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Upon internal evaluation, Whirlpool adopted some steps to implement its supply turnaround strategy. The first step for the approach was to understand the needs of the customers (Slone, 116). In this stage, the company was to familiarize itself with the customer's requirement as they are the determinant of the company's existence. The challenge likely to affect the step is the inability to implement integrity in the delivery process efficiently.
The second phase incorporates identification of the priorities of the trade partners (Slone, 117). The step requires Whirlpool to identify the needs and the preferences of its direct customers. The stage is prone to the challenges of additional costs like after sales services costs as well as costs related to assisting the customers in dealing with inventories.
The third step is the competition benchmarking which entails comparing Whirlpool with its immediate competitors. Competitors influence a company's consumers' views and expectations and, thus, require close attention. The challenges in this step include insufficient funds necessary to offset the high competition and the limitations of getting the company to a world-class level.
The last step requires Whirlpool structuring in favor of its future endeavours (Slone, 117). As such, the company predicts its future operating situations regarding the industry, technology, and economic shifts. The challenge is this step is the uncertainties that influence what was earlier planned for the future.
In the third step, Whirlpool discovered 27 dimensions upon which customers judged its performance. Some of the dimensions I can speculate include assurance, reliability, empathy, responsiveness, courtesy, communication, competence, credibility, access, understanding, security, features/tangibles, conformity, service delivery, and quality.
Concerning the future and challenges the company might face, I concur with the author on the projected future challenges in the supply chain. From 2004, when the paper was published, to today there has been a tremendous influx of companies engaged in supply chain making competition stiffer in the industry. Further, advanced technologies have been put in place in the supply chain industries with numerous shifting in the channel powers (Slone, 121). Therefore, I van evident conclude that Whirlpool made viable future predictions.
Slone, Reuben E., “Leading a Supply Chain Turnaround,” Harvard Business Review, Vol. 82, Issue 10, October 2004, p 114-121
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