Information Technology at Whirlpool
A collective reference to the combined fields of computers and information system is referred to as information technology. The used of information technology or IT has been widely used in most types of organizations. Each company has seemingly endless number of opportunities to use information technology to operate more efficiently, to use it to achieve a competitive edge. To further illustrate on how information technology is applied in different types of organizations the following are some of the few examples. Example 1.
The furniture retailer can recall images of thousands of items from optical laser disk storage. The images are then displayed on high resolution color monitors. This capability enables his company to maintain a lower inventory and offer better service to its customers. This company gains a distinct competitive advantage by being able to show the same chair in a wide variety of fabrics. Example 2. Companies that operate on a global scale like Hewlett Packard, rely on information and communication systems such as teleconferencing to enable their widely scattered employees to work together more effectively.
Example 3. The banking industry would prefer that its customers used ATMs for banking transactions rather than tellers. This bank gives customers the option of selecting a teller or an ATM. The average ATM transaction takes less time, but most important it costs less than half that of a teller-aided transaction. The more that customers use ATMs, the more can reduce the cost of their services. Example 4. Computers have enabled medical doctors to make a quantum leap in the quality of health care.
The system allows the doctors to electronically examine enhanced images, such as X-rays from the next room or from across the country. In addition, company like Whirlpool Corporation also used information technology for global competitiveness. Whirlpool Corporation is one of the world’s leading appliance manufacturers. They have an annual sale of more than $18 billion, more than 73,000 employees, and more than 70 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world.
Because of its wanted to maintain current growth rates, Whirlpool expands to market outside the United States. To support operations internationally, Whirlpool used information technology by establishing their own data centers. These data centers support the local manufacturing, materials and inventory and are locally been managed. They also established an eight-node T1 network in a mesh topology to support these systems. In terms of global information system, Whirlpool has not been able to develop such system.
But, if the company will develop and implement the global IT system it will be a great help particularly to their customers. A global system would enable them to serve customers in the United States and abroad better through improved sales forecasts and faster supply service for appliance components. Any acquired companies would be integrated into the existing global network. Another, this network would be ideally being centered in the current US location with connections to each country allowing a real-time access and local input.
Whirlpool’s global platform will provide operations with resources and capabilities that no other manufacturer can match. The company’s global procurement, product development, and information technology will help the organizations operations to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and introduce a continuous stream of relevant innovation to consumers.
References: About Whirlpool Corporation Retrieved May 21, 2007 From WWW. Whirlpoolcorp. com/about/default. asp Long, Larry, (1993), Introduction to Computers and Information Processing, New Jersey, Prentice Hall International