy, both in terms of pollution and its historically cheap price. But with two of biggest markets India and China turning towards cleaner fuels, it looks like game over for the coal industry. The big uncertainty of course is Donald Trump’s championing of coal to appeal to working class US voters. However, it takes a lot longer to build a coal fired power station than it does to close one, so I suggest a US resurgence in coal is very unlikely to happen.

2. Investment in Renewables Continues to Rise

I keep reading apocalyptic predictions of what will happen to the renewables industry as various Governments water down their subsidy schemes. However, these analyses tend to ignore the dynamics of supply and demand. As renewables’ prices fall to levels which are increasingly competitive with fossil fuels, investors will continue to invest on a purely commercial basis. And that’s how we want it: clean energy standing on its own two feet. The fact that many corporations are investing to meet their own Sustainability targets (see 4. below) will help renewables navigate any bumps in the road.

3. Energy Storage Moves Up the List

Renewable energy is now becoming such a significant provider of electricity in many countries that energy storage will be required to match supply and demand. While the ideal solution is distributed home/electric vehicle storage, I suspect that the initial moves will come from energy companies and large industrial users. The innovations from these large scale initiatives will filter down into small scale installations over the longer term.

4. Business Drives Change

One of the main reasons for the negativity amongst the Sustainability press is the assumption that change only comes if Governments drive it. However, many of the most significant changes have been coming from the commercial sector. If major corporations such as Google go 100% renewable energy (eg via the RE100 scheme), then that’s a huge deal and one which brings economic benefits to the wider renewable industry. With big names like Ikea going zero waste, I expect the circular economy will continue to move up the agenda.

5. Go Green or Go Bust

While the green economy has its fair share of business failures (as you would expect in a nascent sector), what is more interesting is the increasing failure rate amongst established companies in the fossil fuel industry (eg coal giant Peabody’s bankruptcy). To shift to a sustainable economy, we not only need new green businesses, but to lose the old brown businesses too. The latter have a big decision to make this year: whether to transform themselves or fade away. I can’t predict which way they will jump, but to me it looks like a no-brainer.

So there are my five predictions. What do you think?

Gareth Kane is a sustainability consultant, author and coach. You can follow him on Twitter @GarethKane.

Shingo International Conference

Early Bird pricing ends February 3rd, so don’t miss out!

The 29th International Shingo Conference provides a low-stress learning atmosphere where leaders and managers can learn from transformation gurus. Find the right combination of culture, systems and tools to improve your results. Attend this conference to change the way you think about continuous improvement.

Past attendees have included leaders and managers from manufacturers, healthcare providers, finance and insurance industry leaders, to name a few. Any leader or manager looking for sustainable results should attend.  S A Partners have been affiliated with the Shingo Institute since 2013, and run many workshops in Europe, and in Australia.

To take advantage of the early bird offer, register for the conference on the Shingo website.

Also, this month Ken Snyder, the Shingo Institute Executive Director, has written an insightful blog called ‘An Inflection Point’. It covers recent visits to two companies that the Shingo Institute uses as “benchmark” companies – both started their Lean journey about 20 years ago and both received the Shingo Prize about 10 years ago.
More importantly, both have continued their journey seeking perfection. Read the blog and see what you can learn.

UK Industrial Strategy for Life Science

Breaking News for January 2017

The UK Life Sciences sector is being prioritised under the Industrial Strategy Green Paper issued by the government in January 2017. Work is commencing on a new strategy to make the UK the best place in the world to invest in life sciences.

The Green Paper states that the UK Government is looking for businesses to collaborate with other stakeholders, such as universities and local leaders to produce a clear proposal for boosting the productivity of their sector, setting out detailed plans to address challenges such as:

  • delivering upgrades in productivity, including in supply chains;
  • promoting competition and innovation;
  • facilitating long term investment and coordination between suppliers and primes;
  • accelerating growth across the value chain, including by identifying where the greatest value can be gained from technology development and investment;
  • developing and growing the strengths of particular clusters;
  • increasing exports; and looking at how we can use trade and investment deals to help the sector;
  • commercialising research across sectors;
  • boosting skills and the number of high value, high productivity jobs.

