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Kimberly-Clark's Secrets to RFID Success

Kimberly-Clark's Secrets to RFID Success

The man in charge of keeping store shelves across the US stocked with Kleenex and Huggies reveals the company’s best practice for making RFID work

Kimberly-Clark has been around for many years - 135 to be exact. And while it may not be a household name, Kimberly-Clark's roster of products and brands certainly are: Kleenex, Scott, Huggies and Pull-Ups, just to name a few. According to the company, 1.3 billion people use its products every day, contributing to $US16.7 billion in sales last year.

Behind the nurturing and homey images of those powerhouse brands is a company with operations in 37 countries and a global supply chain that enables Kimberly-Clark to sell its wares in 150 countries.

As one of Wal-Mart's top suppliers, Kimberly-Clark got onboard the RFID revolution early and has been one of the technology's most ardent supporters. Mark Jamison, vice president of customer supply chain management, talked with CIO about the company's overall supply chain strategy, how RFID fits into the mix and how to make RFID work for the business.

CIO:What's the overall supply chain management strategy at Kimberly-Clark?

Mark Jamison: Our goal is to evolve the capabilities of our supply chain to a demand-driven supply network. One of the keys to achieving that vision is to have a highly integrated suite of supply chain systems that provide end-to-end visibility and as close to real-time information as possible.

About four years ago, we started redesigning our supply chain business processes and integrating our systems to that end. The first business process we redesigned was forecast-to-stock. We chose to go with SAP's APO [Advanced Planner and Optimizer] product, and we finished putting that in the fourth quarter of last year. Following that was the redesign of our order-to-cash business processes, and we have chosen an SAP solution for this system as well.

When we implement our new order-to-cash system, we will have an integrated suite of systems, and all of our users will be working with the same information as close to real time as possible. In addition, we are developing strategies to better leverage downstream data in our business processes for supply chain, category management and consumer insights.

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