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Prof. Peter Hines, sorry to see you go

peter hines standing on stage infront of rostrum addressing the Lean Forum

After setting up S A Partners in 1993 Professor Peter Hines has decided to retire. As a business we will be eternally grateful to him for his inspiration, thinking and drive, he has influenced all of us and enabled the business to be what it is today.

During his time with us Peter has contributed to four Shingo Prize winning publications, whilst working in clients and being the Chairman of our business, a man of many talents! I am sure Peters very long list of clients will all be sorry to see him retire but fear not, he intends to continue his research work and will no doubt be publishing further award-winning books.

In the coming years S A Partners will continue to work alongside Peter and we have formed a mutual agreement on how we will continue to support our clients to give them maximum support and benefit.

As you will appreciate we would love to have hosted a big retirement party but unfortunately the COVD crisis has led us to place this on hold and celebrate his time in another way.  As a business we have decided to donate £5,000 to Peters chosen charity Friends of Chernobyl Children, something we know is very close to his heart. I am sure you will join us in thanking Peter for his legacy and inspiration which will continue for generations to come.

Messages to Peter

“I would personally like to thank Peter for all the support and inspiration he has given me over the years. Without his drive and energy I very much doubt if the business would have grown to what it is today. His stretching of how we consult and dedication to developing this business and its people has been incredible, couple this with his generosity both financially and in spirit has meant this is a very happy place to work.”

Thank you Peter

Simon Grogan, MD –  S A Partners

“Thank you to everyone for your very kind words. It has been a pleasure to work with you all and I am sure I will meet with many of you again in the next chapter of my career. “

Peter Hines

“I can’t thank you enough for the support and inspiration you have provided to me over the last few years. Delivering the Masterclass & Shingo workshops with you has been an absolute highlight in my career – combining new knowledge with a lot of entertaining memories – thank you Peter. You have transformed people and businesses with your insight and knowledge and I wish you every happiness for the future.”

Ailsa Carson, Partner – S A Partners

“If S A Partners hadn’t been founded in 1993, I would never have been given the opportunity to have my own fantastic career with our business over the past 21 years , and I will therefore always be very grateful to you and Paul for establishing S A Partners and giving me that opportunity. I will miss our ( always eventful) trips to clients/ conferences together and I look forward to having a beer and catch up when the world gets back to some normality.”

Jeff Williams , Partner and Head of Business Development 

“Professional intellectual challenge …. those are the words that characterised every interaction with Peter. I will miss those moments but continue to leverage the learning and push the boundaries. Thank you Peter, Respect.”

Mark Fillingham , Partner 

“Hi Peter,

Well we have some history together, don’t we? It is difficult to believe that we are here talking about retirement! I joined Cardiff University (and therefore met you) in 1991 so that will be 30 odd years soon! The memories of us splitting our sides trying to ‘pull something out of the bag’ for those early EC projects are as fresh as ever.

I have followed you around over the years, like some younger (only slightly I know), annoying sister from the Materials Management Unit to the Lean Enterprise Research Unit and finally to S A Partners. Thank you so much for all the help and support you have given me over the years, in particular for making me believe that I was actually capable of doing a doctorate when I wasn’t so sure.  I wish you and the family health and happiness for the future. Keep in touch, much love, Donna xxx”

Dr Donna Samuel, S A Partners

I first met Peter in 2003, when I was interviewing to join LERC. Its safe to say that, that very first meeting and how Peter cared for me as a young (potential) employee, was a key reason why I joined LERC. Over these years Peter has a been a constant source of inspiration and a great mentor to me. He supervised my doctorate, taught me and coached me in many aspects of lean thinking and leadership. We travelled together to many parts of the country and also followed Peter around the world; and now he has become an important part of my life, beyond just a colleague.

I wish you the very best and would like to thank you for all these years of fond memories. Words cannot express all the gratitude I have.

Keivan Zokaei, S A Partners

“I met Peter for the first time when I enrolled onto the Lean MBA programme at Cardiff University – Lean Enterprise Research Centre (LERC) in 2002 – over 18 years ago.  The course was brilliant and has had a lasting effect on my personal interests, mindset and career.

In 2005 I became a ‘mature’ PhD student – again at Cardiff University/LERC and Peter was my Principal academic supervisor.

I have learned so much from Peter over the years – not what he has taught – but interestingly – what he has sign-posted for me to discover and learn for myself.

Having successful completed the PhD I was offered a role at S A Partners and I have been here for almost 10 years …….

