Real-time Visibility for Unilever

Teams with Clarkston Consulting to streamline business processes from order-to-cash

Durham, NC August 27, 2003 Clarkston Consulting, a management and technology consulting firm, announced this week the completion of a real-time order-to-cash process for Unilever Home and Personal Care North America (HPC-NA). The firm said the new process would streamline the Unilever HPC-NA's common business processes across the organization through the implementation of appropriate technology solutions.

In response to changing business pressures, Unilever HPC-NA said it set out to install a system that would provide a platform to meet future business needs, handle planned growth, and better manage and fill customer orders from the moment of receipt, through the distribution process, to delivery at the customer's warehouse.

Clarkston helped Unilever HPC-NA migrate its retail order management process from a costly mainframe onto an integrated client-server platform. This migration required the integration of multiple warehouse management systems, supply chain planning systems, pricing and promotion applications, and reporting database systems.

Throughout the project, Unilever HPC-NA and Clarkston worked to ensure that the implementation would be transparent to customers. Together the team streamlined a variety of business processes including order management, order fulfillment, accounts receivable and deduction management, according to Unilever HPC-NA. The company also said a majority of its customers experienced no disruption of service and commented on the remarkably smooth transition.

"Feedback on this project has been tremendous," said Fred Berkheimer, vice president of logistics at Unilever HPC-NA. "Customers are benefiting from improved processes and a seamless transition while employees are seeing the value of real-time customer data. Success can be attributed to our 'working partnership' with Clarkston Consulting, guiding this project from start to finish."

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