- Supply Chain Planner, Protective Coatings Supply
- At Business Area Supply Chain
- Works in Sweden
- At AkzoNobel since 2012
"I would not be nearly as successful at what I do were it not for the entire Supply team. It’s by cooperation, good management and learning from each other that we succeed and improve."
Thor Baunsøe is responsible for reacting to triggers for replenishment of stock across three regional distribution centers and certain local distribution centers in his role as Supply Chain Planner. That means balancing production levels with required goods and re-distributing when stocks become too high or low. Sounds simple enough – but how does it work in real life?
Teamwork makes the dream work
With three production departments on site, it’s very much a team effort. Coordination between all the planners is crucial. He’s in daily contact with his fellow planners in Felling and Angered, customer order service desks throughout Europe, sales teams, purchase teams, warehouse teams, lab personnel and external suppliers – which Thor credits as the key to their efficiency.
“I have to say that I would not be nearly as successful at what I do were it not for the entire Supply team,” Thor says. “We all have our strengths and weaknesses and it’s by cooperation, good management and learning from each other that we succeed and improve.”
Finding the right balance
The job takes into account many factors, so it all comes down to striking the right balance. “I try to focus on efficiency and best-practice solutions,” says Thor. “That could mean reducing costs for transport or changing batch destinations to prioritize warehouses that have urgent needs or are running low due to unforeseen sales.”
He adds: “It’s also about balancing warehouse levels, making sure we don’t over-produce and tie up more stock than necessary. So when stock is moving slow, I try to calculate how long we can hold off productions. The same goes for speeding up products when we are selling faster than anticipated.”
“I’m proud to be part of the protective coatings demand team,” Thor says. “Very high expectations are set on us and trying to live up to that is hard work, but it’s also rewarding when we deliver on our commitments. The drive of our team to keep going, even when it seems impossible, is very fulfilling.”
He elaborates on those hard-won successes. “We’re usually not the department ‘in the limelight’ so to speak, but we’re able to help the sales departments pull off important orders by supplying in time, even on short notice. It’s a joint, cooperative operation, and that gives us a sense of pride and value.”
Diversity brings rewards
Crediting help and guidance from his managers in Supply as well as customer order service, where he started his career, Thor says that support across AkzoNobel has helped him develop his existing skills as well as learn new ones.
Thor jokes that it’s actually his wife’s “fault” he’s ended up here in Angered, explaining that he’s Danish by birth but has lived in both the Netherlands and Australia before moving to Sweden with her.
“I’ve grown up multiculturally, which definitely helps when working in such a diverse environment as we often have in Supply, and in AkzoNobel in general,” Thor points out. “The diversity of the company is something I very much enjoy. I’d hate to be in a streamlined, uniform environment. It’s our differences and cultures that make interaction fun and rewarding.”