Strategic Alliance-–Whirlpool Corporation and Inland Steel

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 10

Words: 275

Pages: 2

Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 09/11/2016 12:12 PM

Report This Essay

Faced with intense competition, increasing expectations from customers, reduced product life cycles, and localized geographic markets, Whirlpool Corporation (a Fortune 500 manufacturer of appliances) realized that the need to achieve a competitive advantage from its sourcing and material efforts was greater than ever. Part of the strategy to achieve this advantage involved pursuing an alliance with a key steel supplier. Steel is a major component used across all of the company’s finished products (such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and others). The purchasing managers at Whirlpool faced a number of questions with regard to their purchasing strategy:

• What do we need to do to be competitive?

• Who is best suited to be the primary steel supplier?

• What do we need to know, and how do we get the information required to answer this question, especially with regard to our organizational culture, technological roadmap, and where both organizations are moving in the long term?

• How do we implement a strategic alliance?

• How do we establish a strategic alliance in terms of confidentiality agreements, termination agreements, and negotiation strategies?

• How do we provide the supplier with evaluations to ensure that this alliance continues, with regard to continuous performance, goal achievement, and commitment?

• What do we do if we do not meet our objectives—change the situation or simply terminate the agreement?

Whirlpool realized it needed to reduce the number of steel suppliers it used and locate a supplier with a common desire to enter into a longer-term alliance. Whirlpool’s organizational goals were to leverage the selected supplier’s technical capabilities through early supplier involvement, day-to-day redesign support, and process improvement. At the same time, top