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Whirlpool Improves Packaging To Cut Down On Returns

To reduce returns that cost it millions, Whirlpool has begun a program to cut shipping damage to its appliances, such as its high-end Duet washer and dryer. A team of engineers in India and the U.S. is using direct observation and a super-computer to improve the way the company's appliances are packed, stacked and handled.

With once-basic appliances striving for luxury cachet, just the appearance of damage to the packaging of a top-of-the-line refrigerator that can cost as much as $5,000 might prompt a buyer to return it, even if the product itself is unspoiled.

For decades, manufacturers have worked to reduce the cost of the cardboard, plastic and foam that protect products. But companies like Whirlpool have realized that how products are packed and how they are handled during shipping need to be looked at together, says Ralph Rupert, director of a packaging center at Virginia Tech.



Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal »

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