Detailed Programme

The programme 'Operational Excellence' comprises two modules, each touching upon crucial aspects of operational excellence:

Module 1: Essence of Operational Excellence

  • Strategic Importance of Operational Excellence
    • First, the strategic context of Operational Excellence is discussed. Why is it important in the current global settings to continuously improve your operations and how does it create a competitive advantage? The history of Lean thinking is discussed and linked to how Lean contributes to your enterprise.
  • Mapping the value stream
    • Value stream mapping provides an organisation with a value-oriented lens on the enterprise. It captures the complexity of an organisation and transforms it into a simple, visual, value stream map. It is a rich technique for organisations that require a clear view on value-adding and non-value-adding activities.
  • Lean Thinking and Lean Toolbox
    • By implementing the Lean principles, a firm can realise substantial improvements in all domains of its operations. The main basic principles such as 5S, 7 wastes, Kaizen, Jidoka, Andon,… are introduced. These are translated into practice, e.g. how to manage the workspace to eliminate waste, reduce errors, rework and injury, and to ensure that all time spent is productive.
  • Lean Planning & Scheduling
    • Adopting Lean manufacturing methods means shifting from mass production (push) to a pull methodology in which production is triggered by customer demand. The complicated relationship between planning, scheduling and materials management in relation to demand management will be discussed. Methodologies on how to synchronise these interrelated domains while overcoming any possible bottlenecks that may delay production are illustrated.
  • Lean Maturity
    • Work on your Lean maturity level. Learn from how other organisations facilitate the improvement process and include major Lean techniques, as well as soft aspects like people and culture in their Lean projects.
  • Company visit: putting theory into practice
    • Most firms stumble through the implementation with trial and error. Most of the projects fail because of resistance to change. We invite business people with testimonials of successful lean projects. Key issues that are faced during implementation will be discussed in class with professors and practitioners. Participants also get the chance to verify the theories during a company visit.
Module 2: Success Factors in Operational Excellence
  • Bottleneck management - theory of constraints - factory physics
    • The theory of constraints is developed to enable organisations to improve information or product flows in a service or manufacturing context. It is based on the fact that in any complex system at any point in time, there is most often only one aspect of that system that is limiting its ability to achieve more of its goal. In order to attain any significant improvement, that constraint must be identified and the whole system must be managed accordingly.
  • Capacity Management and Variability Analysis 
    • One of the most commonly ignored relationships in planning, both in a service as in a production environment, is the relationship among capacity utilisation, inventory and customer service. Increasing the capacity utilisation may require unacceptable high amounts of inventory to support customer service. And what do you do with services, that are characterised by instant consumption? In this session the fundamental relationship between demand and supply is studied and demonstrated.
  • Quality Management
    • The focus on quality is one of the hallmarks of operational excellence. An introduction of tools and processes such as Kaizen, Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will help to understand the support role they can play in helping an organisation move from a traditional process set-up to Lean quality processes.
  • Lean Supply Chains
    • In some industries more and more subunits of the finished goods are being ‘outsourced’, driving Lean organisations to encourage their suppliers to introduce Lean into their own operations. This encourages businesses and their suppliers to work together to improve quality while reducing overall costs.
  • Change Management
    • How can you assure the success of your transformation towards continuous improvement? Get everyone involved! By focusing too much on the tools, philosophies and techniques, an organisation can overlook the most effective method of change –employee commitment and involvement. Accomplishing the transition to Operational Excellence hinges on including people in the process.

Optional: Lean Competency Accreditation

  • An optional exam will allow participants to obtain the certificate 'Lean Competency', an international accreditation by the Lean Enterprise Research Centre of Cardiff University.
  • The exam consists of two parts:
    • A closed book written test that measures to which extent the participant has acquired knowledge on the theories taught in class.
    • An oral presentation and discussion with Vlerick professors, during which the participant explains a well-defined project plan in the area of operational excellence, taking into account the concepts that were introduced during the programme.

Lean Competency System

The Vlerick Difference

We have a unique approach to learning, which focuses on bringing theory to life, giving you the skills and insight you need to really make a difference. Spend time on our beautiful campuses, and you become part of one of the most active business communities in Europe, learning in a way that will help you to be a more effective and productive business leader throughout your career. Learning at Vlerick really is an experience far away from traditional classroom learning. You’ll work collaboratively with your faculty and fellow participants to bring your ideas to life in a robust and practical way.

Digital − the new normal in business − will also strengthen your learning process. Our online platform ‘Showpad’ and the use of a tablet grant you access to all of the learning materials anywhere, anytime, and enable you to go beyond note-taking: take pictures of the flipchart during a brainstorming exercise, record a video of a role play, participate in a quick poll, create a Wikipage together … and share them on the spot with your group.

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A learning experience with real impact on your operations? A management programme tailored to the specific needs of your business? Contact us and discover how we can design and deliver customised programmes for your team that add genuine value to your organisation.

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Contact our Programme Advisor
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Tel + 32 9 210 98 84
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