Interview with Mr. Pitisook Chitkasem, Delta Plant Administration Director
Text by David Nakayama, DET Corp Comms
Photographs by Saroj Ruangsakulraj, DET Safety and Energy Management
Samutprakarn, Thailand, May 9, 2022- Since our establishment in 1988, Delta Thailand has become an industrial powerhouse and the largest electronics company listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). We are proud to be a Thai company with thousands of Thai nationals and indigenous leaders who help drive Delta’s growth and uplift our local communities.
One of our key indigenous Thai leaders and a pillar of our DET operations is Mr. Pitisook Chitkasem, Delta Plant Administration Director who now leads almost 500 people in Facility, Energy Management, Safety and System Integration.
Today we hear his contributions and responsibilities over an accomplished 25-year career at Delta Thailand, how he leads Delta teams who protect and support our people, why empowering your people is key to leadership and what sustainability means to him.
Can you please share with us how you joined Delta Thailand and your early career?
In 1995, Delta Thailand (DET) became a public-listed company and HR was busy recruiting a lot of new talents with experience in manufacturing. Delta especially wanted to hire new supervisors when I joined in 1997. Over the last 25 years, I have been in charge of a number of teams, in roles ranging from supervisor to plant manager, in both production and manufacturing support operations.
My first 15 years at Delta were in manufacturing. Here I learned all the aspects of our work including human resources management, cost control, supply chain management (planner/buyer/warehouse inventory), tooling and tester equipment management.
My various factory job functions gave me experience in managing both Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) production of our switching power supply, adaptor, DC-DC Voltage Regulator Module (VRM), Innergie, Industrial Power Supplies (IPS) product lines.
Some highlights of this earlier period are:
- In 2008, I joined the Delta Thailand team sent to Delta India to set up and operate our magnetic components factory in Pondicherry and then transferred operations to Rudrapur. I spent a year in India on this project.
- After returning to Thailand, I was plant manager for the production of our Innergie brand of mobile charging from 2009-2010
- In 2018, I was part of the team sent to find a location and set up our Delta Myanmar factory
- I became a representative of Delta Thailand management to create our Employee Relations department that organizes activities and supervises our CSR and Welfare committees
Like many Delta veterans, you got a lot of growth opportunities and responsibility from our leaders. How did you arrive at your current role at Delta Thailand?
For the past 10 years, I have been in charge of Delta Thailand’s “support functions” which include our Facility, Energy Management, Safety, System Integration (ISO), Warehouse, Productivity Improvement Team (PIT) and Vendor Quality Assurance (VQA) teams. However, three years ago, the PIT, Warehouse and VQA teams transferred to our manufacturing operations.
During this period, I’m especially proud of our team’s achievement in many company goals including:
- In 2011, Delta became the 1st company in Thailand to obtain the ISO 50001 certificate
- Over the past 7 years, Delta has won two ASEAN Energy Awards and 11 Thailand Energy Awards
- Since 2015, I have represented Delta to work with the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Organization (TGO) to set rules and targets for the reduction of GHG emissions
- Start of the feasibility study and implementation of Delta solar rooftop project for all our buildings in Thailand reaching 6.7 MWp and targeting 10 MWp by 2023
- Renovation of the existing DET5 building and design of the new DET7 building to get Leadership Energy Environment Design (LEED) Gold certification as green buildings
- In 2020, I joined as a leader in the DET COVID-19 committee
You have a very broad work scope over Facility, Safety and Energy Management operations in five Delta Thailand plants. What are the most challenging parts of your work, and how do to lead your teams in continuous improvement of our green operations?
The most challenging part of my job is that I must centralize management processes and find out how to put the right person to work at each Delta location. Each team and individual at every location may have a very different personal background and teamwork culture. So I must always ask myself the question: How can I deliver messages effectively to each member?
As for how I find the best way to lead my teams, I have a four-step process:
- Education: Teach people the skills they need for the job
- Just do it: Let people learn through experience
- Evaluation: Always share feedback and look for ways to improve together
- Deployment: Give your people authority and increase their responsibility
What are some key ways your teams are supporting everyone’s safety and our continuous operations during COVID-19 and during other emergencies like flooding?
A key way I support my teams is to support their positive mindset and inspire them to take action. Luckily, most of my people have a strong mentality so they can easily conduct operations together as a team to solve all sorts of situations.
They have done a very good job to support Delta in many actions such as COVID-19 support, flood response and recovery of our company property. Once the situation improves, we come back from the site and I gather everyone together to brainstorm, go over our contingency and make action plans to provide even better support for our company in the future.