Peter has been a tutor, supervisor, coach, colleague and friend and its an absolute pleasure to have spent time with him and his family over the years.

My husband Barrie and I wish Peter and his family all the very best for the future – Peter’s ‘retirement’ from S A Partners and his new personal and professional pursuits.  We will keep in touch ……”

Thanks Peter,  very best wishes, Toni & Barrie Whitehead

Dr Toni Whitehead, S A Partners

“Peter,  All the very best wishes to you on your retirement.   I have been proud to be part of S A Partners for the last 15 years and enjoyed working alongside you, taking part in the evolution of thinking you have bought to the business throughout the years.   You leave behind a true legacy and I thank you for all the hard work and dedication you put into the business that makes it the great place it is to work today.  Best of luck for future endeavours and I look forward to some future master classes on vegetable growing – the lean way!”

Juliette Packham, S A Partners

“Thank you Peter for all the support over the past 4 years. My work with you on The Essence of Excellence is one of the biggest projects I have ever worked on. It certainly was a pleasure working with you to create this wonderful publication. I came into this business not knowing much about you – I very quickly learnt what great contribution you have provided in the world of excellence, and that impact will live strong for many years to come. Stay in touch, and do let me know if you need any more book covers designed.”

Alex Everitt, S A Partners

“Peter your original foresight in conceiving and developing the SA Partners business which in my opinion has created a legacy for you  that has, and will continue to form and  shape how continuous improvement is seen as a fundamental strategic approach for all businesses. “

Phil Spooner, Partner – S A Partners

“I first met Peter Hines when I attended a course on Value Stream Mapping through LERC in Cardiff back in 2008.  We went on to engage him to work with our senior management team at Vale’s Clydach Refinery developing a strategy to put Continuous Improvement at the centre of everything we did.  I’m sure he wasn’t 100% serious when suggesting “maybe Clydach could apply for a Shingo prize in a few years”, but sure enough 6 years later that was exactly what we were doing!  Thanks to Peter’s expert help and guidance throughout our Enterprise Excellence journey, everything were did was completely aligned with the Shingo model (even if we didn’t know it at the time!).  What Peter started many others in the business helped us to continue, and we were exceptionally proud when news of our Shingo Silver medallion came through. 

And it was also thanks to Peter that I developed the level of interest in CI that I have done, ultimately leaving to join SA to make CI a proper full-time job.  So I have Peter to thank for many things.  I have very much appreciated your guidance and support as I have increased my Shingo knowledge, becoming an examiner and now helping other companies to make their own Shingo challenges as a consultant.  Thank you Peter! 

But I’m never going to let you forget the bit about the painting and the flipchart in the boardroom at Vale – you know that don’t you!!!”

Dr Fiona Buttrey, Partner – S A Partners

“I have learned a great deal from you and the ideas that you have generated over my career working in the business. Thanks for the opportunities you gave me to develop around Europe and the rest of the world, it’s been great.

It has been a pleasure to have worked with you over the past several years.

Best of luck for the future, thanks Peter!”

Mick Moreton,  Partner

“Peter, many thanks for all the help and suppport you’ve given me for the period I’ve been with S A Partners. Wishing you well and best of luck for the new chapter in your life.  All the best!“

Martin Reese,  S A Partners

“Thank you for all your support over the years to the Finance Team. Here’s wishing you health and happiness in your future adventures! Clare, Lee & Scott”

The Finance Team, S A Partners

Thank you for the fantastic support and contribution you have made to all of us on the Lean Journey. Your attitude and charisma set you apart and define the success you have enjoyed. I wish you evry enjoyment and good health on your retirement plans.

Jim O’Neill, Site CI Manager  – Integer- New Ross


Thank you for your years of commitment to SA Partners from founding to growing it into a sustainable business. Your Thinking has help to push us forward to be at the front edge of improvement practise in the world. Your care for the business has secured it through good times and bad. I thank you for the ethical dimension you brought to the business – firstly to do the right thing for the client and our team but also environmentally in terms of lean and green and socially in our support for Chernobyl Children’s charity. We will look after what you have started and hope You and Jane prosper in the next stage in your life’s journey.

Richard Lynch, S A Partners

“I first came in contact with Peter about 20 years ago via LERC and we continued to bump into each other at various conferences and seminars, often hosted by LERC.

One of the best decisions I have ever made was to join SA Partners as an Associate seven years ago, as I also started to ‘sail into the sunset’. I did this In the firm knowledge that I would be leaving my TPM experiences in a safe pair of hands and at the same time, learning a huge amount about SA Partner’s approach to Enterprise Excellence in the workplace.

