The evolution of a major appliance manufacturer in the world

Operations at Whirlpool

The evolution of a major appliance manufacturer in the world

This case discusses the operations management processes adopted by Whirlpool. The case begins with a detailed description of the history of Whirlpool. It describes how Whirlpool grew from being a small firm manufacturing wringer washers in 1911, to becoming one of the most well-established brands in the world appliance market by the early-2000s. The case explains the various initiatives on operations management taken up by Whirlpool. 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. The case then gives a detailed description of the e-initiatives taken up by Whirlpool. By 1999, Whirlpool started using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) as a part of its supply chain initiative, in order to cut down on expenses. In September 2002, it decided to leverage on the e-commerce boom and launched an online sales program called e-Partner. Whirlpool also decided to outsource some of its logistics activities to third parties so that it could concentrate on its key processes.

Issues:

» The evolution of a major appliance manufacturer in the world

» Analyze the operations of an appliance manufacturing company and the reasons for their initiation

 

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