Operational Excellence

Maximise customer value while reducing operational costs


FT ranked logo colour

in Executive Education in Belgium and #17 in Europe


former participants


for Learning Impact

This three-day programme will introduce you the essentials of operational excellence. You’ll live and learn how to use lean tools and methodologies. And you’ll discover how to manage variability and lead change management. 

After this immersive experience, which includes visiting a company to see all the principles you learn in action, you’ll be able to leap into your organisation with the skills and confidence to create real value.

Detailed programme

This three day programme consists of three thought-provoking modules that take you through the key principles of operational excellence. At the end, you have the option to take an exam and gain a recognised certificate in lean methodologies.

Module 1: Operational excellence by reducing waste 

  • Discover the strategic importance of operational excellence 
  • Map out the value stream 
  • Explore lean thinking and the lean toolbox 
  • Learn about lean maturity 
  • Put theory into practice on a company visit 

Module 2: Targeting improvement and variability reduction

  • Dive into operational performance measurement – and link operational and financial KPIs
  • Discover flow time and capacity analysis
  • Learn to manage variability and its impact on capacity and service
  • Understand the impact of quality management

Module 3: Managing the journey towards operational excellence

  • Discover how to manage the change in your organisation
  • Explore the actions needed to set up a change project in your organisation

Optional: Lean Competency Accreditation

At the end of the programme, you can choose to take an exam to obtain the Lean Competency certificate from the Lean Enterprise Research Centre of the University of Cardiff. The exam is made up of:

  • A written exam that assesses your knowledge
  • An oral defence and discussion with Vlerick professors about an Operational Excellence project you have carried out
  • To take the exam a supplemental fee of €700 will be charged

Why this programme

  • Understand, apply and evaluate the essential tools of lean management – push versus pull, waste in processes, just-in-time and PDCA 
  • Solve process inefficiencies with process mapping 
  • Learn to value improvements – linking operational and financial metrics, and validating them 
  • Analyse where improvements can be made – and implement them 
  • Determine what’s needed to lead change in your organisation 
  • Focus on what really matters for your customers 

Who should attend

  • Professionals responsible for operations 
  • Operations managers in manufacturing or logistic companies 
  • Service and quality managers 
  • Business and process managers and professionals 
  • Project leaders responsible for designing and implementing change projects 
  • Consultants 

In previous editions, we had the pleasure of welcoming participants from companies like:

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Success stories

Ellen De Cnodder

As an operations manager, I felt the need for a specialised programme on operational excellence and lean management. I really enjoyed the pragmatic approach, the hands-on mentality, and the interactive way of working. I definitely recommend this programme to anyone looking to optimise operational flows and eliminate waste.


Ann Vereecke

Ann Vereecke

Professor of Operations Management

Ann Vereecke advises on the supply chain that best fits your strategy and products.

Robert Boute

Robert Boute

Professor of Operations Management

Robert Boute creates financial and social value with operations and supply chain optimisation.