A key part of this personal learning experience with SA Partners has been to witness Peter’s consistent leadership and direction with a good sprinkling of humility and respect for the individual.

So thank you for that Peter- and now relax and take it easy !”

Peter Willmott, Associate Partner

Peter – It seems a long time ago since we first met. I will be eternally grateful for the insight you gave me as an individual and to Corus when we worked together. I believe we were able to make progress only thanks to the way you were able to help bring our leadership team to the party. Enjoy retirement you have earned it… wishes Jack

Jack MacLachlan, – Donbass Consultants  

Congrats, Peter on your retirement!

Patrick Flood, Dublin City University  

“Dear Peter,
Thanks for your contribution to my PhD research on strategy execution and complexity. The conversations with you were eye opening and will stay with me for life. Also thanks for the thought leadership and best practices. Wishing you all the very best! Richard”

Richard Busulwa, Swinburne University  

“Hope we are able to get together after Covid and see you off properly with a few quality beers !
In the mean time I want to wish you, good health & good fortunes – in whatever you decide to do and how ever you decided to do it.

From our initial meeting many years ago whilst I was UK MD at Polynorm (which you never let me forget) through to today – Inside I have always admired your knowledge, comprehension and the advancements you have made in our world of Lean Thinking – thanks for your support and hard work in helping make the business what it is today!”

Colin Scott, Partner  

“Well done on your retirement, Peter. I have followed your work for years and your insights have been very helpful to me. Enjoy yourself.

Kind regards,

Robin Collier, RWC Food Solutions Ltd.  

“Hi Peter,

Well, I just want want to add my thanks to this feedback, you have been inspirational to me in how you coach people, the simplicity with which you explain and explore complexity always helped me and others.

The values you have taught me have become engraved in my work and character so much that from both a personal and professional perspective, they inform my thinking on a daily basis, my deepest thanks.

I look forward to the next prize winning book!”

Adam Cardinal, Director of Operational Excellence – Malvern Panalytical   

“Peter on behalf of the team at Coca Cola in Ireland we wish you best wishes on turning to a new chapter in your life. So many fond memories both socially and professionally of workshops and conferences attended. So many sustainable improvements to our processes and our business that will not be forgotten. Your passion and leadership are unrivalled!

Please stay in touch


John McGowan, GM – The Coca Cola Company 

“It was a real privilege to be able to attend the virtual Essence of Excellence book club during the Covid-19 lockdown. Thank you for the education and for bringing clarity to the concepts. All the best in your retirement.”

Donna Evans


Thank you for the inspiration, knowledge and wisdom. #UKManufacturing is in a better place for your contribution.

Good luck in your (semi-)retirement, and try not to work to hard!


Stuart Wood

“Dear Peter,

You have been a friend and mentor … and I have learned so much, yet far less than you have to teach. You are a kind and truly honorable man and I am proud to call you friend. You would receive a very warm welcome at our home anytime you might yourself nearby.

Your impact on the field is truly profound … but even that pales in comparison to your kindness.

in friendship,

Rick Edgeman, Fort Hays State University / Shingo Institute / Aarhus University 

“Hi Peter.

Its hard to imagine SA Partners with you in the room. From early beginnings through to multiple award winning books, inspiring generations of Improvers and helping people connect with a new way of thinking. Quite a legacy. You and Chris brought me into the fold, from what was it seems the longest honeymoon in history. From 2005 to today its been one hell of a journey. I will take with me many memories of our interactions and conversations, but most of all your energy and passion for a subject, which for many only believe when they see it. Too good to be true.

Look forward to sharing a beer in traditional British send off, until then thanks for everything and good luck in your adventures ahead.”

Richard Young, Partner –  S A Partners

“Dear Peter,

Just became aware of your well deserved retirement, I’d like to thank you for your inspiring Leadership in all the years I’ve known you. It has been a great pleasure and honor to have been taught by you about Lean and Operational Excellence, it has made a big change for me in my carreer. Wish you and your beloved ones all the Health, Love and Prosperity for the many years ahead.

Best Regards, Egbert”

Egbert Boersma 

“Hi Peter,

Thank you for your books and your teaching. As I joined our Operational Excellence department, I found the career I wanted to follow. This is in no small part from the Enterprise Excellence Masterclass facilitated by Fiona and yourself.

This was the starting point for a journey that is still only beginning, and growing day by day. All the best in the retirement.