We all want to fulfill our mission and help make our company and Thailand more sustainable. What does “Sustainability” mean to you and your teams?
Sustainability for me and my team means that we are capable of continuously providing value. That’s why we ask ourselves: How can we maintain the good parts of our operations so Delta can survive and develop better and better each day?
If we look at my organizational job function, I would say it is the processes or projects that support our continued excellence in service to employees, our organization, suppliers and customers. This leads to stakeholder satisfaction that we must maintain and have continual improvement in each day.
At the end of the day, if our work is appreciated and we always think about how to better support our organization then it means that we provide lasting value and this is how we help Delta be sustainable.
At Delta, energy efficiency is our mission. How can we all get involved to improve energy efficiency in our work and contribute to our green goals?
Delta Thailand is the first organization to get the ISO50001 in Thailand under an SOP that includes everyone at DET. This means:
- Policy agreement from the company President to implement energy training
- Energy management organization
- Planning energy efficiency execution in every function such as:
- RD design requirements to Energy 80+
- Logistic management to reduce CO2 emissions from transportation by control of inbound/outbound operations
- Buyers only procuring green material
- Production implementing improvements such as solar energy usage, burn-in energy recycle system, toilet water-free system
- Employees taking actions such as turning off computers/lights after work
- Review of all activities related to energy efficiency on all functions at DET
Delta Thailand has an RE35 target for 2025 and RE100 by 2030. What are the strategy and key steps the DET Energy Management team is taking to reach these ambitious goals?
Renewable energy is energy that comes from the earth’s natural resources that are not finite or exhaustible. This includes sunlight, wind and hydropower. Delta has set global a target to use renewable energy 100% by 2030 (RE100) and 35% (RE35) by 2025 for Delta Thailand.
This is a very challenging mission for our DET Energy Management team. We have to find a variety of renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuel-based energy but the majority of what is available in Thailand now is only what we generate from our solar rooftop. However, at 6.7 MWp or just 10% of our usage, this is only viable in the short term so we have also registered to buy International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-REC) to cover another 25% to reach the first RE35 target (1 REC = 1 MWh) in 2025.
At the same time, we are working closely with the government and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to work out a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) to buy directly from renewable energy production suppliers.
You have a lot of talented people of all ages in your teams. How do you help empower your people and build up the next-gen talents for a sustainable Delta?
Yes, my teams have a lot of talented people of all age groups. Fortunately, my supporting managers and supervisors have worked with departments in every function at Delta so we can see who is successful in their job and has a good character.
This experience is very useful for us when learning about how to best foster individuals and also learn how to lead teams in our support job function ourselves. I organize my teams by setting up a growth environment where our new talents can learn from the experience of seniors via one-on-one sharing. This is our buddy system concept.
I also actively practice the coaching concept and let everyone follow defined KPI and SOP themselves with guidance.
What is the future for Delta Thailand’s sustainability? Can you share with us any exciting projects you are involved in that will make Delta a safer and more efficient workplace?
Delta is now constructing two new sites in Thailand. Our new automotive factory and an R&D center will be completed in the next few years which is a big challenge for our support teams in each job function.
In addition, our Energy Management team still has a lot of work to fully set up our building automation solutions at each of our plants and implement the 100% use of renewable energy for our RE100 that we mentioned previously.
What do you enjoy besides work? Do you have any tips for a good work-life balance?
My personal goal is to enjoy everything in life. Besides work, I get the same enjoyment from doing other things such as playing sports, playing guitar, planning trips and traveling on the weekend.
My tip for a good work-life balance is to invest in good relationships. Because I think that good relations can make everything get done better in both work and personal life.
If you just want to build up your own reputation as an executive, you will find out that it’s no fun being a boss. Instead, it’s important to balance your mindset and help other people succeed too as a leader.
As a leader, you can change the word “difficult work” to “challenge”. You can also change the word “crisis” to “opportunity”. In our work, we can all turn “fatigue” to become “friendship and teamwork.” The choice is ours!
Finally, is there anything you would like to share with your Delta colleagues around the world?
I have nothing more to add:). I just want to say: I love Delta and I am proud to be here and participate in actions with our management team.
About the Author (Editorial Team)
If content is king, there must be a kingmaker. And the universal theme in my favorite stories is our innate human desire for freedom. I have a master’s degree in Chinese education and experience spanning industries and countries. As the Comms guy at DET, I’m obsessed with the stories behind our products and people. Share your stories with me @https://www.linkedin.com/in/yushi-david-nakayama/