For information on how S A Partners can help support these objectives – particularly in relation to productivity and value chain management, contact our Head of Life Sciences SectorJohn Quirke.

The Importance of the Aerospace & Defence Sector to the UK Economy

The Telegraph recently reported that the UK aerospace industry is helping to buoy the British economy, while aerospace companies are pushing the envelope of what’s possible in the future of travel technology.

The UK aerospace industry is colossal. In fact, it’s the second biggest in the world, with its trade association, ADS Group, reporting sales in the sector of £31.1bn last year – up almost £2bn on the previous 12-month period.

At the same time the closely related defence industry enjoyed a turnover of £23.8bn, up £200m on 2014 figures.

Therefore, the Aerospace & Defence sector is important to the UK economy.

Map of the UK showing aerospace manufacturing locations

Continuous Improvement in Financial Services, Book Launch

S A Partners are pleased to announce the publication of a new book ‘Embedding a Culture of Continuous Improvements in Financial Services’ which has been written by Chris Butterworth, Partner and Head of our business – S A Partners Pty, Australia, Dr Morgan Jones, Head of CI for Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Brenton Harder, Head of CI for the Bank of New York.

The book can be ordered via Amazon and all profits will go to Redkite – a Children’s cancer charity – their logo is on the front cover.

Several publicity events are being planned in the Australia, USA, UK and Europe – see confirmed events below:

  • AME conference in Melbourne 7th /8th March – presentation focused on the book and a book signing
  • Professor Peter Hines presenting at an evening book launch hosted by CBA on 22nd March in Sydney
  • Book launch in New York in April 2017
  • Shingo Conference Atlanta April 2017
  • NZ book launch at the S A Partners conference in Auckland on 30th August

Keep a lookout for details in our monthly newsletters and on our web site for links to purchasing the book.

For more information about the book and how to embed a CI culture in Financial Services, contact sector head and author, Chris Butterworth.

S A Partners Joins the ADS Group


S A Partners are pleased to announce that their recent application to join ADS Group – the Premier Trade Organisation for companies in the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space Sectors – has been approved.  Membership is made up of 1000 UK registered businesses.

ADS activities are focused around the following key areas:

* Influencing the policy debates of most importance to our industries

* Supporting UK manufacturing and our industries’ supply chains

* Encouraging investments in technology and innovation

* Supporting business development opportunities

* Increasing Member value through a range of services

* Enhancing the profile of our industries

S A Partners hope to add value to the ADS membership by offering support and advice around Lean, CI, Enterprise Excellence, Shingo and accredited capability development programmes to boost productivity improvements within the Aerospace & Defence sector.

If you would like to know more about our services in this sector, contact Robin Jaques, Head of Aerospace & Defence Sector.


Congratulations to our LCS Graduates

For the past 10 months, we have been working with the SUEZ recycling company across the UK and mainland Europe.

Their teams have been working on a number of projects including the improvement of asset management (through application of workplace organisation and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) systems (Link to page)) and support services and business reporting improvements.

We have worked closely with SUEZ, training and coaching 4 Black Belt candidates and 10 Green Belt candidates on challenging projects in the business, building internal CI capability and delivering real benefits.  This month we would like to celebrate the success of the first graduates from this LCS programme who have been Certified to Level 1c:

* Robert van Schaijk – Netherlands

* Sebastian Fella – Germany

* Martin van der Toorn – Netherlands

* Filip Debreucker – Belgium


Below is a video S A Partners made at Suez highlighting their current Continuous Improvement journey so far. If you would like to know more about building your own lean and CI capability academy, please contact Donna or Toni.

AS9100 Providing That Competitive Advantage

AS9100 will be familiar to our Aerospace and Defence readers as an aerospace standard based on the ISO 9001 quality system requirements. The latest version of AS9100 takes the ISO 9001:2015 requirements and supplements them with additional quality system requirements. To download the full AS9100 guide, click the download button in the column.

