Whirlpool Corp. is launching an enhanced online order-management system to allow retailers of Whirlpool appliances to manage their orders over the Internet.
Benton Harbor, MI-based Whirlpool plans for its Partner Store initiative to eliminate the use of telephone and fax machines to conduct business. Through the www.whirlpoolwebworld.com portal, Partner Store allows trade partners to place orders from a constantly updated virtual catalogue of Whirlpool home appliances, track delivery from factory floor to their stores` floors, check billing, and submit credit inquiries. These services are available 24 hours a day, through the password-secure system.
Whirlpool expects to double Partner Store`s sales and usage rate among Whirlpool`s nearly 8,000 local and regional retailers, as well as U.S. home builders. "Initially, we had set a goal of adding 75 trade partners a month to the Partner Store system," said William D. Hester, project manager, brand management information services. "But we have been averaging 138 new partners a month through the first half of this year."
Electronic orders from trading partners represented approximately $4 billion of Whirlpool’s total $10.3 billion sales in 2000, the company reports. Whirlpool`s goal in 2001 is to increase sales through electronic commerce activity by 5 to 10%, it said.
Whirlpool manufacturers in 13 countries and markets products under 11 major brand names in more than 170 countries.