When looking for an example of a successful project, look no further than “Highlander” — a top-load washer project in Brazil.

news_highlander_project_01Since its successful launch in the second quarter, the washer has met with rave reviews from trade partners and consumers — and provides the path for global Fabric Care and LAR to contribute to the company’s external operating profit (EOP) goal of 10 percent by 2017. Highlander, which is marketed under the Consul brand name, scores big on several dimensions of Product Leadership — including:

  • Cost — Highlander achieves best cost in its segment by reducing cost more than $23 per unit vs. the its predecessor product, which has enabled an EOP lift of 11.8 percent.
  • Quality — Highlander brings the best wash performance to the segment and touts reduced wear and tear to fabrics.
  • Best Preferred Product — Since its launch, Highlander has received great retail acceptance, which has positively impacted our sell-in and sales volumes.
  • Design — Best craftsmanship in segment.
  • Innovation — Highlander introduces consumer-relevant and value-creating innovation through its unique dispenser in the agitator.

Adriano Loriatti, senior manager, New Product Introductions, said Highlander does a great job delivering on the Consul brand promise of value and ease-of-use. “The product has delivered at best cost and maximizing value, thanks to its new dispenser system, new electronic board providing an intuitive user interface and water reuse function,” he noted. “It delivers as promised.”

“The team worked through a number of challenges to deliver a washer with improved quality and reduced cost, and the results have been worth it,” said Fernando Szewkies, director, LAR Fabric Care Product Development Center. “We met our cost and revenue targets, along with our production volume, all of which are key indicators of the project’s success.

news_highlander_project_02“In addition, we relied on the E&T Transformation Practice of Iterative Target Setting and Design Verification to set clear targets, measures, and timeframe to systematically create and verify our designs. Doing so helped us to achieve a first-pass yield score of 96.7% at our Version 4 validation phase and 100% W-PPAP (Whirlpool-Production Parts Approval Process) at our pilot run,” he concluded.

Szewkies said the team displayed the “One Whirlpool” and “Play to Win” attributes of the Leadership Model to team effectively across functional boundaries, and display determination and persistence to deliver improved quality despite the significant cost-reduction challenge.