Careers at Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark’s mission is to make the essentials for a better life with well-known brands that matter every day – at home, school, work, and on the go.
Kimberly-Clark is a provider of personal care products, mostly paper-based in nature. The firm operates three reportable business segments:
- Personal Care – Includes products such as disposable diapers, swimpants, training and youth pants, feminine and incontinence care products, and baby wipes. Specific brands include Huggies, Pull-Ups, Little Swimmers, GoodNites, DryNites, Kotex, U by Kotex, Intimus, Depend, Plenitud, and Poise.
- Consumer Tissue – Includes products such as bathroom and facial tissue, napkins, and paper towels. Specific brands include Kleenex, Scott, Cottonelle, Viva, Andrex, Scottex, and Neve.
- K-C Professional – Includes products for the workplace such as tissue, wipers, towels, apparel, soaps, and sanitizers. Specific brands include Kleenex, Scott, WypAll, Kimtech, and Jackson Safety.
In 1872 John Kimberly, Charles Clark, Frank Shattuck, and Kimberly's cousin Havilah Babcock joined together and used $42,000 in capital to launch a new company. Called Kimberly, Clark & Company, it was founded to create paper-based products, and established the first paper mill in Wisconsin. Its first offering was a newsprint composed of cotton rags and linen.
Over the next few decades the firm grew by adding or acquiring new facilities. These included an Atlas paper mill and a Canadian pulp mill. It also began producing a wide range of personal care products for use at home and work. In 1928 it was reorganized and reincorporated as Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Later that year, it began trading on the New York and Chicago stock exchanges.
Business model of Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark has a segmented market business model, with customers that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offerings at consumers and businesses.
Kimberly-Clark offers two primary value propositions: innovation and brand/status.
The company has embraced innovation throughout its history. Its breakthroughs include:
- The paper used for rotogravure, a procedure for printing photographs with a rotary press
- Kotex, the first disposable feminine hygiene product
- Kleenex, the world’s first facial tissue
- Pull-Ups, the first disposable training pants
- Huggies Little Swimmers, the only patented, self-adhesive Ultraviolet B sun sensors
- Gentle Care and Newborn diapers, the only diapers with an umbilical cord opening
- Poise Extra Pads with Wings, the first winged pad designed for bladder protection
- The first electronic bath tissue dispenser
The company has established a powerful brand due to its success. It sells its products in over 175 countries, and they are used by almost a quarter of the world’s population daily. It holds the #1 or #2 market share position in 80 countries. It generated $18.6 billion in sales in 2015 and has 43,000 employees globally. It maintains many well-known brands, including Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Depend, Cottonelle, and Kotex. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the following:
- Ranking #4 on the list of the “World’s 25 Best Multinational Workplaces” by the Great Place to Work Institute (2012)
- Ranking #1 among the “Best Multinational Workplaces in Latin America” by the Great Places to Work Institute (2014)
- Recognition as one of the top 20 "Best Corporate Citizens" by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for five consecutive years
- Recognition as one of the first companies to receive the Investors in People Health and Wellbeing Good Practice Award by the U.S. Department of Health
- The Catalyst Award for 2014, which honors leadership initiatives for women
- Corporate Citizenship Awards from Business Civic Leadership Center
- Recognition as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute
Kimberly-Clark’s main channels are retail stores such as supermarkets, drugstores, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, and department stores. It also sells its products through online retail and various distributors. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages, advertising, and participation in trade shows and conferences.
Kimberly-Clark’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Kimberly-Clark’s business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products for customers.
Kimberly-Clark’s key partners are the suppliers who provide it with the raw materials it uses to manufacture its products. Its primary raw material for tissue products is cellulose fiber. For nonwoven fabrics it uses polypropylene and other synthetics and chemicals.
Kimberly-Clark’s main resource is its intellectual property, which includes the various patents and trademarks it owns in the U.S. and worldwide; they are material to its business.
It maintains important physical resources in the form of the 94+ manufacturing facilities it operates in 39 countries. Lastly, it depends on its team of engineers and scientists to design and develop products.
Kimberly-Clark has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is cost of products sold, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and research/development, both fixed costs.
Kimberly-Clark has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from sales of its products to customers. For business customers, sales often occur through long-term contracts.
info: Thomas J. Falk earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Science in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He previously held various senior roles at Kimberly-Clark, including Chief Operating Officer.
info: Maria Henry earned a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Maryland. She previously served as EVP and CFO of The Hillshire Brands Company and as CFO of Sara Lee Corporation's North American Retail and Foodservice business.
info: Sandra MacQuillan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Greenwich in the United Kingdom. She previously served as Global Vice President, Supply Chain at Mars Incorporated, overseeing the Global Petcare unit.
info: Lizanne Gottung earned a B.S. in Business Administration at the State University of New York at Albany. She previously served in various leadership roles at Kimberly-Clark, including SVP of Human Resources and Plant Manager.
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