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Whirpool Operations

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This project explains the various initiatives on operations management taken up by Whirlpool..

As Whirlpool grew in size it had restructured its supply chain ,the project gives a detailed description of the procurement initiatives taken by it , a move towards global platform, It also explains the reasons behind the company changing its manufacturing strategy from a 'push' system to a 'pull' system and further to a 'hybrid push/pull' system, and use of third party logistics so that it could concentrate on key processes . E-initiatives taken up by Whirlpool



1) Analyze the adoption of current supply chain strategies and the reason for there initiation

About company: The U.S. appliance industry has currently 3 dominant companies, Whirlpool, General Electric, and Electrolux, producing full lines of major household appliances - cooking, refrigeration, and laundry


In the late 1980's whirlpool recognized the need to look for growth beyond the mature and highly competitive U.S. market. Whirlpool began a series of acquisitions that would give the company the scale and resources to participate in global markets. It has positioned itself in 14 countries,4 continents ,170 global markets, leveraging the advantages would become a critical objective for the company in the mid to late 1990s

Initiatives taken by whirlpool: The company started restructuring in 1990's when these initiatives are fully implemented it will help the company reduce structural cost by more than 200 million dollars a year. Whirlpool had success in refocusing a number of its key functions to the global approach, Procurement was the first function to go global, followed by technology and product development, which has led to the significant savings from efficiencies, the global focus has helped reduce the number of regional manufacturing platforms worldwide which has led to the development of truly global platforms - products that share common parts and technologies, but offer unique and innovative features and designs that appeal to regional consumer preferences.


Because of its presence in 170 global markets and due to its scale of operation,whirpool is a very attractive customer for its suppliers ,partnering with whirlpool gives the suppliers an opportunity to sell globally it also gives them efficiency in there operations

The benefits of procurement are so important to Whirlpool, Each time it makes an new acquisition, it begins restructuring its global platform again in terms of procurement. The integration process focuses on changes that need to be made based on how the new business operates.

the purchasing group at Whirlpool is reorganizing to deliver best-value materials to regional assembly plants. That will be done by means of find the best providers from the various choices available to handle competitive cost and best quality and delivery orders,"

Global supplier development strategy that:

Ð'* Continuously improves cost-effective internal supply management systems.

Ð'* Searches the world for the bestÐ'--that is, world-classÐ'--suppliers of commodities, components and services. ("The company recognizes that the supply base isn't staticÐ'--it's constantly evolving," Armes says. "There is room for new participants.")

Ð'* Develops a manageable number of suppliers (the total is already down 50% from four years ago).

Ð'* Implements supplier continuous improvement systems, upgrades supply performance, and replaces suppliers that still don't perform to expectations after counseling.

Ð'* Involves suppliers in the company's Operation Excellence program (OPEX), a Six Sigma-styled program, where buyersÐ'--and then suppliersÐ'--are trained on the best ways to reduce costs and improve quality of purchased materials.

Ð'* Operates cross-functional (procurement, manufacturing, technology and marketing) teams running value engineering and value analysis programs to improve existing materials and prepare for new materials of the future.

Ð'* Works with top-tier suppliers to develop innovative supply chain technologies.

Ð'* Puts top-tier suppliers in the lead when implementing cost and cycle time reductions and quality improvements.

Whirlpool Corporation Honors Top U.S. Suppliers with supplier performance award every year, of the approximately 700 U.S. suppliers Whirlpool worked with in 2005, 17 were recognized for outstanding performance. These suppliers were judged primarily on quality of their goods/services, total cost productivity and material management

Product Development for Global Markets

Different consumer needs and preferences. For example, in Europe refrigerators tend to be smaller than in the U.S., have only one outside door, and have standard sizes so they can be built into the kitchen cabinet. In Japan, refrigerators tend to have several doors in order to keep different compartments at different temperatures and to isolate odors. Also, because houses are smaller in Japan, consumers desire quieter appliances.

The goal of whirlpool in global product development is to evolve quickly from regional platforms to a global platform, while ensuring that they meet the unique needs of consumers in all the diverse markets they serve, Through a transfer of technology and knowledge around the globe - the product reaches the marketplace faster

Whirlpools global product development structure and process allow it to rapidly migrate innovative consumer solutions from one part of the world to another,

Before the globalization of product development took place there were multiple platforms in each product category, multiple technologies with wide performance variations, significant technical resources to keep all of these platforms going and long and costly product development Global product development cuts our engineering costs considerably and, in the end,



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