Personal care appliance maker The Gillette Company announced that it will reduce costs and improve operational efficiency and customer service by realigning its blade and razor manufacturing, packaging, and warehouse operations throughout Europe and Russia.
The realignment program will begin in December 2003 and will be completed by 2007. The Gillette expects that the costs will be incurred over several years.
The initiative, which follows an extensive review of blade and razor operations in Europe and Russia, includes the closure of a manufacturing center in Isleworth, U.K. in 2007, and a packaging and distribution operation in Hemel Hempstead, U.K., in 2005.
Operations at the Isleworth and Hemel Hempstead units will be shifted to a new manufacturing, packaging, and warehouse facility that will be built in Eastern Europe.
The new facility will produce disposable razors and other existing shaving systems, as well as package and distribute all Gillette blade and razor products in Europe. A decision on the new facility's location within Eastern Europe is expected early next year.
The realignment plan also includes the transfer of all Sensor production from Gillette's manufacturing center in Berlin to the new Eastern European facility, and the transfer of stainless steel double-edge and some disposable razor manufacturing from its manufacturing center in Jevicko, the Czech Republic, to Gillette's manufacturing center in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Gillette says the realignment supports its blade and razor manufacturing strategy to focus production of premium shaving systems in its South Boston and Berlin manufacturing centers.
"These actions will significantly reduce costs, improve our operating efficiency, and streamline our European blade and razor manufacturing, packaging, and warehouse operations," said Michael T. Cowhig, president, Global Technical and Manufacturing, The Gillette Company. "Our goal is world-class manufacturing that can generate new product innovations, deliver the highest product quality, and provide the best levels of service to our retail customers."
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