work costs, but they should also include costs associated with ex-
cess inventory, lateness—the non-traditional parts of quality.”
Moberg noted that in order to solve these problems it is criti-
cal to understand customers’needs. Once those needs have been
identified, process maps must be drawn up to identify the com-
plexity of the process and to communicate the focus of problem-
solving. He described process maps as living documents that must
be changed as the process is changed.
“They represent what is currently happening, not what you
think is happening,”he explained.“They should be created by peo-
ple who are closest to the process.”
Once the process is fully understood, data is collected—after
all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. From there, a
strategic program can be developed to understand why the
quality is lacking.
After marketers have created innovative products that can be
duplicated again and again, they should make sure that their supply chain systems are just as effective.
Lisa Mitchell of Henkel told Cleaning Products 2011 attendees
that monthly supply chain updates won’t work in the consumer
goods environment. Instead, they demand weekly and daily updates,
and even then, estimates aren’t very accurate.
“I go to work every day knowing that I am
going to be wrong,”joked Mitchell.
Henkel runs programs such as SAP AG’s
Advanced Planner and Optimizer, but she observed that there haven’t been any real advances in supply chain management for 10
years or so, because of issues such as lower
consumer loyalty and shorter life cycles. As a
result, Henkel struggled to meet high demand
for its new Purex Crystal Fabric Softener.
Another tool is Electronic Prediction Markets (EPM), which was created for the purpose
of making predictions. EPM may be particularly
useful in predicting new product success.
But regardless of what system is used to improve supply chain
efficiency, Mitchell urged suppliers to use the same systems as their
customers to ensure accuracy.
“The answer isn’t always more inventory,” she added.
Finding the Money
Understanding the consumer’s willingness to spend is critical in
today’s precarious economies in developed markets, according to
P&G’s McDonald, who said that in terms of consumer spending
patterns, the market remains as it did in 2008.
“In the developed markets, you have a bifurcation, you have
on the high end, people with their incomes continuing to expand,
growing very strongly and continuing to spend on premium products,” he explained.“Innovation is very attractive to these people.”
But at the other end of the spectrum, where people are unemployed or seeking employment, they continue to try to find
ways to cope by shifting the channel or shifting the brand.
“That’s one of the reasons it’s so important for us to have a
vertical portfolio of brands,” added MacDonald.
Ah, so there’s the secret—create effective, affordable cleaning
solutions that consumers trust and return to time and again.•
Be Seen in Singapore!
• The World Conference on Fabric and
Home Care will be held Oct. 29-31, 2012 in
Singapore. Building on the themes of the last
conference, held in 2010 in Montreux, Singapore will feature keynote presentations from
the CEOs of Procter & Gamble, Unilever and
Kao. In addition, the conference will include
presentations on balancing shifting market dynamics, resource management, product performance, environmental responsibility and
More info: (217) 359-2344,