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How Whirlpool’s Critical Materials Management Improves Product Transparency, Traceability

WhirlpoolAs companies take steps to improve their resource management and transparency, driven by environmental regulations and social responsibility initiatives, Whirpool says it making strides to proactively implement process and systems that improve both.

In a blog post, Whirlpool details its Critical Materials Management (CMM) program and how it will help the appliance maker achieve 90 percent full material transparency on all new parts of Whirlpool appliances by 2020.

Material transparency will provide several business benefits to the company, Whirlpool says. These include reduced eco-fees, eliminated fines and meeting trade customer requirements related to sustainability.

The CMM program works like this:

The program introduces new processes and capabilities that enable proactive tracking, collection and assessment of every chemical composition of our products globally. In addition, CMM fosters a new level of transparency and collaboration between Whirlpool Corporation and its suppliers, thereby enabling efficient, accurate and timely response to the ever-changing regulatory landscape. CMM strategy will not only provide Whirlpool the ability to manage materials for regulations, but also to understand material risk, material alternatives and provide full transparency of material content with only one request to the supply base.

To facilitate the business processes, Whirlpool implemented a “major third party global solution” that automated its data collection, storage and reporting needs. The software improves Whirlpool’s resource management by assessing compliance, risk and cost early in the process and continuing throughout the product lifecycle.

The software also works cohesively with other supply chain data management systems including SAP and functions as a single source for all compliance data, including RoHS, REACH and Food Contact, among other regulations, the company says.

Target also recently improved its product transparency with its new chemical strategy and policy published late last month. Part of this includes working with suppliers to be transparent about their process and materials used to eliminate hazardous chemicals in all of the retailer’s products and processes.

In addition to helping companies better manage risk and reduce compliance-related fines and fees, upping product transparency can also increase revenue. Two recent studies found consumers will pay more for “sustainable” goods and services, which means that companies following Whirlpool and Target’s examples will likely boost sales by increasing transparency and improving resource management.



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