How Unilever has become more data driven thanks to Microsoft

How Unilever has become more data driven thanks to Microsoft

IoT, Azure and more are helping the firm support productivity and its commitment to sustainability

Elly Yates-Roberts |

This article was originally published in the Autumn 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issues delivered directly to your inbox.

Unilever has shifted from a project-based approach to a platform strategy to become driven by data insights.

Digital twins of Unilever factories – enabled by internet of things (IoT) and intelligent edge services in the Azure IoT platform – have already yielded positive results, from improving control of moisture levels in soap-making to achieving the most efficient batch time for shampoo or detergent.

An interconnected system of tools enables support and collaboration between employees and factories. Microsoft Power BI, for instance, allows people to access the data they need, visualise it in whatever way works for them to solve the problem they’re facing, and create their own reports. It has helped to increase productivity by eliminating false or unimportant alerts on production lines.

Microsoft PowerApps empowers employees to fix their own issues and build custom apps. And Microsoft 365 and communication tools such as Teams and Yammer enable over 155,000 employees worldwide to connect and share lessons and ideas.

Unilever’s digital transformation also helps to support its commitment to sustainability. For example, a dedicated Teams community enables the company’s Dove soap factories to access energy usage data and share best practices for conserving energy.

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