To assure customer satisfaction, aviation, space, and defence organizations must provide, and continually improve, safe and reliable products and services that meet or exceed customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. The globalisation of the industry and the resulting diversity of regional and national requirements and expectations have complicated this objective.

Organizations have the challenge of purchasing products and services from suppliers throughout the world and at all levels of the supply chain. The Aerospace supply chain have the challenge of delivering products and services to multiple customers having varying quality requirements and expectations.

Industry has established the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG), with representatives from aviation, space, and defence companies in the Americas, Asia/Pacific, and Europe, to implement initiatives that make significant improvements in quality and reductions in cost throughout the value stream.

AS9100 standardisation

AS9100 standardises the quality management system requirements to the greatest extent possible and can be used at all levels of the supply chain by organisations around the world. If implemented effectively it should result in improved quality, cost, and delivery performance through the reduction or elimination of organisation-unique requirements, effective implementation of the quality management system, and wider application of good practice.
While primarily developed for the aviation, space, and defence industry, this standard can also be used in other industry sectors when a quality management system with additional requirements over an ISO 9001 system is needed.

S A Partners use the expertise of our consulting team to assess your requirements against the Enterprise Excellence Model – building a roadmap for improvement to achieve AS9100 Certification.

The authors of this article are Robin Jaques, Sector Head at S A Partners for the Aerospace & Defence Sector, and Leigh Rogers, part of our expert consulting team specialising in the application of Lean and Continuous Improvement approaches in the Aerospace & Defence sector.

To see the full case study, use the download link provided.

A case study on supporting the Airbus Group AP lean journey

Identifying Key Ingredients for a successful Coach Progamme

Panalpina, a challenge to achieve operational excellence

Creating an Impact

This programme has realised over CHF 6M in cost improvements from 2012-2016 (£4,751,937.72 at ex rate – 1 Swiss Franc  = 0.79 British Pound). The Lean journey started for the facility in 2013, and just one year after the programme started, the site was already showing signs of an improvement culture existent on the shop floor; the different accounts and employees were engaged and contributing to the results of the facility. This programme lead to the this facility becoming the first in Panalpina to earn a Gold award in 2016 after showing proof of sustainability of a coaching culture and partnership with main customers.

Company Overview
Tres Rios 4 (TR4) facility located in Cuautitlan near Mexico City, is one of Panalpina’s largest facilities in the Americas’ region. With 30,000 sqm, TR4 offers warehousing, distribution, last mile delivery and value added services. The facility, which has been operating since 2007, employs over 250 people and is operational all 365 days with 3 shifts and a special service for spare part urgencies. The customer portfolio includes high-tech, telecom and retail amongst others.

To see the full case study, use the download link provided.

Lean Competency System Re-Accreditation

S A Partners are delighted to announce the renewal of the Accreditation with the Cardiff University Lean Competency System for another two years, which means our Training, Assessment and Certification Services will have been endorsed for 8 years. In 2015, ‘Cardiff University broke into the “Golden Triangle” of Oxford, Cambridge and London, and confirmed its place as a world-leading university’.  Source:  Cardiff University Web Site.

Our training courses and consultants are accredited to deliver training from LCS Levels 1a to 2b and formally assess, certify and support candidates across all levels : 1a through to Level 3 – strategic, owing to the formal qualifications and capabilities of our team.

This re-accreditation heralds what continues to be a productive and mutually beneficial collaboration between Cardiff University and S A Partners.  We deploy the LCS framework when working with clients to help them develop and formally recognise the achievements of their internal improvement capability.

Lean Competency System image of the Cardiff university logo and girl holding an Lean Competency Certificate with S A Partners on itThe LCS Framework provides structure and rigour while simultaneously being flexible enough to accommodate a diverse range of organisations. S A Partners look forward to a continuing relationship, deploying LCS in some of their high profile clients and exploring other areas of cooperation and joint development.

S A Partners are currently working on Training & Coaching Programmes with a number of high profile companies in sectors including Aerospace & Defence, Utilities, Financial Services, Life Sciences and Food & Drink.

