Cathy Lim: Stretch Assignment To Learn & Grow
When the Penang Branch Operations Manager position fell vacant in August 2020, Cathy Lim was selected to undertake the role as assistant operations manager for the branch where she provided all round Technical Support & Customer Service (TSCS) to the branch.
This was in addition to her existing responsibilities as customer service coordinator with the Operations team in Subang Jaya, in which she handles quotation preparation, sales order processing, and customer delivery fulfilment through inter-departmental coordination.
Since then, she has been double-hatting. Due to the COVID-19 situation, she has been managing her stretch assignment remotely, that is from Subang Jaya.
Here Cathy, who joined Swagelok Malaysia in 2014, shares her on-going experience.
Daily Modus Operandi
"I have daily check-in sessions with the Penang TSCS team for updates on their work and challenges, as well as support required, particularly on pending cases. I also participate in the weekly Sales & Operations update sessions every Friday. Should there be a need, I would reach out to the team and also the Penang Sales team individually for immediate follow-up on certain issues.
Working As A Team
Penang is no stranger to me as I handled Penang customers in 2017. I am comfortable with handling the day-to-day work. As for leading the TSCS team in Penang, this is a new experience. I am learning on the job. It is all about leading, driving and monitoring, and working together to ensure we achieve the KPIs. We learn from one another, and support each other to be innovative as the market in Penang is very robust. We need to be agile, collaborative and accountable, and always abiding by our core values, especially customer focus. We need to keep our focus on customers so that our business is sustainable and well-protected. Do things right and do them fast!
The past few months have been like a whirlwind. We have reviewed and closed all pending CAR (Corrective Action Report). I have also reviewed the account segregation and workload of the team to ensure clear ownership.
Advice On Stretch Assignment Opportunity
If you are ever offered a stretch assignment, take it as it is an opportunity to develop in your career. Yes, you will have lesser leisure time, and increase in work pressure and work load. The recognition and reward may come later but what is more important is the personal satisfaction and opportunity to learn and grow – these are priceless and should be valued.
“Cathy has been an exemplary individual contributor. We selected her for the assignment to give her the opportunity to develop her team leadership and people management capabilities, as well as gain more exposure in working with customers. It is part of our department's talent development efforts – grooming and developing existing talents for future career growth opportunities.” - ZH Ngan, Operations Manager