Operations at Whirlpool

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : OPER034 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Operational Restructuring
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 1990 - 2004
Organization : Whirpool Corporation
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Consumer Appliances


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.


The evolution of a major appliance manufacturer in the world

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


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background 2
Operations at Whirlpool 4
Conclusion 8
Exhibits 10


operations management, Whirlpool, history, firm, manufacturing, wringer washers, 1911, operations management, manufacturing strategy, push system, pull system, hybrid push pull system, e-initiatives, 1999, Electronic Data Interchange, EDI, supply chain initiative, leverage, e-commerce, online sales, e-Partner, outsource, logistics activities, third parties

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