Cadbury Schweppes has confirmed it will cut its IT workforce by 15% by the end of the year, as part of 7,500 job losses announced by the group back in June.
The job cuts reflect the chocolate and drinks giant's outsourcing of its datacentres to HP, which remains on course to be completed by the end of the year, and a further reorganisation of its senior IT management.
Cadbury is also in the process of outsourcing its transactional accounting and order capture functions to shared services centres run by Genpact in India, China, and Romania.
As part of its ongoing IT reorganisation, the firm is also overhauling its HR systems by moving to a global model in a bid to cut the department's expenditure. It has signed up Northgate-owned Arinso to deliver HR systems and related services to its confectionary business, which spans five continents and 68 countries.
The seven-year partnership will use Arinso’s euHReka technology to create a single SAP-based HR services platform. The platform, to be completed in early 2010, will become the core Cadbury Schweppes’ global HR information system and give employees online access to services. Under the contract, Cadbury will also have the option to explore further the support services offered by Arinoso as the deal evolves.
Cadbury's job cutting plans stem in part from difficulties around a £200m SAP enterprise resource planning implementation that began in 2005 and hit group performance. The company admitted last year that the problems had contributed to a £12m loss in profit by contributing to an excess production of chocolate stock which then had to be sold at a discount.
Cadbury has also announced the reversal of plans to sell its US drinks business, because of difficulties for buyers in financing a deal. Those plans could have seen it being forced to separate IT systems having only begun two years earlier to link them under under the Probe integration programme which included the ill-fated SAP implementation.
The group is now targeting a demerger of the drinks operation instead, which would allow it to trade separately on the New York Stock Exchange but continue to be part of the larger group.
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