Lean Manufacturing in Pharmaceutical & Life Science

Lean Manufacturing in Pharmaceutical & Life Science proved very busy for S A Partners in 2017. We’ve produced an infographic highlighting some of the facts about the industry, and how we’ve successfully improved organisations during the last 12 months.

Global sales in the industry top 640 billion each year and it has a market size of 1.52 trillion dollars. It employs over 1 million individuals in mainland Europe alone and approves around 40 new medicines each with the average cost of developing a drug around £400 million from initial discovery through to approval.

Thanks to advancement in medicine, people now live on average 30 years longer than a century years ago.

Lean Manufacturing in Pharmaceutical is now key in helping the industry cope with Brexit, and the impact this will have going forward. For example there are concerns raised around the future regulation of pharmaceuticals, and the prospect of damaging disruption to cross-EU drug supply chains.

As an organisation, S A Partners live and breath our brand promise of Together the Power to Improve. Our commitment is to transform organisations enabling them to maximise their effectiveness and people potential. We do this with organisations, not to them. this means after a set period of time, the organisation is capable of leading its own improvement program in a sustainable way. If youd like to know more about how S A Partners can help your organisation improve and become super competitive, contact our sector head John Quirke.

to view the full infographic, which has far more interesting data on the industry,  just use the link provided below.

Lean Pharmaceutical Infographic for 2017 (1084 downloads )

Welsh Government Minister for Skills Shows Interest in Training Offerings

Dr Toni Whitehead was recently an expert panelist at the Welsh Government sponsored  ‘Invest in Skills : Invest in Growth‘ conference for the Food & Drink sector in Wales which was attended by over 100 people.

Skills invest expert panel
Dr Toni Whitehead & Julie James AM

Dr Toni Whitehead was recently an expert panelist at the Welsh Government sponsored  ‘Invest in Skills : Invest in Growth‘ conference for the Food & Drink sector in Wales which was attended by over 100 people.

With Brexit looming large, the food and drink industry is facing more challenges than ever in securing a future pipeline of skills and labour. This conference will looked at what skills the food and drink industry needs now and in the future.

This high profile event also attracted the interest of Julie James, AM and Minister for Skills & Science and Lesley Griffiths, AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs.


ADS Visit to Renishaw

Robin Jaques, Head of Aerospace & Defence Sector at S A Partners, recently attended the ADS members forum which was held at Renishaw, Gloucester. Renshaw is one of the worlds leading engineering and scientific technology companies, with expertise in precision measurement and healthcare.

Aerospace and Defence sector head Robin Jaques
members of the ADS forum gather to do some networking
Robin Jaques discusses Enterprise Excellence with a forum memberr
ADS Forum members listen to a presentation

ADS is the premier Trade Organisation for all companies operating in the UK Aerospace, Defence,Security and Space sectors. The industries represented by ADS are vitel to the UK economy and are drivers of growth and prosperity.


The major topic on everyone’s mind was productvity, and Robin Jaques frequently talked about Enterprise Excellence, and how productivity can be vastly improved by implementing continuous improvement by making the best use of a companies asset, which is its workforce. With the right approach and training, the people in the organisation can lead sustainable improvement which leads to Enterprise Excellence.

To find out more, why not download the free white paper titled ‘Essence of Excellence’ by Prof. Peter Hines, Simon Grogan and Chris Butterworth


Congratulations to Dwr Cymru – Voted Best Water Company in the UK

We would like to send our warmest congratulations to Dwr Cymru.

The only not-for-profit utility provider in England and Wales, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has been recognised as ‘Most Recommended’ water company in the UK by Moneywise magazine.

The company, which employs more than 3,000 people, was voted the Most Recommended by Moneywise readers.

Welsh Water is unique, as the only not-for-profit water company in Wales and England – with no shareholders, the firm directs any surplus it generates back into the business and services.

It serves more than three million customers across most of Wales, Cheshire, and Herefordshire.

It has also involved customers in its decision-making to an unprecedented degree – consulting nearly 21,000 during the summer on how it should prioritise its long-term investments.

Water industry customer watchdog, the Consumer Council for Water, also reported that Welsh Water was the most trusted of all water and sewerage companies in Wales and England.

Welsh Water Chief Executive, Chris Jones, said:

This result is great recognition that we are delivering for our customers. Our not-for-profit way of working has our customers at the heart of everything we do – and this is crucial to realising our company vision of earning the trust of our customers, every day.”

