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Brief Background Of The Company
Whirlpool Corporation, one of the world’s leading home appliances manufactures, prides in its variety of different products in its market niche. Dealing with home appliances, the whirlpool corporation recorded an annual sale of $19 billion in the year 2011 alone (Kindel 49). It has an employee network of about 68,000 employees and has around 66 manufacturing and technology research centers (Oster and Rossant 98).
The company began as a partnership between three brothers Louis, Frederick, and Emory. The three, commonly referred as the Upton Brothers’ greatest and first invention was the motor-driven wringer washers. This product overwhelmed their market and the demand was far beyond their production capacity. It was at this point that the brothers decided to join hands with another company The Sears, Roebuck and Company in 1916 (Kindel 46).
Through research and development endeavors, the whirlpool corporation has championed the water efficiency measures and has continually worked very closely with the U.S. department of energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star (Kindel 46).
Some of the corporation’s achievements include becoming an Energy Star seven times. The company offers a wide range of products under a number of different brand names such as the Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, and Bauknecht among other major brands.
Problems Or Issues The Firm Encounters
One of the major challenges that the whirlpool corporation encounters in the market is innovation resistance. Due to the long-term nature of innovation, consumers are less interested in new products or improvements mainly because it is an interruption to already existing established routines. Consumers get used to a particular product and it becomes a problem to convince them to change to a different outfit altogether.
Innovation resistance can be due to two main factors, which are the degree of change or discontinuity with regard to the change, and the extent of conflict between the innovation and consumer belief structure (Oster and Rossant 98). Another challenge that the corporation have been dealing with is the issue of quality and efficiency. Whirlpool products have had its share of consumer complaints with regard to the standard of performance.
Electronic malfunction is a major setback on the corporation’s reputation and can cause unimaginable damage to its market share globally. Most of the issues raised by consumers are related to company’s response to consumers complains.
The company is mainly involved in the production of basic home appliances and other related products (Kindel 49). It operates mainly in Europe, America, Latin America, and Asia but the headquarters is in Benton Harbor Michigan. It maximizes its profits through careful reduction of operating cost a strategy that has been successful over the years. The organizational culture also has helped the company to achieve greater success and has positively had an impact on its performance.
The company’s commitment to produce environmental friendly products gives it a cutting edge and enhances its reputation in the global market. The company practices a market driven strategy aimed at gaining competitive advantage backed by its global presence in most of the regional markets (Kindel 49). The company’s market mix differs from country to country since every region has unique preferences according to environmental, custom, and economic influence.
The company acquired the right to distribute materials involved in the production of appliances in all the production facilities (Kindel 49). This gives the company a competitive and influential position in the appliance industry as both a manufacturer and a raw material supplier to other players in the market. The strength of the company includes their capacity to innovate and create new production concepts identified through their market research (Benway 33).
This translates to consumer satisfaction in the end by addressing consumer’s needs specifically as well as having environmental friendly products. The company has the ability through its resource base and organizational infrastructure to focus on the highly profitable products and features (Benway 33).
Ethics And Sustainability Issues
The whirlpool corporation has a long-term commitment to conserve the environment by establishing best practices to the same effect. Environmental protection and natural resource efficiency are at the core of the company’s commitment (Oster and Rossant 99). The company endeavors concentrate on creating high performance products that help in the conservation of the earth’s recourses.
Their products aim at giving the consumer the advantage of utilizing and exhausting resources more efficiently. Whirlpool Corporation undertakes researches to identify to what extend does their business influence environmental degradation. With such information, it strives to ensure that the damage caused by their products is at the lowest level of influence possible through innovations.
The company has received global recognition owing to its commitment to social and environmental performance (Oster and Rossant 100). The company’s code of ethics, which requires every worker to maintain the heist level of personal, business, and legal conduct, contributes greatly in the excellent performance.
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With the growth and success of Whirlpool Corporation, the opportunity is not fully exhausted with regard to its major markets especially in Europe, North America, and Asia. The company should put more efforts in these regions to maintain their market and maximize their profit.
Nonetheless, there is also need for the company to consider emerging markets in the African continent. Investing in new markets will not only increase its market share and financial proceeds, but will also support their globalization strategy (Benway 34). This will go a long way in absorbing the current pressure influenced by competitors. The company has an upper hand already as it has the infrastructure to spread wings into new markets as opposed to some competing parties in the market.
To keep the company on top in the market, the management must respond positively and effectively to consumer complaints and seal all the loopholes that may taint a bad image on the company’s credibility. In addition to that, the company’s reputation is on consumer-based production. Research on the particular needs of consumers and addressing these needs in vital for the company.
As discussed in this paper, the whirlpool company is a global enterprise and a reputable home appliances company. Consumer confidence in its products is admirable and these have enabled the company to get a global recognition. This paper has outlined a few problems that the company is facing in the midst of its operation. Above also is a brief history of the company and its growth over the years.
One thing that is striking about the whirlpool corporation is the ethics and sustainability strategies laid out. The company’s efforts to help communities exhaustively utilize the available resources and its commitment to conserve the environment are clear in this research paper.
Oster, Patrick, and John Rossant. “Call It World pool.” Business Week. 1.1 (1994): 98-110. Print.
Benway, Susan Duffy. “Giving Growth a Tumble: Whirlpool Pushes Expansion,” Barron’s. 15.1 (1986): 32-35. Print.
Kindel, Stephen. “World Washer: Why Whirlpool Leads in Appliances, Not Some Japanese Outfit.” Financial World. 4.2 (1990): 42-50. Print.