PL Plumbing has a successful niche business in Coburg, Melbourne, delivering plumbing services to body corporate clients right across the city and as far afield as Geelong and Frankston. Owner Phil Lee established the company nearly 30 years ago and has a team of some nine plumbers and administration staff.

Project statistics

Project challenge

Phil Lee knew the business needed to improve efficiency, including a much greater use of technology. Time was being wasted in processes including quoting, job scheduling and invoicing, while factory organisation, stock control and equipment maintenance all needed a complete review. Phil contacted Vative after learning of the company’s skills in tackling waste and inefficiencies in business.


Melbourne, Victoria


The company needed to cut down on waste and replace manual procedures with efficient technology to improve their day-to-day processes across all areas of the business.


Vative worked together with PL Plumbing to examine all major areas and processes in the business, brainstormed solutions, then involved all key staff in implementing improvements in their areas. Thirteen key projects were completed in the factory, vehicles, office and administration processes.


After just one year working with Vative, PL Plumbing saved more than $173,000 through a companywide program cutting out waste and replacing manual procedures with technology. One of the major contributors to their savings was through introducing tablets to manage electronic job allocations across the business. This saved the business an extraordinary $58,000 in administration alone, alongside saving hassle and boosting employee morale.


Working with Vative allowed PL Plumbing to examine all major areas and processes within their business. 5S methodology (Sort, Set, Shine, Standardise and Sustain) was applied in the factory, office, vehicles and Spoutvac truck. One of the key reasons for their success was involving their entire team in developing and applying project improvements. Implementing these changes allowed PL Plumbing to open their mindset and commit to Continuous Improvement for significant, ongoing benefits.

“Working with Vative, we were able to examine all major areas and processes in the business, brainstorm solutions, then involve all key staff in implementing improvements in their areas.” – Phil Lee, Owner, PL Plumbing