Municipal services, just like at the bakery!

The service processes had to be organized in a more efficient way with the objective to realize qualitatively better, more efficient services at structurally lower costs.
Niels Van Gunst

I really enjoy Möbius’ approach. They ensure that it really comes to live in the organization.

Simon Nieuwkoop, Municipal Secretary / General Director
Tholen Municipality

Strategic challenge

In recent years, Dutch municipalities have been confronted by serious challenges. The following developments have had a great impact on the operational management of the municipality of Tholen (The Netherlands):

  • Change of the package of responsibilities as a result of decentralizations (shifting of responsibilities from the country’s central government to local governments) and increasing quality requirements from the central government.
  • Other expectations of the community regarding the municipality, such as more digital services; inter-municipal cooperation; more participation and involvement in the development of policy and far-reaching participation in, for example, care and neighbourhood.
  • A massive austerity assignment as a result of the economic recession.


Möbius has organized the service processes in a more efficient way with the objective to realize qualitatively better, more efficient services at structurally lower costs. The following pillars have been central in this:

Clear vision on services

Creating a clear, joint vision on services was essential to give direction to the desired development. A link was made with the organization-wide vision. The formulated vision read as follows: ‘Services at the Municipality of Tholen are as at the bakery: close, of good quality and at competitive prices’.

Process optimization

On the basis of this service vision starting points have been determined for each service process. Next, on the basis of the LEAN method (for example: brown paper sessions, SIPOC, and bottleneck analysis), a new and optimized process has been designed in conjunction with all employees involved. Following this the implementation of the new process has been supported (including the control and ‘monitoring’ on the basis of critical performance indicators).

Lasting anchoring

Support has been created by allowing employees to understand the added value of their work. The employees are motivated and involved in the entire process by participating in interactive workshops. In addition, by continually communicating the progress of projects to the entire organization, this has lead to the successes being anchored in the culture of the organization. Also a team of LEAN ambassadors has been assembled as a result of which the improvement culture has spread like a wave within the municipality of Tholen.


Collaboration with Möbius has led to the following concrete results:

‘Overall’ results

  • Structural saving: €480.000 per year.
  • Customer friendly process: the citizen is continuously given centre stage.
  • Optimized services: increased customer satisfaction, increased quality of the internal processes.
  • Improvement culture realized: employees are excited and convinced of the LEAN method.

Project results

  • 80% of all customer inquiries are resolved directly in the KCC.
  • Reinforcement web channel: a website with top tasks integrated with the case system en designed from the customer perspective.
  • 75% reduction in lead time of the processing WMO (Social Support Act) applications.
  • LEAN experts: 15 internal employees trained as independent experts.
  • An optimized WABO (Environment Licensing Act) process: lead time reduction of 33%.
  • Administrative decision making: procedure fully digitized with an internal customer satisfaction rating of 8.

Thanks for reading

Share case