Ketnapas (Pao) Supakornthanasan, head of Supply Chain at our Rayong factory in Thailand, has won this year’s Electrolux Leadership Award for her outstanding leadership skills that kept the supply chain running smoothly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We talked to Pao about overcoming challenges in a pandemic, how she gets the best out of her team, and what her top leadership tips are:
For readers who don’t know you so well, how would you sum yourself up Ketnapas?
Ketnapas (Pao): My nickname is Pao. I’m married with one 10-year-old daughter. I’ve been with Electrolux for 14 years working in supply chain, before that I worked in purchasing.
Every leader also has a soft spot. What would you say is your greatest weakness?
Ketnapas (Pao): Sometimes I am too aggressive when it comes to pushing for results!
How do you convince others to accept your ideas?
Ketnapas (Pao): Explain the reasons behind the ideas and show the potential results. Nothing is perfect but we have to explain why we are choosing the best possible solution.
What is the most difficult part of being a leader, in your opinion?
Ketnapas (Pao): I think it is leading by example. When my team members are under pressure and/or in a difficult situation, I need to motivate, guide, and lead them to make them aware how urgent the task is, or to take more responsibility as needed. Sometimes, if we need to work harder and longer hours, I show them how to do it, this motivates them!
What is your secret to achieving targets in a challenging environment like a pandemic?
Ketnapas (Pao): Focus on effective communication with your team and always stand by to coach them and make quick decisions when needed.
You were nominated for the Leadership Award partly because of your team’s excellent work during the pandemic to keep component availability running smoothly without disrupting production. What were the challenges you faced & how did you overcome them?
Ketnapas (Pao): 2020 was a very challenging year for supply chain because of Covid-19. We faced high demand from customers combined with limited component supply and transportation challenges.
To keep the production line running smoothly without disruption, we set up a cross-functional team made up of Logistics, Demand Planning, Production and Quality Control. We had to work on a production plan hourly and align it with all the teams to keep the production line running smoothly without disruption. It was important to micromanage on all activities and have a back-up plan prepared for everything.
In Q4, the Rayong factory achieved a record high production of laundry appliances and refrigerators.
As a leader of the team, what is your philosophy at work?
Ketnapas (Pao): Don’t give up! Keep trying … we can do it!
Job title: Rayong Supply Chain Manager
Hobbies: Cooking & gardening (Little Hogweed is my favorite flower!)
Family: Married with a 10-year-old daughter.
What drives you: The people on my team are very important to me. I love to work with them, to coach, teach and to take care of them.
Pao’s top 3 leadership tips
- Lead your team, always driving for results.
- Be clear and effective with your decision-making.
- Collaborate with others for success.