Here's How Kimberly-Clark is Creating a 200 Strong Digital Workforce
Digital transformation is still a hot topic in business. While many companies have made significant roads in bringing digital technology into their marketing, sales, and customer experience strategies, there are plenty of brands which are lagging behind.
For some businesses this could be down to a lack of resources, or it could simply be because digital technology is more challenging to intelligently apply to that market. However, one thing that digital transformation does require is personnel. While your current employees might be very good at their roles, digital transformation requires experts in using and implementing those technologies. Without the right people in place, digital transformation can become expensive, inefficient, and potentially fail entirely.
Multinational personal care corporation Kimberly-Clark is more than aware of the need for having the right digital experts in place, evidenced by the opening of its new global digital tech centre.
The personal care brand, which makes several household-name brands such as Kleenex tissues and Huggies nappies, is opening its new global tech centre in Bengaluru, India. The centre will be responsible for supporting Kimberly-Clark’s ongoing digital transformation and represents a significant investment for the company in this area.
The centre will house up to 200 world class experts in all aspects of digital technology and will be dedicated to digitising the entire Kimberly-Clark global supply chain – focussed mainly on artificial intelligence-based sales tools and the application of robotic process automation to its customer service operations.
“As new technologies shape consumer experiences of the future and enable next generation product innovations, we are looking to accelerate our digital transformation by building global centres of digital excellence,” said Vice President of Global Technology at Kimberly-Clark, Rich Dobbs. “Our Bengaluru centre, which is one of two, globally, is a key investment in this capability. We are excited by the pool of high-quality digital talent available in this city and look forward to tapping into that potential.”
The 200 experts will be selected from the finest minds in artificial intelligence, automation, and data management, as well as experts in user experience design. This will ensure that any innovations which come out of the centre will, not only be built with the very best digital technology available, but also in a way which should be easy and intuitive for the end user to operate – helping to break down the often esoteric nature of digital technology.
The centre will also employ several key regional tech leaders from the Asia-Pacific region and global executive heads in the fields of enterprise architecture, supply chain, data, and marketing – helping to ensure the right technology is deployed in the right places in the most appropriate manner possible.
“India is an important investment market for Kimberly-Clark and the decision to base a global centre further concentrates our energies and interests here,” said President of Kimberly-Clark Asia Pacific, Achal Agarwal. “While the Centre will serve enterprise-wide needs, we expect that the India business will benefit from the proximity and will be a test bed for many of the new capabilities we create here.”
The new Indian global tech centre is the latest step in Kimberly-Clark’s ongoing digital transformation strategy. The company is looking to not only bring digital technology into its business strategy, but to create an entire digital culture amongst its 40,000+ employees.
As it’s not a tech company itself, Kimberly-Clark, like many other brands going through digital transformation, is adopting a buy-build-subscribe strategy. This involves creating core platforms – such as customer facing and employee facing ones – by purchasing third party vendor provided software and then incorporating them into its own platform. One key factor Kimberly-Clark is introducing to its platform is a standardised and automated experience which puts the customer journey at the core of its ethos.
"We are not just bimodal, not just agile, not just doing a couple of dashboards or visualisations,” said Kimberly-Clark CIO, Suja Chandrasekaran. “We are doing a scaled digital transformation. Framing a game plan was crucial for us because I did not want us to just deploy a bunch of stuff, such as off-the-shelf platforms – Workday or Salesforce or Oracle or SAP – that are integrated via interfaces. It doesn't take us to the world of digital. It's not going to lay the foundations. It's not going to drive value – It's going to take us back to the order-taking mindset."
Kimberly-Clark’s new centre and its dedication to transforming its global workforce into one driven by a culture of digital innovation demonstrates the company’s thirst and commitment to driving its business forwards. Digital transformation is a near inevitability for companies that want to succeed in the future and those companies willing to make significant investment in the field are the most likely to make the most of the opportunity.
You can hear Kimberly-Clark’s Global eCommerce Associate Director for EMEA, Jorge Vacca speak at B2B Online Europe 2019, being held in November at the Hesperia Tower Hotel & Convention Centre, Barcelona.
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