Fast, Furious - And Focused: Unilever Sells Two Major Shared Services Centers In The Blink Of An Eye And Refocuses On Its Core Business
When Unilever, one of the largest consumer products companies in the world, wanted to sell two shared service centers in Brazil and Chile, it looked to Deloitte for help. Unilever expected that selling the centers would help them focus on growing revenue and profitability, but they also recognized that the sales presented some serious challenges. The centers had deep roots in Unilever's organization in Latin America, so a poorly executed transition could result in significant disruption. And the transition would have to occur quickly to achieve the greatest benefit. Deloitte helped Unilever in its efforts to finalize the contract at an unprecedented pace which facilitated immediate cash benefits and long-term cost reductions. Selling off two significant shared service centers is a tall order for most organizations - especially when the centers provide financial services support to a total of 20 countries and employ 450 staff members, as they did for Unilever. The company wanted to receive the best possible upfront price for its assets, and arrange a seven-year outsourcing deal for the buyer to provide ongoing financial systems support to minimize disruption to their business operations. Unilever selected Deloitte because of Deloitte's unbiased knowledge of the outsourcing market, experience in business process outsourcing and shared services, as well as ability to support the company in their efforts to manage the overall process, structure the deal and finalize the contract. By being prepared in advance with all the details, including 20 complicated annexes to the contract that included scope definition and Service Level Agreement performance, Unilever was able to conclude its contract negotiations over a one-week negotiation period.