An article in DCVelocity provides some great insight into how Whirlpool and Maytag combined their supply chains. Whirlpool purchased Maytag in 2006 and promised the investment community $400M in savings over the first 3 years.
According to the article, $40M of savings per year was going to come from logistics-- freight and warehousing costs. This reminds us how important it is to get these decisions right. And, in Whirlpool's case, the article reported that they were able to overachieve and hit a savings of $66M in the current year.
How they got off to a fast start:
One of the first steps was to determine what inventory was on hand in both operations so that Whirlpool could determine what to do with it. The company acquired ILOG's LogicNet Plus suite of network design and planning software so it would have a
toolin place that could import and crunch data once the deal was finalized (regulations did not permit the managers to have access to Maytag-specific data until the acquisition closed).
"When the deal was completed on March 31, 2006, we were in the starting blocks ready to go. We had our tools in place and people in place, and we had our own data. We were then prepared to bring in the Maytag data,"
The network optimization with LogicNet Plus allowed Whirlpool to determine which distribution centers to close, which new sites should be built, and what the local cross dock network should look like.
We have seen this type of result many times over the years. When a firm grows through an acquisition, having a high-quality network optimization tool allows it develop solid plans for the new network. This creates a foundation for additional improvements and helps a company meet the goals of the acquisition.