Nothing stops Christina DeKoning. "I constantly challenge myself and those around me, asking, ‘Can we do this better or smarter?'" she says. That drive for excellence has propelled her into a variety of roles at Northrop Grumman, including her current job as leader of the Global Supply Chain organization's supply chain affordability inititaives. "Her work ethic, and dedication to success are evident in everything she does," says nominator Corey Moore.
DeKoning serves as liaison between Northrop Grumman's manufacturing programs and its Global Supply Chain organization, leading efforts to drive down costs. "I work with all the functions within the supply chain—subcontracts, procurement, goods movement, logistics, and planning," she says.
In the quest for greater affordability, DeKoning focuses not just on one-on-one supplier relationships, but also on broader strategy. For instance, she created an annual event called the Supplier Sustainment Affordability Summit, where major vendors discuss ways to cut costs while still delivering superior products. "For example, if we find an opportunity with one supplier, we ask if we can apply it to others," she says.
One highlight of DeKoning's career to date was the project that won her Northrop Grumman's Timely Award Plan Certificate. DeKoning's assignment started when the company secured an important contract with a customer. DeKoning spent nearly three years getting everything in line with suppliers to support that product. "We were under significant pressure to meet our deadline," she recalls. "The project involved months of travel and living on-site, working through the challenges with various companies. But, we got it done, and I flew home two days before Christmas."
She returned exhausted, but also triumphant. "The customer was happy. The company was happy. And all the stakeholders involved were ecstatic," she says. "It was an all-hands-on-deck job, and we got it done."
DeKoning brings the same high energy to her personal life. She works out and recently ran a half marathon. "But my real passion outside of work is horses," she says. A rider since the age of three, she keeps horses on her property and competes in barrel races. "I've tried relaxing, but it's not really my thing," she notes.
Definitely consider a career in supply chain. "The opportunities are broad, and demand for supply chain expertise is through the roof," DeKoning says. "Professionals who understand the entire supply chain lifecycle are hard to come by."
HOMETOWN: Chino, California
ALMA MATER: California State Polytechnic University - Pomona, undergraduate; University of San Diego, MBA
CURRENT POSITION: Material Analyst, Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, San Diego, California
NOMINATED BY: Corey Moore, Vice President, Global Supply Chain Program Management, Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.
Absolutely. The opportunities are endless, and there are multiple roles and options within the field.
Yes. This profession has taught me about organizations and how they operate. A strong supply chain gives a competitive edge that is crucial in today's global economy. Companies can’t function without a supply chain.