A Case Study of Unilever’s e-Commerce Solution using CadDo Calculate
The Future is e-Commerce

Inline with global Unilever performance, e-Commerce is growing faster than the rest of the business. This also holds true in North America, the largest contributing market. Unilever predicts that within 5 years, over 60% of North America’s sales will come from e-Commerce channels including click-and-collect, ship-to-home and last mile delivery.

“We have step-changed our eCommerce business analytics by partnering with CadDo to go from reporting information to driving key business insights. CadDo’s fast response times, in-depth business understanding and ability to translate business needs to the required data logic has allowed us to continuously update our analytics in real-time to support decision-making in one of our strategic channels for growth. CadDo has operated as an extension of our team, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them in further evolving value-added analytics capabilities through their platform.”

Adeeb Ali
e-Commerce Finance Manager

https://www.unilever.com/
Unilever eCommerce

Our Understanding

The dynamic nature of the e-Commerce landscape and Unilever’s operations made measuring and managing e-Commerce business performance challenging, for a number of reasons:

  • E-Commerce customers are typically served through distributors or other retailers. Therefore, producing a P&L and understanding their profitability was not possible without expending significant time
  • Due to unclean Point-of-Sale (POS) data, reporting against Unilever product hierarchies demanded manual mappings
  • Trade, commercial and shopper marketing spend is complex and multi-levelled, which meant calculations and allocations were beyond the capabilities of Excel spreadsheets
  • Creating user-friendly reports and keeping them up to date in a constantly changing environment was difficult due to the knowledge gap between business and IT functions

With these issues in mind, the e-Commerce team needed an analytics solution that could truly measure and manage performance, unifying all customer and POS data while capturing the nuances and fluidity of their operations.

Our Approach

We began the project with a series of scoping and design workshops, to understand and document all the requirements. The scope ranged from Gross Sales down to Profit before Overheads, across all e-Commerce models: B2B, B2C, D2C.

Our understanding of Unilever systems enabled us to collect source data, and a rate per selling unit was calculated for each P&L line. This was then applied against the POS sales given by customer and SKU, and where needed, by factoring alternative business rules and capability to create virtually unlimited override calculations to manage the complexity in an understandable and traceable way.

With an agile project approach, the solution is being constantly updated to reflect current priorities and changes in the e-Commerce environment, while maintaining traceability to allow audits and decisions to be made with confidence.

Measures of Success

With over 1,000 users across North America and the Global team, monthly results from the solution are now a critical part of management reporting and decision-making. Customer and Brand teams can now track and manage performance – including trade and marketing spend – at the lowest customer-SKU level. This enables Unilever to drive best sellers from traditional routes-to-market in e-Commerce channels, conducting product rationalization and shaping customer behavior.