Assessment and formal Certification to the Cardiff University standard are carried out by Dr. Toni Whitehead and Dr. Donna Samuel. Toni recently published a short white paper on Hoshin Kanri, while Donna published a white paper on 25 years of Lean Publication.

Our Lean Academy  programmes develop internal capabilities within clients using an experiential learning-by-doing (LBD) approach, to help them sustain Lean and continuous Improvement (CI) programmes themselves.

Donna and Toni are accredited to carry out to mentor and/or complete formal portfolio assessments against LCS Levels 1a (Lean Awareness) to 3 (Strategic). If you’d like to know more, contact Dr Donna Samuel or Dr Toni Whitehead.

Hoshin Kanri: Strategy Deployment or Hoshin Kanri? What is the difference?

Hoshin Kanri  was defined in 2000 by Professor Peter Hines and colleagues at Cardiff University, as a ‘strategic decision making tool that focuses resources on the critical initiatives necessary to accomplish the firm’s critical success factors.  It also encompasses the cascading of this by ‘key business processes’ together with the control, measurement and feedback of results’.

(Reference:  Hines, P., and Taylor, D.  (2000).  Going Lean.  A Guide to Implementation.  Lean Enterprise Research Centre, Cardiff).

Hoshin Kanri definition

There are many definitions on the web for Hoshin Kanri can also be identified as Strategy Deployment. Hoshin Kanri is basically a system that ensures the strategic goals of an organisation, drive improvement and action at all levels of that organisation. This results in eliminating waste that derives from sporadic direction and poor communication.

What Hoshin Kanri strives to do, is to ensure all employees at every level of the organisation are pulling in the same direction by aligning the ‘Strategy’ of the company with the the ‘Tactics’ and ‘Operations’  levels of the organisation.  Everyone pulling in the same direction, together.

This short white paper set out to achieve two objectives:

  1. Consider the contingencies of each sector to understand the different, contingent factors that affected them
  2. Use Hoshin Kanri to develop and deploy contingent strategies for each sector. (Whilst other strategy development and deployment models were available – Hoshin Kanri was rarely used in empirical studies).

The author of this short paper is Dr Toni Whitehead who applied the this approach, as a model for the deployment of sector based strategies in her PhD research.  Toni embedded lean supply chain strategic thinking into the regional economic development of priority business sectors in Wales, including Aerospace & Defence, Life Sciences and the Creative Industries.  The outputs of the research informed the development of Welsh Government sector-specific strategies.

To see the full case study, use the download link provided.


New Aerospace Recruit

We are delighted to announce that Leigh Rogers has joined the S A Partners Aerospace & Defence Team.

Leigh has been a management consultant for over 10 years and has worked with clients in a number of sectors including Aerospace, Defence, Automotive and Rail.  Consulting support has included working closely with clients to embed continuous improvement systems in their businesses, providing one to one coaching and mentoring to Leaders and Senior Managers, and more importantly delivering bottom line results in assisting companies to achieve their full potential.

Leigh brings an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how to integrate complex business processes and is able to support development, alignment and deployment of an organisations’ strategy into business objectives and key performance indicators.  Specialist knowledge and skills relate to AS9100, EN9104, IAQG ASD Evaluator, a practicing AATT and TS16949 Lead Auditor, EFQM Assessor and Manufacturing Excellence Practitioner for the A|D|S SC21 Programme.

We look forward to Leigh working with us in the Aerospace & Defence sector, welcome to a winning team.

A case study on supporting the Airbus Group AP lean journey

Identifying Key Ingredients for a successful Coach Progamme

Shingo European Conference

At the end of November, S A Partners attended the European Shingo Conference which was held in Copenhagen. These events are often used to present winners of the prestigious Shingo Prize, and it was great to see Boston Scientific receive international recognition for Operation Excellence at the conference.

The Boston Scientific Cork facility manufactures products that address disease states in both the cardiac and peripheral vasculature and gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. The facility has increased productivity while reducing quality incidents and plant cycle times and has received more than 200 quality and value improvement awards since 2010.

