“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 in line with the ‘European Framework on Transition for Shared Services’ that we agreed with the European Works Council. We will follow all appropriate consultation processes. When jobs are affected we will do our best to find them 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.