The Lean Six Sigma Company hoofdkantoor in Rotterdam

LeasePlan  , originally from the Netherlands, is a global player in rental car fleet management. The group is currently active in 31 countries. The ultimate goal of introducing Lean – in mid-2020 – is for all of the more than 8,000 employees to think every day about how they can do today’s work even better tomorrow. Getting everyone moving takes time. To begin with, LeasePlan started training “Lean Leads”. The company THE LEAN SIX SIGMA COMPANY has international weight to provide this consistently everywhere.

National organizations are strategically supported by the head office in Amsterdam. “Each country is unique, but the business processes are broadly similar. There you can see how you can organize this more efficiently. We strive for maximum synergies and want to harmonize the processes, because in principle there is only one optimal process in the core. By sharing the knowledge you have acquired, you can focus on KPIs based on best practices ”, explains  René Smeets . As Business Excellence Director, he and his team are responsible for Operational Excellence and the chosen Lean working method. “It has to do with a change in mentality, with the desire to constantly want to improve.” THE LEAN SIX SIGMA COMPANY   has been selected by LeasePlan as a partner for the formation of LeanLeads which are leading the way in each country.

An adapted curriculum and experienced trainers for each linguistic field

“We started looking for a partner capable of deploying the program with our own trainers in the countries where we are represented. This avoids differences in approach and working methods. Lean Six Sigma has offices in many countries where LeasePlan is established. “When they don’t, they can offer support in the language you want, which sets them apart from many other providers. In addition, The Lean Six Sigma Company is ISO certified, so you can be sure that training is carried out the same everywhere. You can tell from all that they have international experience and understand our need for consistency. Our desire to adapt the existing curriculum to the needs of our clients was also flexibly met.

40 LeanLeads trained as Black Belt specialists

We have trained the majority of LeanLeads selected by LeasePlan online. “The corona rules have kept us from physically meeting in a classroom, but with today’s technology there is so much scope at a distance. For LeasePlan, it was the best option anyway, because otherwise the participants would have to travel halfway around the world, whereas you can now quite well compose groups based on language preference.

From day one, all stakeholders are involved in the large-scale Lean process with a good communication plan. “We explain what we are doing and where we want to go,” explains René Smeets. “You can’t get 8,000 people moving all at once, you have to do it step by step and you have to keep repeating the message and sharing the successes.”

As of May 2021, there is at least one theoretical certified black belt per country with an MT member as a sponsor. “In addition, we have also trained a number of people here at the head office, with whom we cover all business processes – such as sales, call center, operations etc. We meet in the virtual Lean community that we have built. There are many mutual exchanges of knowledge, and based on best practices, we take a look at what works best for each process. In addition, it may still differ from country to country, as it must of course also correspond to the local market, but in this way we are able to harmonize the processes.

Each country has its own roadmap

At the end of the certification process, each Black Belt – with coaching from The Lean Six Sigma Company – carries out his own project in which a serious bottleneck is immediately resolved. “That way you create a support and it has a flywheel effect. Each country decides for itself what is a priority and what will be dealt with first. It doesn’t make sense to prescribe from the head office that you have to improve the sales process, when in a certain country the organization is working very well. Then it is better to tackle this first when you are having more problems. This means that the national organization concerned benefits directly, while the others also benefit from the wake.In this way, we are making progress on several fronts, as other black belts can benefit from the experience gained in

The training of operational teams began in May 2021 and this is how we help each other to move forward

The next step is that the  black belts certified now train their colleagues, using LeasePlan’s tailor-made program. “That’s how we let the snowball roll and eventually everyone will find it quite normal to ask themselves every day what could be done better. A number of Black Belts train operational teams themselves and in some countries they are supported by The Lean Six Sigma Company. Everyone is free to do so. This is the advantage of working with The Lean Six Sigma Company. They have everything in-house and we can provide the service flexibly, as needs change. In fact, this is what we also offer our customers,