Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 85

Whirlpool Corporation

rates. To attract people to us, we go
through screenings and expose them
to the work they will be doing and the
environments they will be working
in. This helps them develop the skills
they need and get comfortable with
our processes."
What helps differentiate the
company is its product selection.
The company believes in producing
products that provide the best quality and value for its consumers. Keppler's team interfaces early on with
design engineers during product
development to make sure products
are manufactured well and have a
high level of craftsmanship built into
the design.
"We also look at the product attributes that are important to the
consumer, such as noise level, wash
performance and energy efficiency,"
Keppler says. "We look at those important attributes and identify the
key process parameters at a floor shop
level that can influence the product
attributes. Our goal is to make sure
our process parameters are well controlled and influence the outcomes
we want."
Optimizing its network is also
critically important. The company's
internal network engineering team
looks at how its retail customers are
changing to make sure the distribution network is set up properly.
"For example, the new distribution
center we opened we brought on in
Chicago was brought on because of
those efforts," Keppler explains.
"Our distribution is mostly done
with 3PLs, and we work with various
partners on warehousing, transportation and distribution. We also have
a common load control center for
the United States and Mexico, which
looks at all inbound materials and
makes sure we optimize our routes

Midwest

whirlpool is focused on
ensuring its processes are
controlled to ensure positive
product outcomes.

and are using the right modes of
transportation on a regional basis."

Best Foot Forward
Of course, there are challenges.
Skilled labor remains important,
which is why a blend of external
recruiting and in-house training
and apprentice programs will help
Whirlpool overcome any labor
shortages. It also knows it must continue to partner with customers to
provide them with what they need
in terms of product selection and
delivery expectations.
"We've looked at our distribution
network and made logistical enhancements to our systems to allow us to
meet expectations of our customers,"
Keppler says. "Our mantra is to deliver the promise. When we make a
promise, we expect to live up to it."
Whirlpool knows it operates in a
competitive marketplace. Many of
the company's products are big ticket,
low volume items. Consumers want
value and innovation at a great price.
The company believes that is what

it offers, and it believes a dedication
to its communities will continue to
serve it well into the future.
In fact, Whirlpool strives to become
a big part of its local and global communities. The company's employees volunteer their time and dollars
to charitable causes. The company
awards scholarships to graduating seniors in its communities. It has partnerships with organizations such as
Habitat for Humanity, United Way
and the Boys and Girls Club of America. It has also made investments into
wind turbines at its Findlay, Marion
and Ottawa facilities in Ohio. But
perhaps most importantly, Whirlpool
never abandoned America in favor of
short-term gains.
"We are very proud of the fact that
we are the only U.S. based appliance
company that has really never left the
U.S.," Keppler says. "More than 80
percent of what we sell here is made
here. U.S. manufacturing is important
to our company and our economy, we
believe that it is important to produce
where you sell around the globe." mt
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 manufacturing-today.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 4
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 5
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 6
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover4
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