Alumni in Action: Doug van der Zee

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Alumni in Action: Doug van der Zee

Lean Six Sigma: Certification Helps Doug van der Zee Land a Job and Business Development Clients

Doug van der Zee has had a very successful career in sales and business development. During a job transition, he heard about Lean Six Sigma training, which he was initially reluctant to take because he thought it was “more for manufacturing.” After hearing BPG President Tasos Georgopoulos talk about Lean Six Sigma and after talking with people who had completed the training, Doug began to see possible benefits from applying LSS to sales activities such as managing territories and prospects. A strong believer in the importance of ongoing education, relevant credentials, and networking with other professionals Doug earned his LSSBB from BPG in 2019.

LSSBB Helps Land Interview
The value of that credential became very clear when Doug interviewed for — and landed — the position of Director, Business Development, Central Region at Epiq Global in their Business Transformation Solutions Group. Epiq a leading legal services solution company, provides outsourced services for office operations using LSS principles and methodology. In fact, the President of Doug’s division is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt. As Doug told BPG Chief Executive Officer Paul Gormas after he landed, “I can honestly say it was my LSSBB certification that got me into the final round of candidates.”

LSSBB Helps Land Clients
Doug describes Epiq and his role this way in his LinkedIn profile: “Clients rely on Epiq to streamline the administration of business operations…We assist our clients effectively resolve daily operations challenges by leveraging the use of leading technologies combined with effective workflows… I guide opportunities and solutions to improve workflows and advance efficiency, productivity, and accuracy.” Doug’s understanding of Lean Six Sigma helps him communicate to prospective clients that the value of Epiq’s service is more than just letting their clients focus on practicing law, it’s about making operations run more smoothly and improving ROI. Doug says “LSS is the “ribbon that wraps it all together.”

LSS Helps Streamline Clients’ Business Operations
After the Business Development team acquires a new client, an Operations Team, made up of Six Sigma Yellow, Green, and Black Belts, begin the implementation period which can last up to 90 days. This includes interviewing the client’s staff, evaluating current operations, and defining improvements – all using LSS models to create workflows, floor plans, and other logistics. The entire process is documented and continually reevaluated to improve efficiencies and ensure a long-term relationship between Epiq and the client. (To read how Epiq applied LSS to mailroom operations, click Doug notes operations teams also develop digital workflows and policies for their clients using LSS principles. For example, one team recently oversaw the conversion of a records management system; a task that involved scanning, indexing, and disposing of boxes of paper files using LSS principles.

A Changed Mindset
Doug’s mindset on LSS’s appropriateness to his career has changed. Now, as he told Paul Gormas, “You can call me a poster boy for the benefits of LSS and business development roles.” From a personal perspective, Doug notices a shift in how he approaches creating a campaign or working with prospects: from looking at it as an activity to viewing it as a process that he can define, monitor and improve.