IBM Enters Procurement Services Transformation Initiative Agreement With Unilever North America

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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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