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ARMONK, NY - 12 Dec 2005: IBM today announced the signing of an agreement to transform and manage strategic sourcing and procurement operations of indirect materials and services for Unilever's North American operations. The 5-year agreement commences immediately, with anticipated transition completed by June 1, 2006.
"Companies such as Unilever are increasingly looking for a new kind of managed procurement relationship with IBM that helps them to optimize business process performance and deliver bottom line business value," said John Paterson, chief procurement officer, IBM Integrated Supply Chain. "Utilizing the same assets, methodologies and analytical tools that reduced IBM's own procurement costs by more than $6.5 billion, we are uniquely positioned to provide value to clients with any type of supply chain transformation."
In addition to improving cost efficiency, IBM will work with Unilever North America to optimize procurement processes and deploy industry-leading analytics tools and process methodologies. IBM will also leverage its technology expertise and network of procurement transformation centers of excellence which already manage optimized procurement processes for several IBM customers worldwide.
Simply put, the procurement of many of the products and services that Unilever North America uses to run its business, from office equipment to travel, to IT equipment to utilities, will be handled by IBM. "We will get access to the expertise and technology strengths of IBM to further streamline our processes and improve efficiencies," said Greg Polcer, Unilever Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, NA. "IBM's management of our non-production items will further free Unilever in North America to focus resources and energy around business activities that are more consumer and customer facing to add more value and drive growth."
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SAFE HARBOUR STATEMENT: This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends' or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results and their negatives are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting Unilever. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among others, competitive pricing and activities, consumption levels, costs, the ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain sources, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions and complete planned divestitures, physical risks, environmental risks, the ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments, political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the Unilever operates and new or changed priorities of the Unilever Boards of Directors. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting Unilever are described in Unilever's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report & Accounts on Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, Unilever expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Unilever's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.