By Adam Coleman

SYDNEY: Whirlpool Australia has announced further details of key changes to the business following the merger of Maytag, including the possibility of retrenchments across both brands.

“As the integration of business processes commences there may be retrenchments from both Whirlpool and Maytag, where there is duplication, over the coming months,” the company said in a statement.

“All affected employees will be duly communicated with and provided with competitive retrenchment packages which include career transition services, allowing people to prepare for their next roles.”

The company also announced a redesign of its field sales on a geographic basis, in a bid to maximise the potential of the brand portfolio.

Whirlpool has appointed a number of Maytag sales staff to join the larger Whirlpool Australia sales team to combine the skills of both businesses.

“The field sales team will be selling both brands with our retail partners, which is a structure that Whirlpool has successfully leveraged globally, that maximises time in store.  A significant investment is being made in cross-training the new team in all products, and the new turfs will be effective from July 5.

“Our distribution policy will focus on differentiating the brands and offers on banner-by-banner basis together with targeted consumer programs."

Whirlpool Australia also announced its marketing function will be organised around product categories rather than brands, with category managers responsible for managing brand related issues within their portfolios.

“Overall the GM Marketing will manage brand positioning. Additional marketing and product development resources have been deployed to plan and execute a program designed for growth,” the company said.

Under the new operating platform, Whirlpool will look to streamline its service network.

“In many cases, Whirlpool and Maytag service is being conducted by the same service agents,” the company said.

"The focus in the coming months is to streamline the operations, integrate systems and process and determine the best agency structure moving forward to ensure optimum geographic coverage and the provision of a high quality service offering for both brands.”