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21 December 2012 | Rebecca Ellinor
Unilever has awarded a $175 million (£108 million) finance and procurement outsourcing deal to IBM.
The contract covers the provision of a global procure-to-pay service spanning 70 countries. The five-year agreement with the technology services business also includes ‘record-to-report' services for the northern hemisphere. In this deal it covers general accounting, fixed assets, closing and financial reporting activity.
The arrangement follows a competitive tendering process and extends the existing strategic relationship established between the two companies in 2005.
IBM said it has signed a partnership agreement with the fast-moving consumer goods giant covering how it will help it achieve its business and sustainability goals. Unilever plans to double the size of its business while reducing its environmental impact.
Speaking to SM this summer, the company’s chief supply chain officer, Pier Luigi Sigismondi, said: “There is no way that businesses can sustain themselves for the next 20, 30, 40 years if they don’t change the way they operate. That’s why the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is a way for us to do business.”
IBM said the agreement is a key element of Unilever’s Partner to Win programme, which aims to create closer collaboration with preferred suppliers to help Unilever expand its business.
Christian Kaufmann, vice president of finance services at Unilever, said in a statement: “If we are to achieve the continuous improvement we need to help the business remain competitive and to reach our goal of doubling the size of our business while halving our environmental impact, we need leading-edge financial services.”
Jean-Stéphane Payraudeau, vice president, IBM Global Process Services, Europe, said: “We are delighted to continue this journey as the new global procure-to-pay partner while continuing to provide and transform our existing services."