Unilever has signed a deal with Accenture to create a single system for trade and marketing operations.

The new system will allow Unilever to integrate its mobile apps and ensure its front and back-office information are in sync.

Built using the Salesforce CRM platform, Accenture’s Cloud Trade Promotion Management (TPM) and Cloud Retail Execution (RE) solutions combines its front-office consumer goods expertise with Salesforce’s cloud, mobile, social, data science and artificial intelligence capabilities.

“This agreement is a strategic decision based on the skills and capabilities Accenture and Salesforce have in the technology and digital arena, as well as a long track record of successful partnership.” said Gonzalo Esposto, global IT vice president at Unilever. “We hold a leading position in the marketplace across the majority of our 400 brands and enhancing our trade and sales activities will help us strengthen this position. In addition, the implementation of Accenture Cloud will help us close the loop between planning and execution to drive sales and improve customer loyalty and bring our IT costs down.”

Accenture will also provide its NewsPage solution, which allows Unilever to build a single system to manage its third-party distributor network. The software will enable Unilever to improve productivity, streamline inventory and get accurate, reliable data on its sales through all third party distributors.

John Zealley, senior managing director of Accenture’s consumer goods & services group, added: “Today’s consumers are better connected, better informed and more digitally savvy, making them more prone to switching and harder to please, so consumer packaged goods companies need to work ever more closely with their customer partners to drive growth.

He said: “By using knowledge of consumer preferences and their evolving demands, Unilever is clearly adapting to the changing market and is well positioned to maintain a market leading position.”