Unilever's debut as a company began in 1930, however its history dates back much earlier, to the late 19th century. Its origins began with a partnership between British soap maker Lever Brothers and the Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie. Oils and fats were essential raw materials for both companies, thus a partnership to import such materials was created in order to purchase in larger volumes. With increased competition for raw materials and deteriorating economic conditions in the 1920s, the partner companies aligned their strategies to create Unilever as is known today.
Despite the unfavorable economic conditions and World War II, Unilever continued to diversify its portfolio to encompass various food products. Throughout the years following the war, Unilever implemented an acquisition strategy to expand into new emerging international markets. Similarly, Unilever's competitors in the consumer goods industry were growing in size and influence, inciting intense competition amongst the actors.In the 1980s Unilever was identified as one of the largest companies in the world, however a new strategic vision was being developed to reduce its portfolio of products to include several core products. Throughout the 1990s, Unilever shed many of its products and refined its new customer-focused strategy.
[...] Is Unilever's Model Sustainable? The industry in which Unilever operates is a very challenging and competitive industry. The existence of large, consolidated companies, with a large range of products, competing heavily in a maturing industry, places great importance on innovation. Unilever's approach to innovation through research and development has allowed the company to position itself in a very unique situation in the industry. A strong sense of improvement of the overall business processes from sourcing its products from certifiable suppliers to ensure the quality of the raw materials and the durability of the relationship with its suppliers, to reducing packaging to save on cost and reduce waste, has radically changed the way many companies in the industry operate. [...]
[...] Strategies for Growth and for Innovation at Unilever 2.1. Strategy towards Sustainable Development 2.1.1. Environment is always at the core center of Unilever strategy Taking into account Unilever's external environment and its own internal resources, its strategy for growth is strongly based on innovation of its processes and products. As one of the largest manufacturers of consumer goods, Unilever has made leaps throughout its history as a company to develop a strong overall innovation process. It has done this through a strong devotion to sustainable business practices and a company vision to have economic success by creating social value. [...]
[...] The customer perspective of the innovations in terms of process and products is managed by Unilever with two gatherings: The first one is the CIIC which stands for Customer Insight and Innovation Centre. Unilever has 3 CIICs in the world (New York, London and Paris) and 2 in project (Shanghai and Sao Paulo). It is a place for Unilever's customer to discover virtually how their retail can be laid out. Concretely customers come for a specific thematic. CIIC analyzes facings of the store and gives some advice that can be checked in a virtual reality room. Point of sale advertising, new ground, new lights, and much more of these can be visualized. [...]
[...] Strategic growth for Unilever I. Unilever and its Environment 1.1. History of Unilever Unilever's debut as a company occurred in 1930, however its history dates back much earlier, to the late 19th century. Its originated with a partnership between British soap maker Lever Brothers and the Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie. Oils and fats were essential raw materials for both companies, thus a partnership to import such materials was created in order to purchase in larger volumes. With increased competition for raw materials and deteriorating economic conditions in the 1920s, the partner companies aligned their strategies to create Unilever as it is known today. [...]
[...] Part of this new approach involved solving the bottleneck caused by a delay in the availability of product labels. Sourcing its labels required a one week delay. So they decided to print it inline. It permitted to reduce stock, end obsolete label write-offs and accelerate reaction times in the production process. The Deodorant Division implemented Kallik's AMS Trade software solution and so achieved to reduce the cycle time of its labeling innovation process by 98%. III. Strategies for Growth and for Innovation at Unilever 3.1. [...]
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