Unilever case study:
Improving internal reactivity to meet customer’s needs
Table of Contents
Title Page p.1
Table of Contents p.2
Company Profile p.3
Situation: What was the specific need for CRM ? p.4
Solution: PPE/Octavius a combined solution to improve information transfer p.5
Objectives: What were thegoals of the CRM strategy ? p.6
Implementation: What was the corporate –wide implementation process? p.7
Key Benefits: What were the results of this new business solution? p.8
Future: Expectation for the future p.9
Unilever is one of the most important manufacturers in France for Home and personalCare (with P&G and Henkel). The company manages brands for house up keeping and laundry products (Cif, Domestos, Omo, Skip, Persil, Cajoline) and for body and hair care (Dove, Sunsilk, Timotei, Axe, Rexona, Signal)
As all manufacturers in France, their customers are essentially in-home distributors (Hyper-Supermarkets & convenient stores). Unilever products are distributed on French market sincethe 50’s. Thus, the mass distribution network is totally covered. The main point is not to acquire new customers (except the new e-channel distributors) but to satisfy the already existing customer’s demand as the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market is highly competitive.
The case study will be focused on HPC products (Home and Personal Care) in mass retailing stores (most importantcustomers). As for some HPC brand until 50% of their turnover can be based on promotional operations, we will illustrate the importance and problems in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in the promotional operation context. This kind of operation requires indeed the manufacturer to satisfy the customer totally because if it is not the case, the latter could refuse the next promotional suggestionsof the manufacturer.
How to satisfy the customer to keep good relationship ?
Situation before : What was the specific need for CRM ?
In fact, when a retailer wants to organize a promotional event in its stores (for example the “25 winning days” in Auchan), several powerful companies as P&G, Henkel, L’Oreal, Reckitt, etc. are asked to make promotional suggestions to answer distributordemand. Then the customer will choose the best suggestions and go further in the negotiations to organize the promotional event. But between the moment when the customer accepts the promotional suggestion and the moment of the promotion event, the manufacturer must organize the communication for sales force to take orders in stores, launch production and delivery the products (and promotion mediasupports) [cf. Appendix A for more explanation].
In the past there were some problems during promotional operations. For example, logistics problems prevented Dove operation from occurring last year; after the confirmation of the promotional operation, the communication with customer relationship, logistics and production services was not reactive enough to response to an increasing demand of“boxes” (personalized sales shelves). As the effectiveness of sales forces was not supported by the production and delivery, the customer really felt unsatisfied.
Another remaining problem is also a lack of in-real-time information: Each time a new operation is accepted, the NAM/KAM assistants enter the information in excel files on Unilever intranet. Then the technical information for delivering andstocking products are made and pictures of the products are sending to the customer to do the communication of promotion and to anticipate the reception of products. As the same time, the NAM interns do the operation files: these documents enable the sales force to argue for selling a maximum of products and to take the products orders. The earlier these documents are sent, the better the...