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WHIRLPOOL Whirlpool, right from its inception in 1911 as first commercial manufacturer of motorized washers to the current market

position of being world's number one manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, has always set industry milestones and benchmarks. The parent company is headquartered at Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA with a global presence in over 170 countries and manufacturing operation in 13 countries with 11 major brand names such as Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Roper, Estate, Bauknecht, Laden and Ignis. The company boasts of resources and capabilities beyond achievable feat of any other in the industry. Whirlpool initiated its international expansion in 1958 by entering Brazil. However, it emerged as truly global leader in the1980's. This encouraging trend brought the company to India in the late 1980s. It forayed into the market under a joint venture with TVS group and established the first Whirlpool manufacturing facility in Pondicherry. Soon Whirlpool acquired Kelvinator India Limited in 1995 and marked an entry into Indian refrigerator market as well. The same year also saw acquisition of major share in TVS joint venture and later in 1996, Kelvinator and TVS acquisitions were merged to create Indian home appliance leader of the future, Whirlpool India. This expanded the company's portfolio in the Indian subcontinent to washing machines, refrigerator, microwave ovens and air conditioners. Today, Whirlpool is the most recognized brand in home appliances in India and holds a market share of over 25%. The company owns three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Faridabad, Pondicherry and Pune. Each of these manufacturing set-ups features an infrastructure that is witness of Whirlpool's commitment to consumer interests and advanced technology. In the year ending in March '09, the annual turnover of the company for its Indian enterprise was Rs.1,719 Crores. The company's brand and image speaks of its commitment to the homemaker from every aspect of its functioning. It has derived its functioning principles out of an undaunted partnership with the homemakers and thus a slogan of You and whirlpool, the world's best homemaker dots its promotional campaigns. The products are engineered to suit the requirements of smart, confident and in-control' homemaker who knows what she wants. The product range is designed in a way that it employs unique technology and offers consumer relevant solutions. Core Competencies: Innovation: Unique and compelling solutions valued by our customers and aligned to our brands create competitive advantage and differentiated shareholder value. Operational Excellence (OPEX): A methodology for solving problems & continuous improvement of products & processes through pursuit, acquisition, and utilization of knowledge using critical thought and planned experimentation helps us achieve operational excellence. Customer Excellence: Excelling the customer expectation from the company, its brands, products and services are a three-step process. The three steps are: Know a customer, Be a customer, Serve a customer. Knowing a customer helps us know who our customers are, how to treat them, how we add value, and what the drivers of brand loyalty are. This information is gathered from the customer's data base history. This way we are better able to customize products for them and recommend the right product to solve problems. Being a customer is important to share customer knowledge and insights, drive actions based on customer insights, be passionate about our brands and customer loyalty and provide a positive voice for our brands. We show empathy for customers and seek to resolve their problems by creating consistent customer touch-points, with our endeavor always being to provide unique solutions for the customer. Vision and Mission: Our pervasive vision, Every Home, everywhere, with pride, passion and performance, rests on the pillars of innovation, operational excellence, customer-centric approach and diversified talent. These are embedded within our business goals, strategy, processes and work culture. Be it our products that are the result of innovation and operational excellence to meet every need of our consumers or the people behind these products that come from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, everything we do features a distinct Whirlpool way

Products

Clothes washers and dryers,refrigerators, freezers,dishwashers, ranges,compactors, air conditioners,microwave ovens, counter top appliances.

Whirlpool's Customer Service Strategy: Know What Makes Your Customers Mad
Share Today is the first day of Frost & Sullivan's Customer Contact East conference, where contact center executives and customer relationship experts converge. This morning, Lynn Holmgren, national director of Whirlpool's customer care operations, shared some of her experiences. Her theme was to know your customers and understand their satisfaction threshold. She called it the "customer pissometer." "What will make your customers mad," she asked the audience. Obviously, it's different for every company. At Whirlpool, she says that customers don't mind waiting up to a minute to get to a live agent on the phone, as long as their situation is resolved in the first call. Holmgren also knows that transfers between departments and multiple technician visits edge the "pissometer" up the spectrum. By understanding a customer's satisfaction threshold, a company can balance a positive customer experience by keeping efficiency and effectiveness. She does recommend, however, that these interactions all have a compound effect, so understanding a customer's interaction history goes a long way to keep the meter reading low. In another example, Holmgren explained that many people call into Whirlpool's customer care center with reports of a broken appliance. Their description of the problem usually involves the customer's best impression of how the broken washing machine or dishwasher sounds. So Whirlpool worked with RightNow to add an FAQ and sound bites to its website so customers could match their noises to a particular problem and identify it. "A positive customer care experience leads to a higher likelihood of customers engaging in loyalty behaviors," she said. On a related note, Holmgren discusses Whirlpool's Customer Bill of Rights, employee empowerment, and its Gold Ring Promise in the Spring 2009 issue of 1to1 Magazine.

Whirlpool to alter its India biz strategy


ET Bureau Aug 13, 2009, 11.04pm IST

KOLKATA: Having weathered the downturn with success, Whirlpool of India has decided to completely alter its business strategy for the fiscal. The Indian arm of the world's leading home appliances maker, the $19-billion Whirlpool Corp of US, plans to increase its investment on product development, marketing, sales and service infrastructure. Towards this, Whirlpool plans to invest around Rs 300 crore in India over the next 3 years. The Rs 2,100 crore company has also revised upward its revenue growth from 15% to more than 20% for this fiscal. Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Whirlpool of India vice president (corporate affairs and strategy) Shantanu Das Gupta said the company wants to ensure that it can drive growth now that the market and consumer sentiments are improving. "For the last one year, our focus was on cost-control and maximising margins. We lowered our marketing investment and there was a total freeze on recruitment. The strategy no doubt worked for us. We generated Rs 100 crore cash surplus in the first quarter of this year, improved our profit and cleared our debt. Now is the time to change our strategy to drive both revenue and profit," said Mr Das Gupta. While Whirlpool of India grew its revenue by 6% in 2008-09, sales went up by 7% in April, 15% in May and touched 30% growth rate in June and July. "In fact, we are hopeful to achieve 40% growth rate in the ensuing festive season (September-November) and garner around Rs 450 crore cumulative revenue in this period," Mr Das Gupta said.

The company is betting on refrigerators, washing machines, water purifiers and built-in kitchen segments to grow in the market. "We are aspiring for market leadership status in the Indian market in these product segments. Currently, we are either in the number two or three positions and enjoy leadership in direct cool refrigerator," said Mr Das Gupta. Whirlpool of India enjoys 22% share in refrigerator, 15% in washing machine, 8% in microwave oven and 4% in AC. "We will roll out a new line of refrigerators, microwave oven and washing machines. This apart, we will also foray into side-by-side and three-door refrigerator segments," Mr Das Gupta said.