Kimberly-Clark is a Fortune 500 company. It’s personal care product brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, and Scott, touch nearly 1 of every 4 people each day in 175 countries. Through Kimberly-Clark Professional the company offers products and solutions to create healthier, safer and more productive workplaces in a variety of industries including food services, healthcare, manufacturing, office buildings and more. As an industry leader, Kimberly-Clark is committed to driving digital innovations to improve operations and customer experiences in the fast-moving consumer goods category. Here are a few ways Kimberly-Clark is using big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) in their operations.
K-Challenge Brings Innovation to the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry
Kimberly-Clark sponsors the annual K-Challenge that invites entrepreneurs, start-ups and other inventors to develop innovations for the consumer packaged goods category via the Kimberly-Clark Digital Innovation Lab (D’Lab). There are six categories the competition focuses on including data and predictive analytics, cyber security, omnichannel shopper experiences, IoT/wearables/connected devices, supply chain/operations solutions and content and media experiences. This investment in technology innovation helps Kimberly-Clark adapt and apply some of today’s best ideas into its operations.
Self-Service Retail Analytics
Kimberly-Clark generates a lot of data from several internal sources such as sales and marketing spend, external sources such as Nielsen, web applications, store performance and purchasing information. Until they adopted a platform powered by Tableau, Amazon Redshift, and Panoply, their complex data resided in inflexible systems from multiple data sources that made it difficult to use. By consolidating the data is now accessible to more professionals within the organization and they are saving time (eight hours weekly) and money ($250,000 over the course of two years) because they are spending less time collecting and sorting through the data and more time interpreting it. They are now able to access and use the data efficiently.
Internet of Things App for Facilities Managers
To help facilities managers monitor and manage the condition of restrooms remotely, Kimberly-Clark Professional introduced an Intelligent Restroom app. The state of a building’s restrooms is critical in how tenants and customers perceive a building. An unhygienic bathroom can cause customers and tenants to have a lower opinion of the facility. Sensors on soap dispensers, air fresheners, entrance doors and more collect data that is then sent to the cloud-based app. Facilities managers can access the data from mobile or desktop to monitor the condition of the property’s restrooms, and they don’t have to be on-site. A pilot study of the Intelligent Restroom app showed the number of supplies used decreased by up to 20 percent when the app was deployed.
Simplifying a Complex Supply Chain with Data
The global supply chain Kimberly-Clark manages to produce its diverse line-up of products is massive and complex. They have adopted a more networked approach to supply chain since each party is typically involved in multiple stages of the process. Data-driven analytics throughout its supply chain – from planning, manufacturing, partner management and delivery – help Kimberly-Clark simplify and sort out the complexities inherent in their supply chain as well as find value throughout the process. Additionally, they understand that data is vital in helping them meet changing customer demands from transparency in the supply chain to customer expectations about the product, price, service, and quality. They also adopt a more open approach with suppliers and focus on co-innovation.
Effective Sales and Marketing
In a pilot program at Walmart stores in China, Kimberly-Clark leveraged big data to drive sales and identify new business opportunities from the vast volume of point-of-sale data generated daily. They partnered with Retail Solutions Inc. to track sales and inventory in real-time. This system can accurately analyze massive data sets to make sure the inventory of each product and each store is optimized. Kimberly-Clark has since rolled out similar programs at other retailers to capture activity at the point of sale to continue to learn about customer demand for products.
Kimberly-Clark also uses data and machine learning to enhance the performance of their digital promotions and the customer experience from RevTrax SmartOffers® and Nielsen Marketing Cloud. Offers can be continuously updated based on real-time consumer behavior. They are also getting to know their 1.3 billion customers better by using data analytics across digital channels so they can deliver content the customer wants and needs to drive engagement and boost conversion rates.