Whirlpool Case Study

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Study Centre: Darlinghurst, Sydney

ITC501 Strategic Information Management
(Faculty of Business)
Spring Session 2009

Subject Lecturer:
Sanjay Jha

Assessment Item 2
(Due 2nd November 2009)

By Samer Krim

Executive summary3
Inputs into information systems3
How IT can affect industry attractiveness?4
The threats of new entrants4
The bargaining power of customers5
The bargaining power of supplier5
The threat of substitute products5
Competitive rivalry between companies of the same manufacturing industry6 Value Chain Analysis6
Product life cycle8
Boston Box Portfolio Analysis8
The Star8
The Wild Cat9
The Cash Cow10
The Dog10
McFarlan’s matrix10
Suggested generic management strategies as per Parsons12
Centrally planned13
Leading edge13
Free market13
Scarce resources14
Necessary evil14
Alignment with assignment 114

Executive summary

Previously we have discussed different aspect of Whirlpool Corporation in regards to its background and history and went into depth with its SWOT analysis, competitive advantage and so forth… The previous aspects discussed the mission statement and the managerial approaches taken by the organization without much regards into the role of Information Systems in the whole scenario. In this paper we will be discussing the involvement of IS in Whirlpool and the way it has affected its current and future processes. We will discuss how the IS department of Whirlpool with its in-sourced and outsourced activities and its partnership with SAP, enables the implementation of its global vision. Porters five questions of industry attractiveness will also be introduced with their relevance to IS and management and how IS plays a role in each of them. The value chain of Whirlpool will be presented with its different section relating to the company’s operations and whenever possible the role of IS in them. The Boston Box portfolio will be interpreting how Whirlpool IS activities are involved in innovation, future growth and sustainability and the stages in which a Whirlpool product life cycle goes through. McFarlan’s matrix will constitute an important section of this report, defining the situation in the way it is and the suggested generic management strategies by Parsons. The main point of this paper is that the leveraging of new and existing systems in the IS portfolio, we overhaul the IT infrastructure to be a potential for more capabilities and functionalities that come to light with not much additional costs. We will finally align the outcomes of this paper with the ones from the previous assignment and come up with recommendations towards the conclusion.

Inputs into information systems

What Whirlpool has done was to make a partnership with SAP and adapt one of its products, the SAP NetWeaver to be the core set of applications behind its operations across its different business stages. In other words they have integrated SAP processes to achieve new efficiencies throughout its entire supply chain. The applications provided Whirlpool the ability to do faster and more accurate processing on a global scale, such as product taxonomy, standardized metrics across different countries, in an environment where Whirlpool’s business transaction are going global as globalization itself emerges and Whirlpool’s mission to globalize itself as the world’s leader in appliance manufacturing as well. The benefits that Whirlpool had from this were that it acquired faster product development cycles, better allocation of trade partner incentives, the sharing of the best business practices across different geographical areas and the focus on the most profitable products. Whirlpool has developed a strategy in its IS vision where it can put information and...
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