A Radical Approach to Selecting Continuous Process Improvement Initiatives: A DHL Express the Netherlands Case Study

Genna Weiss

When DHL Express the Netherlands decided to take a new direction for identifying additional continuous improvement projects, the company embarked on a radical approach: a country-wide exchange program for all of its 17 operational site managers.

This initiative entailed that for a period of one month, each site manager would relocate to another site manager’s location and take on the site’s complete day-to-day responsibilities as if the site were his or her own. Using this "common sense" approach, the company has been able to spot blind spots in its continuous improvement project selection method — and has realized both significant hard and soft savings.


In this Profit through Process podcast, Genna Weiss of Six Sigma & Process Excellence IQ speaks with Hans Gernler van Marle, the managing director of operations for DHL Express the Netherlands, who discusses how his company was able to execute this new strategy.

In addition, he reveals:

  • The key challenges of the initiative and how the company overcame them
  • Examples of projects that were identified using this approach
  • The steps DHL Express the Netherlands is taking to sustain the results of the exchange program