At S A Partners, we have been fortunate to win the Research Prize on 2 occasions with ‘Staying Lean, Thriving not Just Surviving’ and ‘Creating a Lean and Green Business System’. As a Shingo Affiliate, we regularly run Shingo Discover Excellence workshops throughout the year.

If you would like to find out more about Shingo, or if you would like S A Partners to undertake a Shingo assessment at your organisation, just contact us using our contact page, or contact Simon Grogan.

image of the Shingo conference hall where delegates are getting ready
image of a slide shown at the shingo conference
Shingo Exhibition showing S A Partners conference stand
a Shingo representative sen standing on stage giving speech
Ken Snyder talking at the Shingo Conference
Jon Alder with his award received at the Shingo Conference

The background to Staying Lean, and Lean & Green Award Winning books.

This is the second episode of Dr. Toni Whitehead interview with Prof. Pauline Found. This goes over the story behind creating and releasing the Shingo prize winning book ‘Staying Lean – Thriving, Not Just Surviving’ which was co-authored with S A Partners very own Prof. Peter Hines.

Find out more about the book here: sapartners.com/staying-lean-thriving-just-surviving/

Staying Lean: Thriving, not just surviving, is a Shingo Prize winning publication for Operational Excellence, in the Research and Professional Publication category. The book draws on the story of a multi-national company that has successfully implemented Lean in its manufacturing and commercial areas to help turnaround the organisation s financial performance.

Learning by Doing, LCS Article

Simon Elias of the Cardiff University Lean Competency System (LCS)  recently published an article on the alignment of training and application – how to get the best out of your capability development opportunities.

This article talks about Linking lean training to the application of knowledge in the workplace is critical if it is to be considered effective in generating an acceptable return on investment, engendering real business benefits and playing a positive role in the development of a continuous improvement culture.

It is particularly important for those new to lean methods and continuous improvement in general, though should be a feature of lean oriented education at any level.

The article can be found on the Lean Competency System web site – https://www.leancompetency.org/lcs-articles/11-ways-link-training-application/ – why not take a look?

If you would like to know how S A Partners can help you align training with application on our LCS Learning by Doing Programmes  , or you can contact Dr. Donna Samuel of Dr. Toni Whitehead who will be happy to help.

S A Partners join the Life Sciences Hub, Wales

S A Partners are pleased to announce our membership of the Life Sciences Hub, Wales, based in Cardiff Bay.

Life Sciences Hub Wales supports and showcases the diverse range of expertise Wales has to offer, bringing the dynamic Welsh Life Sciences sector to the world stage, creating commercial opportunities and developing key partnerships.

The Life Sciences sector, usually thought of as all sciences related to organisms within human beings, animals, and plants, is of significant importance to Wales as it has the ability to create sustainable economic growth as well as improve health and wellbeing.

The sector encompasses businesses and organisations in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical technology, along with those with an agricultural, botanical, environmental and veterinary focus.

Globally, Life Sciences is worth an estimated $1.6trillion per annum, with wide ranging business activities including research, development, manufacturing, and the provision of specialist support services.

Bringing together all facets of the network in Wales including academic, business, clinical, government, professional services and funding organisations, the Hub provides a commercially-driven resource for the sector.

See The Life Sciences Hub web site:  https://www.lifescienceshubwales.com/

The Wales Life Science sector collaborates openly with other countries.  A new initiative, brings together the Life Sciences sectors in Wales and Ireland.  The Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) collaborative programme aims to connect Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with world leading Higher Educational Institutions including Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities in Wales, and University College Dublin, The National University of Ireland Galway and Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork in Ireland.

Focusing on Precision Medicine (diagnostics, devices & therapeutics), Regenerative Medicine, and Bio-Compatibility & Safety Evaluation, CALIN will engage with businesses to support advanced life science product development through collaborative R&D.

More information on this initiative can be found at:  https://www.lifescienceshubwales.com/news/calin-new-life-science-innovation-network-welsh-irish-businesses-launched/

Head of the Life Sciences Sector for S A Partners is John Quirke, who also heads up our Ireland business, based in Dublin.  John sees the membership of the Life Sciences Hub enhancing the consulting and training services we offer to clients, plus the Shingo expertise we have can be shared with a wider, new audience in the wider membership network.

