WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION – Evolution of a Supply Chain

Evolution of a Supply Chain
January 05, 2021
Author : Jessy

Lately, Whirlpool management has opened up to the customer-centric approach of improving and analyzing the supply chain and put their supply chain at par with other companies to put forward the best practices of supply and consumer satisfaction. When it comes to the leading manufactures of home appliances, Whirlpool’s name stands tall with its yearly sales hitting the benchmark of $19 billion with the support of over 80,000 employees and more than 60 research and development centers all across the globe. The innovative products of Whirlpool can be availed by the customers under the marketed names of Bauknect, Maytag, Amana, Kitchen Aid, Jean-Air, Brastemp, and many other brand names.

An effective supply chain that takes forward the company on a way of continuous development and growth becomes critical with a direct sales force in more than 170 countries with such an inventory. And, for Whirlpool logistics have always been a part of competition and an added advantage. As per the Vice President of Whirlpool J. Paul Dittmannn, one of the complex processes of business is logistics because of its cross-functional nature and the competition rises more on the global front. Supply chain and logistics have been an integral part of management studies and across the world supply chain management assignment help has been set up to ensure that students do not face a hard time in achieving good grades.

Get to know the company, Whirlpool!

WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION

The three brothers Emory Upton, Frederick, and Louis founded Whirlpool in the year 1911 and the company was then called Upton Machine Corporation with its office in St. Josephs in Michigan, USA. By the decade of 1980s, the company expanded its market in the areas of South Africa, Mexico, Europe, China, Brazil, Argentina, and India, and in the year of 1987, Whirlpool along with Sundaram-Clayton of India led to the formation of TVS Whirlpool Limited to devise washing machine or washers for the Indian Market. The company still has its headquarters in Michigan, USA, and was ranked No.1 in the list of the World’s Most Admired Companies under the category of furnishings and home devices in Fortune Magazine of 2011. In the year 2009, it was also named as Top Companies for Leader’s List which was 15th all across the globe and 9th in the entire region of North America. These facts play a major role in the assignments delivered by the students doing a case study on Whirlpool and assignment help UK takes care of it for the students.

The Take of Alison Jones, Whirlpool’s Director of Customer Fulfillment on The Supply Chain, Its Challenges, and Solutions.

Alison Jones remarks that Whirlpool had an immensely complex supply chain with product movement all across the globe and during her time of joining, the company was about to implement the strategies of World Class Manufacturing and Sales and Operations Planning. She also added that the logistics department has a good zeal and the doors were open for opportunities as well as gaps.

Let’s Have a Look at A Few of The Supply Chain Initiatives that Whirlpool and Jones Are Trying and Have Incorporated in The Organization.

Evolution of a Supply Chain

The Optimization of Whirlpool’s Supply Chain

There is no doubt to it that Whirlpool has been serving its consumers for over 106 years but the business associated with it have evolved. According to Alison Jones, now a major part of investment goes out in updating the systems and the reason behind this is to support the business model of Whirlpool. The updation of systems included the replacement of WMS which was not updated since the year 2007 with the EWM of SAP. This assisted the company in voice pick, task interleaving, and cross-docking. With the updated WMS, the appliance will also be able to timely respond to the processes like that of drop shipping. Jones remarks that they will have to be prepared and updated with what’s happening in the e-commerce market and how it can affect the well-rooted business model of Whirlpool. She added shortly the update will be to focus on and increases the home delivery of appliances.

The Evolving Technologies Are on The Line

Whirlpool has also thought of labor shortage coming their way like the other distributors and warehouses which can be highly anticipated despite like other manufacturers, Whirlpool also deals with third-party logistics providers for most of its distribution work. On this, Jones says that she could see the level of costs rising and availability of labor becoming a serious concern. For DC, Whirlpool is evolving technologies like AS/RS, voice, AGVs, and the return on storage in DC is also being evaluated. And, this has been listed as Jones's major take on the evolving technologies.

The visible challenges

The working model and the supply chain of Whirlpool are getting affected by the evolution of e-commerce and to meet the omnichannel consumers, Whirlpool should be positioned to get the needed speed and precision. This would turn to be an addition to the requirement of forecast accuracy to get ready the products for short-time deliveries. Jones remarks on this by saying that returning a refrigerator is not like returning a pair of sneakers and that they’ll have to look into this from a different angle for the improvement of the supply chain.

The bottom-line

On the wider picture, Whirlpool is looking forward to revamp its traditional business model to meet the needs of the consumers in the prevailing scenario. And, this aspect of growth is leading Whirlpool to go through the shared spaces of warehouses so that they can connect better with their consumers without spreading their distribution centers to a great number of square feet because growing the footprint individually without getting close to the people is futile. All in all, Alison Jones wanted to convey the message that Whirlpool might be a 106 years old company but it has never stopped the process of improvement and betterment when it comes to meeting the demands of their valuable consumers.

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