On top of being recommended by Moneywise Magazine, Dwr Cymru has also been recognised by Utility Week for investing record levels of funding in order to improve its service for its customers. Between April and September 2017 it invested £196 million, and plans to invest a total of £400 million in the year to March 2018.

If you would like to know how we are supporting Welsh Water and other Utility companies in building their in-house capability and developing a sustainable approach to lean thinking, whilst putting customers at the heart of their strategy – see our Utilities Sector page and our videos, and contact Andy Miles – Utility Sector Head.

M2030 bee launches S A Partners Maturity Assessment

Assess your lean maturity using an S A Partners simple self-assessment: In partnership with M2030 bee.

For a long time, we’ve been at pains to explain that the real sustainable advantages from applying lean thinking isn’t related to what tools you use, or the myriad of acronyms that accompanies lean, they come a focus on aligning your purpose, processes and people.

A Lean Scorecard Maturity Assessment is one way to gain a better understanding of your business operations and to identify a roadmap for improvement. This approach can be as relevant for a specific team, as it can for a department, or a whole organisation.

The image below shows the areas of focus for the assessment i.e. Purposes, Process and People along with the improvement journey from a ‘Reactive’ state, through ‘Proactive’ to ‘Excellence’.

Enterprise Excellence Assessment graph

We’ve now partnered with M2030 bee to provide one of our lean maturity self-assessment framework online for you.

M2030 is a new online platform that makes it easy for you to investigate, prioritise and execute efficiency projects within manufacturing & distribution operations. M2030 bee’s constantly updating database of good practice helps you tackle those barriers that so often slow progress:

  • The time it takes to stay on top of good practice & technologies when you’ve got a plant to run
  • Engaging the right colleagues across the business
  • Making a solid business case for budget
  • Dealing with the numerous sales people all offering the best solutions to help you

“A significant challenge all businesses face is knowing where to place time and resource. However, m2030 bee goes a long way to minimising this issue, as the Return on Investment and complexity data gives us an informed, indicative picture of what we need to concentrate on. This enables us to feel confident in placing more resource in projects which look more successful – saving us time, resource and money.” Wayne Hodges, Engineering Manager, Freshtime Foods.

Use your time wisely. M2030 bee’s growing index of good practice allows simple comparison, letting you quickly customise a shortlist of projects. Prioritise your plan based on factors like ROI, availability of capital, and proven or emerging technologies

Use the project support pages in bee to get real tips, advice and lessons learnt from fellow manufacturing practitioners. Build your business case using case studies, industry data, and also the side benefits to a project, the opportunity costs, and the risks.

laptop Action Plan screenshot

Effortlessly track progress using on your dashboard. Get suggestions for new actions; track outcomes, and use as a powerful internal engagement tool to build support and recognition of your efforts.

laptop Dash example

This example of S A Partner’s unique Lean maturity self-assessment is the first ‘operational excellence’ project listed in M2030 bee – sitting alongside hundreds of energy efficiency projects.

If you’d like a short demo of M2030 bee – simply email the M2030 bee team.

You can have a free two-week trial, which includes access to the maturity assessment and all the other projects and data inside.
If you’d like a more detailed assessment and route map development, please contact Jeff Williams at S A Partners direct.
Want to know more.

Check out the video, or watch the recent interview by the Telegraph Online reporter Alastair Greener and Martin Chilcott – CEO for M2030 bee.

Cardiff University Rise in World Rankings

Following Cardiff University’s recent success in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities where the University placed in the top 100, Cardiff is continuing its climb upwards and has been ranked 35th – a rise of 11 places – in The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. Cardiff has also been officially named Welsh University of the Year.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “It’s extremely pleasing to have achieved a rise of 11 places in this year’s Good University Guide.

“As a University we want to be a credit to Wales and key to the economic and social success of the nation which is why it is pleasing we’ve been named Welsh University of the Year.”

Cardiff University’s ambition to be ranked in the top 20 in the Good University Guide and named consistently among the top 100 universities in the world is reflective of these recent achievements. Professor Riordan added: “This year’s result and others show we are heading in the right direction. The key thing for us as a University is to remain focused, maintain our momentum and, ultimately, realise our ambition.”

S A Partners Training is accredited by Cardiff University Lean Competency System.  Contact us to learn more about our world class training.

