IBM, Sara Lee ink 7-year outsourcing deal


Posted at Mar 08 2009 11:42 AM | Updated as of Mar 08 2009 07:42 PM

A seven-year business transformation outsourcing agreement was recently signed by IT giant IBM Philippines and consumer goods firm Sara Lee Corp. to provide finance and accounting services for the latter's global back office operations.

In a statement, IBM said it will manage a portion of Sara Lee's transaction processing in North America and Europe for seven years, as well as the company's applications development and maintenance groups and global indirect procurement activities.

As a result of the collaboration which was signed last December, IBM will be increasing the capabilities of its Manila Delivery Center, whose multilingual workforce provides services in German, French, and Spanish, in addition to English and local dialects. In turn, Sara Lee said it is will look to "drive additional cost and efficiency improvements" through the deal.

“Sara Lee's move to globally integrated, back office shared services will be accelerated with this business transformation collaboration. This pact allows us to further grow our local Finance & Accounting business process services, and at the same time kick off our new Supply Chain Management services locally,” said IBM Philippines Country General Manager James Velasquez.

Sara Lee said it has a long-term strategy of building on leading market share operations, leveraging opportunities in emerging markets and driving efficiencies to spur worldwide growth.

It added that it is simplifying its organization to achieve efficiencies through process discipline, functional centers of excellence, integrated supply chains and outsourcing work where appropriate.

Meanwhile, the consumer goods firm said the transfer of activities will happen in a phased approach in accordance with local consultation requirements.

Sara Lee is the maker of well-known food, household, and body care brands such as Ambi Pur, BallPark, Douwe Egbers, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Kiwi, Sanex, and Senseo. Collectively, these brands have generated more than $13 billion in annual net sales in around 200 countries. The company boasts of a 44,000-strong workforce.