Thinking Out Loud: Filippo Passerini

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 08-11-2006

Procter & Gamble Co. is a pretty big company. But even with revenues of more than $56 billion last year, and a portfolio of products that includes some of the most successful brands in the consumer-products industry—Pampers, Tide and Crest, to name but a few—P&G's $57 billion acquisition of Gillette last year turned some heads. Wall Street analysts openly questioned the hefty price tag for the razor company.

Perhaps that's why Filippo Passerini, chief information and global services officer at P&G, paid such close attention to the launch of the new Fusion razor in February. Not only was it one of the largest product launches in the history of P&G it had the added urgency of justifying the costly acquisition of Gillette. The Fusion launch was also an important test case in P&G's rapidly evolving RFID strategy, and played a prominent part in the company's overall EPC Advantaged Strategy. Passerini offered some thoughts about the success of the launch and the integration of Gillette's RFID strategy into that of P&G.

CIO Insight: How involved were you in the Fusion launch?
Passerini:
We were all closely monitoring the success of the launch. Since its introduction in February, Fusion is the No. 1 item at retail across all categories, according to the latest ACNielsen data. The EPC IT team was intimately involved in the program, and while the design and development of Fusion was undertaken prior to the integration, its launch was a team effort involving both P&G and Gillette.

In size and scope, how does it compare to other RFID projects ongoing at P&G?
The Fusion launch was our most prominent EPC pilot to date.

What did you learn from the launch that P&G can use going forward?
We again demonstrated the value of the EPC in giving us "actionable visibility" within the supply chain. In this specific case, it allowed us to improve display compliance, a win-win-win scenario for the shopper, the retailer and ourselves. We have already demonstrated the clear business case for EPC; and our EPC Advantaged Strategy will guide us on future deployment.

Would you qualify it as a success, and if so, why?
The Fusion launch was a success on every metric. Fusion was supported by significant resources, so we already expected levels of display compliance well beyond the average levels seen at retail. But the visibility enabled by the EPC allowed us to push that compliance to even greater levels, 92 percent by day three.