Kind Regards

Eoghan Brophy, Glanbia Ireland


Thank you for all you have done for me and the organizations I have worked for in a CI role.
You gave me that light bulb moment that made it all fit together.

Have a long and rewarding retirement.

All the best”

Lee Coppin, Cook Medical

“Thank you Peter, we never met, but I’ve followed your career over the last 10 years, and I appreciate your contribution to lean and sustainability!

Brion Hurley, BPI

“Hello Peter,

I just wanted to add my thanks for all your help, support and guidance over the last few years, you really changed the way I looked at operational excellence, management and leadership and helped greatly with my career development. Was always a pleasure to work with you.

Thank you and very best wishes for your retirement (or semi retirement I expect!)


Andrew Lahy, DSV-Panalpina

“Peter – many congratulations on your well-earned retirement. I always enjoyed your company and I learned so much from you. You have inspired me and countless others to understand and commit to creating a CI culture.

Cheers, Mike”

Mike Cox, CoDa Associates/Canada Nickel Company

“Hi Peter,
Sorry to hear you are wrapping things up. I thoroughly enjoyed the masterclass in Enterprise Excellence. I hope you might make more appearances at the WIT Lean Forums as a guest speaker. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, wisdom and good humour with us.

Take Care.
Tom Finn (AKA – Bungle)”

Tom Finn, TFLS LTD

“Hello Peter

Best wishes for a long, happy and well earned retirement. Many thanks for your insights And friendship over the last few years – the Enterprise Excellence programme with you a few years ago was incredibly helpful and enjoyable. Do keep in touch, and if you want to see what’s happening with manufacturing down in South West Wales, just give me a shout.

Best regards

Chris Ditton, Magstim

“Hello Peter,
Congrats on your retirement from SA…you will be missed but I’m sure you will be still only a bell away willing to advise.

Prof Hines was known to me through LinkedIn where I followed him during my 2019 MSc studies. Looking back…I can now say Peter is approachable and gifted..has huge depth of knowledge and gave light to all my questions virtually and I still use his book Essence of Excellence which is just simply fantastic and easy to understand. Thanks Prof Peter for inspiring me. Next time you are visiting WIT, let me know.

God Bless you with health on your new journey of retirement, spending time with your closest and no clock watching!

Best Wishes,

Elizabeth O’Callaghan, University of Limerick, Bernal Institute

Hi Peter –

I’ve considered you a kindred spirit in the study of the role of HR in continuous improvement initiatives. As I continue in this work, I’ll keep you in my thoughts as someone who really cared abut increasing the world’s understanding of the role of HR in creating successful transformations. Wishing you a healthy and happy retirement. You’ll surely succeed at anything you decide to tackle. 

Cheryl Jekiel, Lean Leadership Center

“Hello Peter

Best wishes for a long, happy and well earned retirement. Many thanks for your insights And friendship over the last few years – the Enterprise Excellence programme with you a few years ago was incredibly helpful and enjoyable. Do keep in touch, and if you want to see what’s happening with manufacturing down in South West Wales, just give me a shout.

Best regards”

Chris Ditton, Magstim

“Firstly thanks to Peter for setting up the business; SA Partners has played a part in shaping my career from the beginning with Estee Lauder and now at AWE.

I got to spend two weeks with Peter both professionally and socially on the Masterclass which taught me so much about the world of Operational Excellence and has opened doors for me that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

Thanks Peter and good luck in your next chapter!”

Jack Worboys , MOD 

“Congratulations to you Peter on the next phase of your career and life. Without SA Partners I would not be posting this tribute, nor would I have had my eyes opened to the TRUE intent of lean thinking.

My long association with you and many of your UK based SA team dating back to 2003 including participation as a case study site for the 2009 Staying Lean publication, will remain always as a highlight to my own career development and I thank you for that! I am quite sure that many others would ditto my appreciation.

I only wish we could have met up one more time in Chicago at the 2019 AME Conference that I Chaired. I was deeply disappointed in my showing up too late to meet up at the conclusion of your Mon morning workshop.

Take care my friend! Greg

Gregory MacDougall , GMD Consulting /Cogent Power Inc.

The Essence of Excellence

Essence Of Excellence Book coverPeter Hines and Chris Butterworth conducted research in over 100 companies worldwide. 40 have shown themselves to have, in their different ways, the Essence of Excellence they were looking for. This has culminated in the book, The Essence of Excellence which one the SHingo Prize.

Staying Lean, Thriving not just Surviving

Staying Lean Thriving Not 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.

Creating a Lean & Green Business System

Creating A Lean And Green Business SystemStaying 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.

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