SAP Enables Unilever to Drive Implementation of Global Strategy Through Key Integration Technology
Asia/AMET Region Utilizes SAP NetWeaver® Master Data Management to Enhance Data
Accuracy, Increase Business Efficiency and Reduce Costs
BERLIN .- SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) today announced that Unilever has implemented the SAP NetWeaver® Master Data Management (SAP NetWeaver MDM) component to support five countries in the Asia/AMET (Africa, Middle-East and Turkey) region. With 400 brands spanning the food, home and personal care industries, Unilever requires a unified view of master data to remain agile and quickly address changing business needs while maintaining strong local market performance. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE® 2008, SAP’s international customer conference, being held in Berlin, Germany, May 19-21.
Consumer products companies are facing fierce competition in emerging markets, increased costs for raw materials, and a continuously changing business landscape. As a result, the ability to make operational decisions for product introductions, supply chain changes and to manage profitability is more critical than ever to achieving success.
“Given Unilever’s expansive brand portfolio and global presence, it was crucial to provide them with a standardized view of their market landscape,” said Hartmut Schaper, senior vice president, SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management. “SAP’s expertise in driving business results through a heterogeneous information technology environment ensures Unilever can respond locally in a global context.”
Following implementation for suppliers and products at locations in Turkey, South Africa and in the Middle East, Unilever has seen improved data accuracy, which will deliver more accurate metrics and reporting and will provide a better basis for a global view of enterprise business objectives and performance indicators. The implementation will also result in cost reduction by radically simplifying the IT environment through elimination of redundant systems. Additionally, SAP NetWeaver MDM future-proofs Unilever’s information base, allowing flexibility to respond to changing business models, product portfolio and organization
“Our success as a company depends on good information and keeping things simple,” said Chris Turner, chief technology officer, Unilever. “To improve our performance further still, we need to become more efficient in all areas of business and SAP will help us in IT. SAP understands our need for an accurate, harmonized view of the business at all levels, utilizing all data sources. This is the first step in moving our master data to SAP’s platform, providing us with consistent information about the products, materials and organizations we deal with, while also providing flexibility for both regional differences and to accommodate changes in the way we may operate in the future.”
Unilever has been active in master data management for more than a decade. In choosing SAP NetWeaver MDM for this upgrade, Unilever confirmed both a combination of solution and road-map maturity and strategy, seeing opportunities to improve key differentiators such as transforming and improving external-facing processes both in consumer marketing and in partnering with service providers, customers and suppliers. As these local implementations roll out regionally and globally, Unilever is creating a foundation for its strategy of harmonizing the landscape with standard products.
Longstanding Commitment to Transforming Global Business Strategy
This recent implementation strengthens Unilever’s long-time relationship with SAP. Unilever has been a user of SAP products for more than 20 years, with SAP solutions implemented in Europe, North and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, supporting 35,000 users in more than 250 locations. These implementations comprise a variety of SAP solutions including planning, enterprise resource planning (ERP) operations and strategic enterprise management. Last year, Unilever named SAP as its global premium IT partner for applications to enable and support Unilever’s global business transformation strategy. Unilever signed a global enterprise agreement with SAP, which enables customers to maximize their SAP investment by providing unrestricted access to all available current and future SAP solutions. Strengthening its position as a long-term strategic partner, SAP enables business agility and growth as customers evolve their global IT landscapes to enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA). (See May 15, 2007 press release, titled “Unilever Selects SAP as Standard for Global IT Strategy
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