Kimberly-Clark is one of the most iconic, most recognized essential personal care brands in the world. Their products, like Kleenex, HUGGIES, Pull-Ups and Scott Tissue have been taking care of families, including my own for over 140 years. They are also one of the largest global enterprises in the world, with over 43,000 employees in 175 countries. To get essential products to market in the most productive and efficient manner, the company is always looking at ways it can modernize and transform its manufacturing processes.
Prior to upgrading to Windows 10, Dorothy Stephenson, Director of IT Client Services at Kimberly-Clark had three bold objectives for the company’s migration to Windows 10: – make it easier, faster and more cost effective to upgrade new software. “We used a deployment process that relied on custom applications and a lot of manual work. Lengthy software upgrades cost both our IT staff and our users, who have to wait for new software services, which could take up to eight weeks,” shared Stephenson.
With the introduction of Windows 10, Kimberly-Clark embraced the “Windows as a service” model, where they wouldn’t have to wait on a lengthy upgrade cycle or manual updates to the OS on end user machines. By moving to Windows 10 Enterprise over the past year, the company has shrunk software deployment and update times by 75 percent.
The company is also using Windows 10–based touch-enabled mobile devices, to bring digital efficiencies to manufacturing processes and increasing mobile productivity with knowledge workers. By embracing the “evergreen” software model that Windows 10 was built on, Kimberly-Clark also adopted and moved to cloud-based applications like Microsoft’s Office 365 to reduce IT costs and provide easier application access from mobile devices.
“With the Windows as a service model being introduced with Windows 10, we have reduced our operating system deployment time from up to eight weeks to less than two weeks.” – Stephenson, Director of IT Client Services at Kimberly-Clark
The company is also providing its manufacturing engineers new, touch-enabled Windows 10-mobile devices, including Lenovo ThinkPad Helix and Microsoft Surface Pro devices to leverage all forms of device interaction from touch, pen to mouse & keyboard to capture and share data. With the user experience flexibility offered in Windows 10, Kimberly-Clark will see operational improvements and productivity gains by eliminating paper based processes.
Kimberly-Clark’s Continuous Improvement team is also using Windows 10 devices to inspect machinery and enforce production-process best practices. Utilizing a Surface Pro tablet, engineers simply remove the keyboard and use the Surface Pro in tablet mode as both a camera and clipboard to make videos of how to set up and tune a diaper machine bagging unit and share that video with other Kimberly-Clark factories around the world. “A picture is worth a thousand words for staff who speak different languages,” says Heidi Brazee, Senior Manager of Desktop & Mobility Services at Kimberly-Clark. “Having digital tools on the factory floor reduces equipment troubleshooting time by as much as a week in some cases, and downtime is very costly.”
Kimberly-Clark is yet another example of how our customers are embracing digital transformation by leveraging the latest Microsoft technology to gain new efficiencies, modernize operations and engage their employees in new and productive ways.
As the leading provider of everyday essential personal care products, I am excited to see Kimberly-Clark continue to innovate through the use of Microsoft technology so they can maintain focus on putting the consumer at the center of everything they do.