Revolutionizing baggage handling at airports with Vanderlande

Corporate startup coaching, from ideation to RedDot Design Award: Board of Innovation for Vanderlande.


Injecting Lean Startup mindset.

Vanderlande is the global market leader for value-added logistic process automation at airports & a leading supplier of process automation solutions for warehouses.

Vanderlande reached out to Board of Innovation to boost the effectiveness of internal innovation projects. We were asked to act as a sounding board of an internal venture and to inject lean startup methodologies into the Vanderlande’s way of working.

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Board of Innovation played an important role in getting where we are today. Not only did they teach us to think and act like a startup: even more importantly, they are constantly preventing us from falling back into a corporate pace.

Koen Evers, General Manager FLEET, Vanderlande
Vanderlande FLEET Red Dot Award


Tailored lean startup coaching
for an innovation team.

A pool of coaches from Board of Innovation co-worked with Vanderlande as lean startup coaches around an initiative of new product development

In the first phase, we helped internal innovation teams with problem validation, fine-tuning the value proposition, checking the business model and doing first solution validation. In this phase, the team ideated the concept behind what is now “FLEET”, a flexible baggage logistics solution for airports, that only 9 months later will win the RedDot Award – Best of the Best 2018.

By using intelligent autonomous vehicle technology, FLEET replaces the need for fixed conveyors and sorting systems. Each individual vehicle carries a single bag and determines the most optimal route through an airport.

In September 2017, at the beginning of the second phase, Vanderlande kicked off their internal startup. We, as facilitators, helped them with all things practical. We used our expertise to help them with, among others, the preparation for their first public exhibition, harvesting all the benefits of this first public validation & sales opportunity.

The FLEET team is currently working in monthly sprints; a coach from Board of Innovation steps in once per month to keep the process lean and customer-focused.

To kick off FLEET’s development, internal authorization of the directors was required to launch it as an internal startup within Vanderlande: therefore, we coached the team, to make sure they were ready for their internal startup investment pitch to introduce their concept to Vanderlande’s board members and get funding.


Boosting innovation capabilities, from ideation to a RedDot Design Award.

FLEET is an example of a successful adoption of new technology and a new, more agile and customer-centric, way of working.

In 2017 Vanderlande’s FLEET has been elected winner of the inter-airport Europe Innovation Award in the interTERMINAL category. The inter-airport Europe awards acknowledge the aviation industry’s best recent innovations, products, and equipment, with the interTERMINAL category representing terminal operations, infrastructure and technical installations.

The announcement confirms Vanderlande’s commitment to create further business opportunities for airlines and airports. This was FLEET’s first recognition, showing the value of quick solution validation.

Recently, FLEET has also received a RedDot Award – Best of the Best 2018, the top distinction at the recent RedDot Design competition – to give perspective, only 1% of entries received this recognition.

Recently, FLEET has also received a RedDot Award – Best of the Best 2018, the top distinction at the recent RedDot Design competition – to give perspective, only 1% of entries received this recognition.

FLEET is a good example of Design, Design Thinking and Innovation. It’s not only a call for Design that pleases our eyes. It’s also a call for Design that solves real problems, Design that can talk to multiple stakeholders and final users, Design that finds simple, elegant solutions in intricate environments (such as the logistics within an airport), Design that reduces energy costs and increases circularity.

The first live operations of Vanderlande’s FLEET system at Rotterdam The Hague Airport have begun with an historic three-month readiness test period. 

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