Production Manager gets big gains from the Makoto Capability Program

Production Manager gets big gains from the Makoto Capability Program

Mauritz Faas (1)

Maurits Faas, Production Manager from Character Group, a leading mass manufacturer of bespoke cabinetry and stone benchtops for the construction industry, recently sat down with us to discuss the benefits of being in the Makoto Capability Program.


First, he told us about the unique challenges of Character Group

“The Character Group as a company-  we manufacture cabinets and stone tops for builders, renovators, and offer many different service levels. We’ve got a lot of competition around so I’m always looking for that point of difference. At Character Group I’m the Production Manager for three companies in the group. That means that once you walk through that door to when a job leaves here I’m responsible for it.”


Maurits found that the program had been supportive of his own understanding of how to manage a production environment  

“The program has been provided a bit of affirmation really. I often doubted some of my concepts.”

This has allowed Maurits to follow through on some of his Lean thinking and employee engagement. The diverse range of industries participating in the program has helped Maurits grow in his role as Production Manager.

“It’s been great actually to see how other industries also grapple with sometimes the same problems. Just seeing things through their eyes.”


He realised his challenges are faced in every industry.

“I think in some of the problem-solving sessions we’ve had, some of the questions from those guys were like, oh, wow, I would never have actually questioned it that way.”


It turns out every industry makes assumptions as to the level of complexity they face, but it’s only when realising that this is just the complexity of business in general, it can be refined down to just a few key challenges.

“I find that quite positive and quite reinforcing…I really enjoy the days we do in other businesses. I’m one who’s always interested in other businesses.”

Makoto’s mixed model of learning creates an opportunity for many leaps forward in an understanding of how to apply Lean and Continuous Improvement

“I have had several big ‘aha’ moments during the programme. A lot of times, it’s when I’m actually working through a problem, maybe sometimes when I’m doing a tutorial or even the webinars. So there’s been some really good stuff in there that’s being discussed where I go ‘Yeah, that is something I’ve been throwing around in my head!’ or I’ll pick up an idea as I’m taking notes, I’ll suddenly write a whole to-do list for myself from it- bam!” 


Maurits saw from the outset that the program would give him plenty of pragmatic advice.

“I was very, very keen on going when it was offered to me. Purely because I was craving structured learning.”


He has enjoyed the benefits of the Platinum Level of engagement with the program, having the opportunity to engage with face to face workshops, working on real problems in real businesses. There has been a strong focus on problem-solving, not just problem identification.

“I do think the fact that we’ve workshopped really, really key important things, actual problem solving, spent big hours on that and not just in one session. That’s quite worthwhile. And I think that’ll stand me in good stead.”


Maurits spoke about the skills he’s learning not only benefit Character Group but also himself.

“I always say to people if you do any learning, it benefits the place where you’re working- but it’s also a skill that you get to keep. So right now Characters is having me do this course and it should benefit Character Group, and that’s my aim. But I get to keep those skills for life.”


Maurits’ feedback has been integral in enabling us as a service provider to take action and apply continuous improvement to the delivery of the Capability Program.

“I like the fact that you’ve listened to feedback. I like the fact that you’re trying to apply continuous improvement to your own programme! I think it’s setting a good example and I’m looking forward to how you’re going to top lunch from the last workshop!”

From everyone here at Makoto, thank you, Maurits!


Or take a listen to what Maurits has to say-

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