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Unilever signs 7 year contract with IBM for financial transactional services outsourcing


23/12/2005 : Unilever today announced it has signed a contract to outsource significant parts of its financial transactional services to IBM. This agreement covers more than 20 European countries and is part of the One Unilever programme, which aims to streamline the organisation in order to increase competitiveness in the marketplace and step up growth.
IBM will provide financial services including Purchase to Pay, General Accounting and Bill to Cash and will be delivered from IBM centres in Portugal, Poland and India. The deal is expected to deliver significant cost savings to Unilever throughout the seven years of the contract. These anticipated cost savings will contribute to the overall targeted €700 million annual savings of the One Unilever programme.
“IBM brings strong business process knowledge, deep technical expertise and a flexible, responsive business model to finance shared services. As a specialist in this area, IBM will be able to help us optimise our business process performance, and deliver additional savings in support of our core business; offering consumers excellent brands and products,” says Kees van der Graaf, president Unilever Europe.
Van der Graaf added: “This change will affect quite a number of our employees in Europe. We are committed to treat all of them responsibly and will follow all appropriate consultation processes. When jobs are affected we will do our best to find alternative employment.”
IBM will apply business insight within our global network of operations to optimise business performance. The agreement will create long-term economic benefits for Unilever,“ said Tony Cronin, general manager, business transformation outsourcing, IBM. ”This relationship is a strong example of the new on-demand business IBM is targeting in the marketplace for Business Performance Transformation Services"
Unilever will follow a phased approach in implementation over approximately two years, starting in the first quarter of 2006. Approximately 750 people are affected by this change.
December 23, 2005
Note to editors:
About Unilever
Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies. It produces 400 brands, spanning 14 categories of well-known and respected food, home and personal care products. It has operations in nearly 100 countries around the world, generating annual sales of €42 bln in 2004. Unilever employs 223 000 people worldwide and has 365 manufacturing sites across six continents.
Unilever’s mission is to add Vitality to Life, by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good, and get more out of life.
150 million times a day, people all over the world chose Unilever products at key moments of their day, including brands such as Knorr, Lipton, Dove, Magnum, Becel/Flora, Omo, and Domestos.
About IBM Business Consulting Services
With consultants and professional staff in more than 160 countries globally, IBM Business Consulting Services is the world’s largest consulting services organization. IBM Business Consulting Services provides clients with business transformation and industry expertise, and the ability to translate that expertise into integrated, responsive, on-demand business solutions and services that deliver bottom-line business value.
Over the past several years, IBM Business Consulting Services has developed industry-leading transformation consulting skills and delivery capabilities in key areas, including Human Resources, Financial Management, Customer Relationship Management and Procurement.

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