Bart Van Mulders Business Unit Manager +32 474 89 17 06


Ordina offers Unilever’s sales and customers 360° overview of logistical flow

“Our vendors have a 360° view of the entire logistical flow, almost in real-time. This offers enormous added value for both parties, our sales people and our retail customers!” Philippe Letellier, Customer Development Operations Manager Unilever

Every day, Unilever products reach as many as two billion consumers worldwide via an extensive retailer and distribution network. To be able to monitor its objectives and results even more efficiently, Unilever Belgium needed a new tool that could process and analyse storage and shop information quickly. An automatic reporting system had to offer sales managers a 360° overview of the logistical chain at any time. Ordina took up the challenge and developed a comprehensive tailor-made Business Intelligence solution.

Unilever Contact Contact Bart Van Mulders


Day after day, two billion people use Unilever products to look good, feel good and get more out of life. With more than four hundred food and care brands, the multinational plays a major role in consumers’ daily lives. The product portfolio varies from balanced foodstuffs to indulgence ice cream, affordable soap, beneficial shampoos and various household products. Alongside global brands such as Lipton, Knorr, Dove and Axe, a Unilever label also adorns local brands such as Coral, Solo and Zwan.


To make turnover figures easier to discuss, so that together with retail customers in their region, Unilever’s sales managers are better able to evaluate and adjust results and targets. Broadly speaking, that was what Unilever Belgium had in mind for its new reporting tool. The solution had to offer both sales and customers – retail managers and area managers of sales outlets – greater transparency along the entire goods flow. Until recently, Unilever’s retail contacts did not have access to results. For them, more of an insight into the logistical chain between Unilever, the various delivery points at retailers and the sales outlets would therefore offer significant added value. It would create greater clarity in relation to the results for specific product segments and ranges, and help map the impact of promotions. In addition, easy monitoring of deliveries and sales figures would help avoid missed sales opportunities.   


Based on Microsoft Business Intelligence solutions, Ordina created a workable analysis and reporting tool. Ordina’s BI specialists produced a completely new working model according to the Kimball method. Thanks to this layered method, it became possible for Unilever to import and process data from various retail chains very quickly. The final step in this ‘Power BI’ system consists of a reporting layer in which all sales data from the shops are put into clear analyses every day. The solution developed by Ordina for Unilever ensures that information about Unilever’s product segments, the retailer ranges, regions and promotional campaigns is clearly explained.


Unilever was seeking a total solution. Ordina therefore supported the process from beginning to end. After an in-depth preliminary study and analysis, Ordina’s BI specialists planned the entire architecture of the reporting tool. They then took charge of implementing the system. Unilever also entrusted the hosting of the solution to Ordina, including the necessary SLAs. For the development Ordina used the flexible Windows Azure cloud solution from Microsoft. In barely 75 man-days, the project team ensured a smooth transition to a ‘self-service BI’: data analysis without IT support. Unilever employees were quickly able to get to grips with the reporting tool themselves. At the same time, however, they can count on the support of the Ordina service desk, which adjusts the system according to new requirements.


With its user-friendly dashboard, the newly developed reporting tool takes contacts between Unilever’s product representatives and their customers to a higher level. Detailed analyses mean that both parties are speaking the same language when evaluating results and objectives. The daily processing of storage and sales data allows quasi-real-time monitoring of stocks, deliveries and sales figures. The result is a 360° overview, not only for Unilever but also for the customer. Besides the easy monitoring and optimisation of stocks and deliveries by region or by customer, the new dashboard makes it possible to anticipate sales opportunities more effectively. The tool also gives feedback on the impact of promotional campaigns and strategies. The fact that all this information is available during discussions with customer-retailers gives Unilever an edge in terms of service.