DHL Global Forwarding’s New Airfreight Manager: Leading by Example
DHL Global Forwarding is one of the world’s leading forwarders, serving more than 220 countries across the globe. DHL is able to cater to its customers’ needs by providing the most suitable and efficient solution for their customers. The secret to this success is the great teamwork and synergy encouraged by a visionary executive with expertise in this industry. An shipment that is packed with premium quality requires solid teamwork and well-organized coordination, as well as an ingenious and experienced leader who can potentially bring out the best of the resources and people at hand.
In this issue, AFL is honored to have Ms. Suwanna Sumritkij, Head of Airfreight Product DHL Global Forwarding (Thailand), share her experience, visions, and insights on the mechanism of DHL’s Global Forwarding.
New Role, New Responsibilities
After having worked more than a decade at DHL Global Forwarding (Thailand), Ms. Sumritkij has gained valuable experience and mastery in the air cargo industry. She was originally responsible for export air cargo operations, before making her way to becoming the director of
the air cargo department. “With this new position, not only do I have more responsibilities, but I also have to oversee a wider scope of work; this ranges from exporting, to importing, coordinating with airlines, and pricing. As soon as I took this new position, my perspectives have been significantly broadened. I have to always bear in mind that in order to lead my team to success, we must pay attention to every detail, cooperate with various teams, and value each procedure in the process,” Ms. Sumritkij commented.
She also added, “In adjusting to this new position, my extensive experience in the industry is unquestionably essential. However, being open-minded is also incredibly important. I see myself as a half-full glass of water ready to be filled with new knowledge. I never hesitate to ask questions and am always open for any suggestions that can help me improve. Each new role we take means a different responsibility. By being open-minded and ready to learn, we can better move forward and enhance our skills.”
Drawing Inspiration from All Sides
Moreover, Ms. Sumritkij believes that each person she has worked with can be an inspiration and a role model for success. “I give importance to everyone around me, including team members and colleagues, by searching for their strengths and the skills that lead them toward accomplishments. Everyone we know can be a teacher and an inspiration of self-development depending on our perspective.”
Adapting to Change
Apart from her determination to improve and adjust processes in order to work efficiently, Ms. Sumritkij is also devoted to continuously driving DHL’s air cargo services forward. “Our daily responsibilities and missions are a challenge. We never know if everything will run smoothly; therefore, if a problem occurs, we must be able to handle and solve the problem in the most effective way possible,” said Ms. Sumritkij.
“At DHL, we believe every goal can be conquered. Although a hindrance or a delay may occur, we will all try our best to find a solution. What we learn helps motivate and strengthen our services to respond to the needs of those who have always trusted DHL,” Ms. Sumritkij said.
Unity and Teamwork
For air cargo, time is the heart of the business. Even minor mistakes can lead to delays or other uncontrollable situations. This “butterfly effect” can be seen down the line in unexpected ways.
“Nonetheless, the key to completing each process requires not only commitment and effort, but also great teamwork,” said Ms. Sumritkij. “I cannot succeed without the support from my team.”
No matter how hard or complicated the task is, we can succeed with the cooperation of a strong team.
By realizing and valuing the teamwork of its staff, DHL has put its faith in the collaboration of every department. The sharing and distribution of information is divided into levels. The head of each department coordinates and distributes the information to members of their team. Ms. Sumritkij said, “Another key to success is communication and work distribution. At this point, we attempt to communicate systematically and also honor everyone who contributes in the success of each process.”
As the head air product global forwarding, Ms. Sumritkij highly appreciates communication. Thus, she has always carefully consulted and liaised with other sectors. “Communication is a crucial process of work. It is important to communicate internally and externally while being certain that our message will be understood correctly. When it comes to air cargo delivery, accuracy and speed are our priorities.”
Joining the above key factors, tracking the fluctuation of the market and the customers’ needs is also a paramount factor leading to DHL’s success.
“We try to adjust and complement our services to best fit our customers’ needs while still maintaining our efficiency and speed in delivery,” said Ms. Sumritkij. Due to the constant call to decrease the cost of delivery, DHL counteracts by offering various kinds of services that are suitable for eclectic needs concerning the time and cost of delivery, the type of goods, and the weight of shipment. If the customer does not require speedy shipment, using an air transport before continuing with maritime or truck transport might be the solution. In order to provide this integrated approach, Ms. Sumritkij has to collaborate with other departments of different methods of transport so that customers can select the solution that best suits their needs. This can be considered as another tactic to answer to the change in the market. By integrating air, maritime, truck, and rail transport, the customers can customize the cost and time of delivery as they deem appropriate.
“We have been tracking customers’ satisfaction both pre- and post-service. This enables us to clearly be informed of our customers’ needs. It allows us to offer and tune in our new services to be aligned with their needs and with the ever-changing market,” Ms. Sumritkij revealed.
When working, Ms. Sumritkij never forgets to listen, encourage, respect, and pay attention to each staff member. Because of this, they are able to push and elevate their services to be the leader of Thailand’s, and of the world’s freight forwarders. The synergy of DHL’s employees is a direct result of having an open-minded and supportive executive. DHL has become a home where every member of the family synchronizes and excels at their responsibilities.
Ms. Sumritkij left us with some thoughts. “Besides helping one another out and working systematically, we also need everyone in the company to cooperate and operate devotedly to ensure an efficient and impeccable delivery according to our standard. The most important part of the mechanism driving our success is the cooperation and harmony of every employee which allows each procedure to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.”
With careful attention in every step of the way, opening up to unprecedented thoughts, ceaseless self-development, and respect for every team member’s opinion, Ms. Sumritkij is now ready to drive DHL’s air cargo services to an even brighter future.