Whirlpool Corporation Essay

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Pages: 13

Whirlpool Corporation—Giving ERP a Spin1

Whirlpool Corporation is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of major home appliances. The company has principal manufacturing operations and marketing activities in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Whirlpool’s primary brand names—KitchenAid, Roper, Bauknecht, Ignis, Brastemp, Consul, and its global Whirlpool brand—are marketed in more than 170 countries worldwide. In North America, Whirlpool is the largest supplier of major appliances to Sears, under the Kenmore brand. This accounts for nearly 20 percent of Whirlpool’s sales. Whirlpool, which manufactures its products in 13 countries, makes about 25 percent of its sales in Europe and is concentrating on
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Whirlpool’s technicians typically handle 10 customer calls per day. The hope is that by utilizing the most efficient routes from one customer call to another, each service technician will be able to squeeze in an extra customer job each day, said Tom Mender, a senior analyst at Whirlpool’s LaPorte, Ind., parts distribution center. “Even if we can get an extra half a job a day, the [full-year] benefits are staggering,” said Mender. “Our biggest challenge has been managing the expectations of our technicians,” Mender said. Whirlpool’s service center consolidation also means it will probably need only five or six dispatchers, not the 24 it once used to support its field service centers. Downsizing “is something we’ve wrestled with from the beginning,” Mender said. By centralizing and automating its service centers, Whirlpool loses “the quirks of knowing your hometowns,” he said. Mender said the fate of its dispatchers hasn’t been decided.

Centralized Pricing

When Frigidaire Co. drops freezer prices, a flurry of faxes and FedExes fly from Whirlpool Corp.s’ offices in a fight to match those prices. But soon Whirlpool will be able to match competitors’ pricing with a few key strokes, allowing the company to react quickly to market changes or launch a special promotion for a single product. Whirlpool is implementing a centralized pricing configuration system from Trilogy Development Group, Inc. in