Whirlpool%20Cleans%20Up%20Its%20Delivery%20Act-Inv -...

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Whirlpool Cleans Up Its Delivery Act OCKBOURNE, Ohio -- After raw materials, distribution is one of the biggest single costs at Whirlpool Corp., which needs to get bulky products like dishwashers and clothes dryers from factories to customers quickly. But when Brian Hancock took over as vice president of Whirlpool's supply chain in 2005, the company's system was a hodgepodge of warehouses, transport depots and factory- distribution centers. Retailers often had to wait five to 10 days to get new washing machines or other appliances. Whirlpool's new regional distribution center in Lockbourne, Ohio, stretches more than half a mile end to end . Mr. Hancock undertook a four-year, $600 million program to build a state-of-the-art distribution system from scratch. The effort took on greater dimensions after the company acquired Maytag Corp. in 2006. And Whirlpool ended up with too much capacity as its sales tumbled amid the recession. But the effort is already producing results, allowing Whirlpool to reduce its annual inventory by about $250 million a year and to deliver products in 48 to 72 hours.
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Whirlpool is also saving about $100 million a year because of improved efficiency, the company says, a big boost for its efforts to trim costs during the economic slowdown. Whirlpool's logistics makeover shows how a recession can leave the biggest, best capitalized companies better positioned than ever to scoop up both market share and profits as the economy rebounds. Indeed, "there's no better time to invest than now when perhaps some of your competitors aren't," says Tim Hanley, vice chairman and U.S. process and industrial products leader At Whirlpool, where sales have fallen about 20% in the past year, the logistics revamp is
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2012 for the course MGT 3200 taught by Professor Moodie during the Spring '08 term at Kennesaw.

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Whirlpool%20Cleans%20Up%20Its%20Delivery%20Act-Inv -...

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