Published on October 29, 2023, 8:32 pm
CIO Leadership Live: Danielle Brown on Collaborative Teams and Data Management in Product Leadership and the Customer Journey
In a recent CIO Leadership Live session, Danielle Brown, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of household appliance giant Whirlpool, discussed the importance of collaborative teams and data management in driving product leadership and enhancing the entire customer journey. With annual sales of $22 billion, Whirlpool is a household name in household goods and operates 54 manufacturing and tech research centers worldwide.
Brown joined Whirlpool in November 2020 to lead its Global Information Systems. She believes that cross-collaboration and leveraging data effectively are crucial for the company’s future success. According to Brown, Whirlpool’s vision is to be the best kitchen appliances and laundry company, continually striving to improve life at home. This vision has become even more significant in recent years as people increasingly rely on their products. The company has witnessed a transformational shift with consumers using Whirlpool products more frequently as well as researching, browsing, and purchasing more online.
While the consumer journey is always evolving at Whirlpool, Brown recognizes that the IT department plays a unique role in understanding all aspects of the company’s operations. They have visibility into various processes and can connect the dots to provide a comprehensive view of the consumer journey. By doing so, they add value by incorporating technology seamlessly into all stages of the process.
During her conversation with Maryfran Johnson on CIO Leadership Live, Brown touched upon several key topics related to product innovation and digital transformation at Whirlpool:
1. Enterprise Data Strategy: Brown emphasizes the importance of governance when leveraging internal data for product innovation. By implementing a robust data governance framework, they ensure that product data is easily accessible throughout its lifecycle.
2. Strategic Priorities: Whirlpool has four strategic priorities: delivering product leadership by utilizing technologies like digital twins; leveraging IoT and AI to offer new digital services and products; winning the digital consumer journey by using technology to engage with customers from pre-purchase to post-purchase; and reinventing the value chain through greater visibility.
3. Talent Recruitment: To retain top talent, Whirlpool focuses on promoting its value proposition. They provide tools like Career Compass, which helps employees explore different career paths and experiences within the company. Brown believes that caring about an employee’s career is crucial for retaining talent.
4. Innovation Ecosystems: Brown suggests considering both mature and speculative technologies when driving innovation. Mature technologies like AI and machine learning can be leveraged immediately, while emerging technologies such as blockchain should be experimentally explored to identify their potential value for customers.
Danielle Brown’s insights shed light on Whirlpool’s digital transformation journey and its commitment to delivering exceptional products and services to consumers worldwide. By focusing on collaboration, data management, and embracing emerging technologies, Whirlpool aims to stay at the forefront of the industry while continuously improving the customer experience.
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