Leader realises it’s all about a culture of continuous improvement for successful businesses

Leader realises it’s all about a culture of continuous improvement for successful businesses


Clarence Plug is the Manager of ModernForm Doors, a Perth based vinyl-wrap and painted cabinet door manufacturing business. A background in Construction has not stopped the energetic Leader from taking on the challenging role of turning around the business, recently acquired by their main competitor in the industry.


“This programme started at the right time. My project was around painted doors in a Lean environment with a short lead-time… which is fairly difficult with the painted products, due to drying times and different non-value-add activities in the production cycle.”

Clarence has now set up a painted door manufacturing line to deal with unprecedented demand.


From the outset, Clarence knew Lean and Continuous Improvement thinking was the way forward.

“For me, Lean implementation has all made a lot of sense because it’s really, really practical. I think, as a company, it will make us stronger, and we’ve had a lot of rapid growth. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the stuff we have implemented work. Things that we have put in place have really paid off.”


Clarence joined the Platinum level of Makoto’s program, which includes workshops conducted in real businesses. He spoke about the benefit of this membership level.

“The programme takes you away from your workspace for a day. And it makes you think more critically.”

He found the program to have a distinct advantage over traditional consulting, which he said “…was really reactive. We made some pretty big wins out of it (traditional consulting), but I don’t feel that the level of ownership was there compared to when we do the program. You’re not waiting on a consultant to come in, to check that you’ve done your ‘homework’, so to speak, and then leave for the following month.”

This is a major advantage of the program. It sustains capability in the participants.

“The workshop days have been really good to sort of make me think critically, rather than have someone come into our business and go, ‘alright, now we’re going to do this’ when they’re just seeing a snapshot for a day.”


Makoto’s monthly workshopping days take the knowledge out of the consultant’s head, ensuring that knowledge stays with the participants.

Clarence also spoke about the benefits of having the opportunity to see how other businesses run.

“What’s been really nice is seeing these other companies, you get an understanding of what other people are doing in different fields. There’s some really good stuff to learn from them. We’re all sort of going at it together, we can discuss it together, and then go away from the workshop and do whatever we want with it.”


He has a newfound appreciation of how other factories run.

“It’s just been a real eye-opener seeing other people’s factories and how they run things. Going into the program I didn’t know what to expect in other industries. I guess that’s the beauty of it.”



A strong focus on improving workplace culture has been a key aspect learnt for Clarence.

“What I’m really taking from the course is the cultural aspect and taking our people along on the journey, letting them make decisions, because long term, that’s the most sustainable way of doing it.

We’re really working hard on the culture, and the people we’re now hiring for the right attitude. That’s working really well, we’ve got a great team that really care. They’re contributing to improvement ideas.

This is making my life easier because this place is no longer about what I’m trying to achieve –  it’s more about, as a team, how are we going to another level.

So for me, that’s where the course has been really beneficial. Just really finding that it is all about people because it’s very easy to lose sight of that- when they need to be my priority.”


Does Clarence recommend Makoto’s Capability Building Program?

“No matter what industry you’re in there’s plenty to take from the program. I’d highly recommend it. For anyone wanting to start the journey from other industries- they will bring really valuable stuff to the table. It could be completely different than making doors, but again, where there are people, you need processes, and you need a really good culture.”

And that is what the program is all about!

From everyone here at Makoto, thank you, Clarence!

Take a look at our Capability Building Programs here,

Or take a listen to what Clarence has to say

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I wanted to share with you my thoughts in relation to Lean and Kaizen, and I hope that my point of view is something that you might be able to make use of and perhaps apply at your workplace. So I wanted to talk about leadership, in the Lean and Kaizen environment, and just a…

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