Mohawk: Improving Sales and Reducing Time to Market for a New Product

Background

Mohawk Fine Papers is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that operates mills in the northeastern United States and the Netherlands. Environmental performance leadership, innovation, forward thinking, outstanding product quality, and long-term customer relationships are all key to Mohawk’s business strategy.

Mohawk’s flagship premium paper line, Mohawk Superfine, was suffering from competitive pressures and flat sales. The company wanted to redesign and relaunch the product to grow its market share and combat stagnant sales. However, Mohawk was concerned about the launch due to a previous product introduction that had not performed successfully. The new product line needed to appeal to three different kinds of customers: merchants, printers, and end users. Mohawk partnered with QualPro to redesign the product and ensure a successful launch in minimal time.

Approach

QualPro consultants analyzed market data and evaluated customer demand. Our consultants looked for potential improvement ideas that would increase customer value and incorporate customer wants and needs into the new product design.

Next, our consultants formed a project team consisting of Mohawk’s marketing, manufacturing, finance, technical, and quality improvement personnel. Together, the team brainstormed potential improvement ideas to help Mohawk create the ideal paper product. Our consultants helped Mohawk narrow down the potential ideas to ones deemed practical, fast, and cost-free.

QualPro consultants designed experiments for Mohawk to perform. These experiments tested the impact of each idea, both individually and in combination with other ideas. The consultants identified the ideal combination of customer requirements, design specifications, product and service characteristics, and process elements needed to meet market demand and satisfy customers.

In accordance with our commitment to driving continuous improvement and fostering innovation, our consultants worked closely with operators to guide process changes and motivate project team members to exceed goals.

Results

After implementing QualPro’s recommendations, Mohawk reduced the time it took to deliver its new product to market by 67 percent over previous product introductions. The redesigned product line launched successfully and increased sales growth by 33 percent. This growth helped Mohawk to reclaim its lost market share and regain a competitive position.