What has lean done for you? Ben Evans SSE

This months podcast interview is with Ben Evans, who is the Process Improvement Manager at SSE plc (a utilities company based in Cardiff). Ben previously worked as a Lean Specialist and Programme Manager at Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and prior to that worked for the Lloyds Banking Group. We Learn about his Lean Competency System & Black Belt programme journey, where he successfully achieved certification and accreditation against the Cardiff University Lean Competency System- Level 2a – Black Belt, and how his personal experience has informed his outlook on Lean and Learning & Development programmes.

When did you first learn about Lean Thinking?
My first interaction with Lean was about 4 years ago when DCWW began a reliability centred maintenance programme which would later be described to me as asset optimisation.

Why did you want to learn more?
I had a keen interest in Lean thinking straight from the off. The principals of Lean landed well with me and I could see a natural interest develop in me to learn more and become more involved to develop the skills and attributes to apply Lean within my working environment

When and how did you first apply what you learned and what were the results?
I became a Lean deployment specialist working closely with finance and procurement departments across Welsh water. My first opportunity to apply my learnings came within these areas where we identified some root causes to the problems that existed within the departments whilst carrying out some customer analysis work to clearly identify the value finance bring to the organisation and how their offerings are rated by the business using the KANO models basic, performer or delighted factors. The early results were very positive and there was a natural change in the mindsets of those exposed to Lean as they began to question their way of working and how they can provide more value to the organisation whilst identifying wasteful activity that provided limited value.

What have been your personal highlights during your Lean Learning Journey and why?
My personal highlights throughout my journey have to be the growth I’ve witnessed within myself. From an individual with limited knowledge of Lean to becoming a certified and accredited Black Belt. Working closely with SA partners has changed the way I come to work every day and enabled me with core skills and principals that will live with me for the rest of my career.

What is next on your Lean Learning Journey?
I have recently been appointed the Process improvement manager for SSE plc to review existing processes across their retail business, this includes smart metering, procurement, contact centres as well as marketing. My objective over the forthcoming months will be to understand the current business model at SSE and understand how I can apply my learnings at DCWW in this new environment whilst remembering the core principals of Lean as taught by SA partners.

What advice would you give to anyone considering applying Lean in their organisation?
Be sure to consult with professionals before beginning your journey. Don’t under estimate the value of professional services. Working with SA completely changed my mindset on how to approach a problem and allowed me to review the business I worked within in a completely different mindset. Lean has endless benefits but using SA partners maturity assessment you’ll ensure you target the right opportunities and make great progress from day one!

Community Support for Cancer Charity

As part of our partner program we  nominate causes that they have some personal connection to.  Based on this – we typically make a number of donations towards Cancer charities.

This year, we donated prizes for an auction which helped raise £25k for Breast Cancer support in the UK, and also made a financial donation to Cancer Research Wales.

As a Lean consultancy, we value the importance of ‘prevention’ or ‘early detection’ of problems and the development of targeted solutions – particularly in the Life Sciences sector.

Money donated to Cancer Research Wales goes to clinical and laboratory based cancer research in universities and hospitals across Wales. That’s where the breakthroughs are taking place. It’s where scientists are finding answers to the questions that are being asked by cancer researchers all over the world.

PhD researchers at Cancer Research Wales are from Cardiff University – where a number of the S A Partners team have studied and graduated from.  We are therefore delighted that our donation will go towards funding a full-time PhD student.

Dr Toni Whitehead recently visited Cancer Research Wales in Cardiff to tour the Laboratory facilities, meet the researchers and to present the cheque of £890 to Coleen Watkins, Deputy Director of Cancer Research Wales.

If you would like to know more about Cancer Research Wales – please go to their web site:


Toni Whitehead presnting the cheque to Coleen watkins
Toni Whitehead being shown the research equipment at Cancer Research Wales
Toni Whitehead chatting about the Cancer Research Wales equipment

Implementing a Lean Strategy for a Major Manufacturer

To see the full case study, use the download link provided.

