Tervis Employee Spotlight: Mouky Khamphilapanyo

If you ever get the chance to meet Moukmany Khamphilapanyo, “Mouky” to her friends and co-workers, she’ll put you at ease immediately. An infectious smile, attentive eyes and genuine friendliness mask the driven type-A personality that fuels her success as a Product Manager at Tervis. She has spent her first year here turning great ideas into awesome Tervis products.

With an ever-growing product line, Mouky’s days are never the same twice. She juggles meetings with the engineering, design, supply chain, marketing and line teams, and deftly manages project schedules, sudden changes, redirects and patents.

Each new Tervis product or accessory follows the same path from idea to production. Listening to her describe that path — complete with sign-offs, start-overs, a little change there, a new name there — you can’t help but think of Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill.” And just like that cartoon, not all ideas go through every step. Some are scrapped. Some are tweaked. But the really good ideas have a way of finding their way through the maze of steps from idea to design, to production to sale, with customer feedback every step of the way.

In any major project, setbacks are bound to happen – but Mouky finds the positive and says it strengthens the team’s resolve, helps refine previous steps and reiterates the importance of flexibility and adaptability in the process. Change ultimately improves the product — and ultimately helps Tervis evolve and remain a leader in the marketplace.

Never short on ideas and product suggestions, Mouky is candid and doesn’t hesitate when asked what she thinks is the wildest idea she has seen.

“The original design,” she said. “They put a cup in a cup!”

She quickly adds that the goblet design is pretty unique too.

“Customers love it.”

That’s Mouky’s favorite part of her job. Sure, the creative part is exciting, but the payoff for her team is customer satisfaction.

Her team tries to figure out what customers want before they know they want it. It’s essential to identify trends and product line opportunities by paying attention to the market as well as customer feedback and suggestions, which are culled from submissions and the expert consumer panels held throughout the entire development process.

Mouky hints that there may or may not be some of these “opportunities” seeing the light of day in the near future. But like a proud parent, she’s protective about upcoming products and accessories that may be available in the near future. When pressed for a hint of what will be on Tervis shelves soon, she smiles and says only that it fills a need and has been a popular requested addition.

This is proof that customer input is an integral part of the product development process, every step of the way. Tervis wants to know what you are looking for. Customers are eager to send their ideas through Facebook, Twitter, online chats, product reviews, emails and phone calls. Mouky says, “If they want to reach us, they’ll get through,” but adds that the best way to get your “voice” heard is to submit your ideas via this form on our website.

As she keeps busy juggling meetings, customer panels and going through customer input, organization is paramount — even when choosing which Tervis she’s drinking from. She has three on her desk; one for hot drinks, one for cold drinks and also a water bottle.

Before adjourning to attend yet another meeting, Mouky channels her inner Dory and shares some wisdom: “Just keep swimming.” That’s great advice from someone who always dives headfirst into her job.

– P.J. Butland