New Shingo Examiner on the S A Partners Team

John QuirkeCongratulations to John Quirke , Partner and Head of our Life Sciences sector who has been accepted to become an Examiner for the Shingo Institute. He now joins our three other examiners who are Prof. Peter Hines, Simon Grogan and Chris Butterworth.

This is a great achievement following a challenging application and approval procedure, overseen by the Shingo Examiner’s Committee.

Over the coming months, John will be invited to participate in Shingo ‘Achievement’ report reviews and Site visits. There are many organizations in the process and the Shingo Institute and John are looking forward to the work they will be doing together this year.

Well done John!

Retail & Distribution Sector Infographic

S A Partners have recently developed a new infographic for the Retail & Distribution sector to highlight the good work being done by Richard Lynch, sector head, and his team.

Organisations in this sector are coming under increasing pressure from areas such as labour costs with the minimum wage, and the uncertainty around Brexit. In a recent report by the British Retail Consortium which is headed The People Roadmap, and highlights that the sector could lose 6% of its workforce over a given period.

Organisations need to act now, in order to prepare for any eventuality that may have an adverse impact on their operations, and Richard Lynch, along with his team, have been doing a great job in this sector with proven results that attain measured benefits.

To read our Retail & Distribution infographic, simply use the download link provided. If you’d like to find out more about how S A Partners can help you, contact Richard Lynch.

Musgrave case study

Argos case study

Toll Group case study

Utilities Week Congress

Andy Miles, Head of Utilities Sector at S A Partners, attended the recent Utility Week Congress in Birmingham, which is the premier event for water, gas & electricity sector leaders, Utility Week Congress offers strategic insight at the highest level.

With uncertainties in the industry created by Brexit, change is the only confirmed certainty for utilities.

The conference looked at how regulation will evolve to reflect the changes triggered by Brexit? How will utilities transform to adapt to this new landscape? And how can the sector maintain investor confidence and build customer trust?

All of these issues were examined in detail at the Congress, where policy makers, regulators, utilities, investors and the supply chain came together to tackle the most pressing challenges facing the sector.

If you would like to know how we help companies in the Utilities Sector improve Productivity, Asset Optimisation/TPM and in-house capability of their people, contact Andy.



Expert Panel Member at forthcoming Welsh Government Food & Drink Conference

Dr Toni Whitehead will be a member of the panel of experts at the Welsh Government sponsored  ‘Invest in Skills : Invest in Growth‘ conference for the Food & Drink sector in Wales.  This high profile event is to be held at the newly renovated, Exchange Hotel – the Grade II listed Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay on Thursday 26th October 2017.  Toni will also be available for the ‘Meet the Training Provider’ event following the conference.

This event is important for the sector in Wales, which is being prioritised for development by the Welsh Government F & D Industry Board and supported at the conference by Lesley Griffiths, AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs.

This complements other work S A Partners are supporting for the Welsh Government – Professor Peter Hines sits on the ‘Improving Efficiency Board’ at the Welsh Assembly.

Life Science Hub Workshop

Title of Event: Enterprise Excellence – Transformational Culture For Life Science Sectors

Date:  25th October 2017

Number of places:  Limited to 20 attendees

Location:    Wales LS Hub, Cardiff Bay, Boardroom – see LS Hub web site for details:  https://www.lifescienceshubwales.com/events/enterprise-excellence-transformational-culture-life-science-sectors/

Time:  0930 – 1030

Target Audience:  Senior Managers and Leaders and Continuous Improvement Professionals working in Life Science Sector employing over 100 per site


John QuirkeWorkshop delivered by John Quirke – Head of Life Sciences Sector for S A Partners.

Reality Check – What we currently observe within the Life Science Sector

  • Systems Driving Not Ideal Behaviours,
  • Customer Focus?
  • Leaders and Leadership,
  • Consistency in a corporate ocean.

Overview of Enterprise Excellence and The Shingo Model

Considering Ideal Behaviours

Looking the potential for Systems and Behaviour

Some Case study examples

Learning Outcomes for attendees/benefits:  Every organisation has the potential for greatness.  We hope that this brief workshop will allow delegates to return to their organisation with a new perspective on what Excellence is and could be in their own organisation.  Delegates will leave with a good grasp of key concepts behind the enterprise excellence model and its application.