The client had a strong leadership vision and strategic plan for the development of the organisation which clearly identified the ambition to grow a continuous improvement and lean operating mentality across the organisation. Secondarily there was a requirement from one of the major customers to the site to gain external accreditation of the continuous improvement processes and lean organisational culture.

As a result of this implementation, the client has moved from Bronze ( Formal) to a strong Silver( deployed ) with a solid platform to continue their lean/CI journey.

Chris Butterworth talks about his award winning TEC Talk

Chris Butterworth talks about his award winning TEC Talk

Chris has delivered his popular Talk – Profitable Growth Through Lean Thinking – to 43 TEC groups in Australia and New Zealand in the last 3 years. TEC is an international membership network providing leadership mentoring and business coaching to CEOs and executives. In 2014 he was the recipient of their Best New Speaker of the Year Award.

In this short video Chris talks to John Beech a TEC Group Chair following a recent presentation in Perth, about the key messages that Chris tries to get across to the TEC audience.

Chris is an enthusiastic advocate of Lean/CI and is always happy to talk to professional/interest groups who want to find out more about what Lean Thinking really is and to raise awareness of its potential.

Creating a Lean Academy in Tier 1 International Defence Contractor(s)

To see the full case study, use the download link provided.

Help was required to design the structure, develop relevant materials, deliver the training programmes, assess and certify successful candidates through a bespoke, integrated Lean Academy capability development programme  for over 800 personnel.

Clients include multi-national Aerospace, Security & Defence Contractors, where each developed a strategy to build internal capability to drive the Lean ‘enterprise excellence’ agenda across the business.

The Cardiff University Lean Competency System was the chosen method as this is an internationally recognised accreditation for Lean knowledge and practice was the preferred standard.

Continuous Improvement at Cogent Inc., the Full Case Study

Cogent Power Inc, the Full CI Case Study

This hour long video explores the Continuous Improvement journey started at Cogent more than 10 years ago and examines the different elements of the Lean Business Model, and how it was implemented in the organisation.
It covers the following

1. Ron Harper, CEO of Cogent Power – Discusses strategy deployment.
2. Cosimo Galetti, Value Stream Leader – Tools & Techniques
3. Donna Cordner, Manager Human Development – People Enabled Processes
4. Ana Culic, Human Resources Assistant – Reward & Recognition
5. Garth Tomlinson, Team Leader – A typical shift
6. George Gautreau, Continuous Improvement Engineer – How improvement evolved
7. Lauryn Solomon, Supply Chain Manager – Talks about supply management which sits in the extended enterprise

Developing your coaching capabilities

There is much debate about which style of coaching is better suited to what situation. Situational Leadership for example, proposes that managers be more directive where the competence and commitment of people is at their lowest or where situations require urgent action, but most would agree that having a range of styles to deploy across situations is likely to provide advantage to an individual.

This webinar is presented by Kevin Eyre, and hosted by Dr Donna Samuel and will help you understand the following:

  • Recognise that there are multiple ways to develop coaching capabilities
  • Identify those with a ‘natural’ coaching capability
  • That Expert Leaders may be contributors in their own right without the need for high level coaching skills
  • Begin to know how to adopt different learning strategies

Webinar: How do you best develop your coaching capabilities

Congratulations to the Winners – Food Manufacture Excellence Awards

S A Partners recently attended The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, which were held in London on the 2nd Nov 2016.

We would like to congratulate all those companies who we have supported over the last 12 months and were nominated for, or won prestigious awards in the following categories:

Beverages Manufacturing Company
Meat & Poultry Manufacturing Company
Environmental Initiative
Supply Chain Initiative
Training Programme
Young Talent of the Year
Judges’ Star Performer
Editor’s Choice Award

We are currently working with clients on over 100 projects that relate to performance improvement, skills transfer and capability development and business transformation in the UK and Europe. These are with Food and Drink companies who provide a variety of products to the UK’s highest quality retailers. Why not find out about our work in the food and drink sector by visiting our Food & Drink page , which includes video’s and case studies.

