Chauna Grigsby, 44
Director of U.S. and Canada shared services in the global business services group, Lear Corp.
Big break: Becoming a plant controller
Seating and electronics systems supplier Lear Corp. deals with dozens of parts makers as it pumps out products such as seats and wire harnesses to automakers.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, auto industry production has been hampered as the industry experienced challenges ranging from raw materials shortages and logistics snags to labor woes — all critical areas that could impact the financial health of suppliers.
That’s where Chauna Grigsby stepped in.
Grigsby, who was tasked with supplier risk management in her role as director of purchasing finance for Lear’s seating division in North America, helped create a new dashboard tool with a third party that features key financial health indicators for the companies in Lear’s supply chain.
The tool, first used by Lear’s e-systems division and later its seating division, has led to Lear more quickly learning about supplier issues, Grigsby said. For example, the finance team now gets an email alert when there is news about a supplier, she said.
The dashboard also has been used to help prioritize which suppliers it should focus on first, Grigsby said.
“We have had an opportunity to be more proactive and maybe reach out, where before maybe it would take a little bit longer for the information to kind of trickle in,” she said.
Grigsby led talks during the pandemic with nearly 100 of Lear’s most critical suppliers about their financial health — information that Lear used to help reduce risk or hurdles faced in delivering products to customers.
She began working for Lear 19 years ago as a financial analyst. In June, she was promoted to director of U.S. and Canada shared services in Lear’s global business services team, where she oversees payroll processing, accounts payable and accounts receivable for all Lear locations in the U.S and Canada, covering more than 10,000 employees.
Grigsby said her big career break came in 2006 when she worked as an analyst in Lear’s seating division. She was named controller at an e-systems plant where she was tasked to make sure all departments and teams worked together to hit company financial targets.
“This was an opportunity to get into the plant and learn the product and the people that are making a product and the different stages and the customers,” she said. “It kind of helped put a lot more of the pieces together versus just seeing it from a corporate perspective.”
For Grigsby, her current position marks a return to the same Lear group in which she was accounts payable manager in 2010.
“To come back 11 years later and have the responsibility for the whole team, I’m pretty proud of that,” she said.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story misidentified one of Lear's business lines.
— Melissa Burden