As the world moves toward plant-based foods for health and ethical reasons, Upfield stands at the forefront of a new era. It’s a unique business in that it has brand-new ownership and functional management, yet it comprises a portfolio of over 100 iconic brands that customers have trusted for generations.
The company was created in July 2018 when Unilever’s spreads business was bought, resulting in a multinational enterprise employing over 3,100 people, with 26 business units across 95 countries.
This instantly made Upfield the largest plant-based consumer products company in the world, but it also made them a huge start-up with none of their own business functions or IT infrastructure. They needed to build finance, supply chain, internal audit functions and more, whilst simultaneously transforming their sales, service and marketing capability – all at phenomenal speed.
All of these components are vital for a successful and profitable global consumer business. Setting them up required an agile and highly competent delivery team from across our network, including tax, risk assurance and consulting, and Strategy& (our strategy consulting business).
Our Awards submission focuses on Upfield’s new Sales, Service and Marketing functions – critical to their growth – which were formed quickly and successfully with our support.
The result has been the delivery of significant value to the client, helping them to stand up a thriving business and focus on their vision for a “Better Plant-Based Future”, making their customers happier and healthier along the way. It has also created the standard in the consumer goods world as a model of a digital-first business, from the customer through to the supply chain.
Key outcomes include the use of a new cloud-based Distributor Management System (DMS) by Upfield’s 100+ distributors, giving Upfield a real-time view of their sales and stock; and over 5,000 consumer contacts gathered with a 26% marketing opt-in rate, through the Consumer Service solution.
At the heart of the solution was a suite of Salesforce products, which have given Upfield the capability to deliver more insightful and targeted consumer experiences. The complete ecosystem of applications is integrated to provide the data and analysis to fulfil their ambitious vision and growth targets. And the implementation has simplified the technology ‘landscape’, which has led to high levels of adoption with the new applications and business processes.
The transformation was achieved within a very tight timeframe and within budget, while minimising the time commitment from the client’s team. Design to Go-live took just seven months, which is an extraordinary achievement for an organisation of this scale.
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