Shingo European Conference 2016

S A Partners will be attending the up coming Shingo European Conference which is taking place between the 30th November and 2nd December in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Those attending will be Prof. Peter Hines, Jon Alder, Simon Grogan and John Quirke.

Each year the conference attracts leaders from all over Europe who want to learn what others are doing, and have successfully done, to improve their organisations operations. If you want to learn from people who have made notable transformations in their organisations on their way to Enterprise Excellence, then this is the conference to attend.

With keynote speeches from leaders who have followed this path, you can learn from their experience, and one key note speech from the Life Science sector, will be Christian Houborg of Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals. His keynote addresses at the Conference will be on the 2nd December, and he will be sharing his experience on moving his organisation towards Enterprise Excellence via the Shingo principles. You can view a brief introduction on what he intends to talk about in the video below.

Lastly, long with keynote speakers, you will get an opportunity to participate in breakout sessions where you can ask questions and discuss with experienced leaders and business professionals.

Whatever your industry, the conference gives you the perfect environment to learn from those who have followed the Enterprise Excellence path, and network with likeminded leading professionals.

S A Partners are also running a Shingo workshop throughout the year at award winning companies and you can find out all about our relationship with the Shingo Institute on our Shingo page.

Congratulations to Panalpina on Winning the Innovation & Impact Awards

S A Partners have very close ties with both Cardiff University and Panalpina and a number of us are Cardiff University Alumni members.

We are therefore delighted to congratulate Panalpina on their recent double success at the Cardiff University Innovation & Impact Awards.

We would like to especially mention Andy Lahy – Global Head of Business Improvement, Maria Pia Caraccia and Nicole Ayiomamitou – from the Panalpina Global Logistics Continuous Improvement Team and fellow graduates of Cardiff University, and the Lean Competency System for their awards and recognition for their innovative approaches to lean inventory management.

You can read the full award item by following the link below to the Cardiff University website (copy and paste).


Maria recently did a podcast for us where she talks about Continuous Improvement, and the culture of improvement  within Panalpina.


Food Awards Dinner

The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards take place this Wednesday, the 2nd November, at the prestigious Hilton Park Lane Hotel, London.

S A Partners are pleased to support this event and our Heads of Sectors for Food & DrinkJeff Williams, and Retail & DistributionRichard Lynch will be attending.

The awards have been running for 16 years, and they reward outstanding innovation  and performance in manufacturing businesses of all sizes and across all sectors from beverages and bakery to dairy and chilled. These awards are guaranteed industry-wide recognition; positive customer attention and a huge team celebration for the business.

Good luck to all the nominees, across all categories, especially those that S A Partners have worked with over the past 12 months – we look forward to celebrating with the Winners.

Principles of Flow & Pull

Chris Butterworth, S A Partners Asia Pacific head, has written another blog for the Shingo Institute which is entitled ‘The Principle of Flow & Pull’.

In the blog Chris highlights the fact that this principle is not just for manufacturing, but can be applied in many different ways.  Drawing on a recent trip to Nairobi, he uses his experience of using the local bus service in the area, how the population is of a similar size to Sydney, but that they use two very different systems of operation/time tabling.

It makes very interesting reading in a compare and contrast type, and well worth a read.

You can access this blog by going to the following link: (copy & paste into your browser)


S A Partners are an affiliate of the Shingo Inst, and you can read more on our relationship with the institute, and the training courses we offer by visiting our Shingo page.



How to win a Shingo Prize

In this FREE to view webinar recording, Jon Alder talks at length about his journey taking Rexam, a global multi site organisation, through to the Shingo prize. He talks about his experience along the way, and how you create a sustainable system of improvement aligned to the Shingo approach.

Jon talks you through first hand experience of driving change and winning a Shingo Prize and delivers a very informative summary of:

1. My journey

2. What did Dr Shigeo Shingo realise?

3. What will Shingo assessors expect to see?

4. How do we sell internally?

5. What are the application milestones?

6. Final thoughts/reflections

Visit our Shingo Section, and find out when and where our next Shingo workshops are taking place.

Fill in the form below to get the webinar login details