Consumer goods giant Philips, known by many for its TVs and light bulbs, is highlighting IT as a key tool for driving more effective processes in several units as it targets €800 million (£690 million) in annual cost savings.

While systems will be improved, IT jobs are expected to be hit by the news, alongside staff across the board in human resources, finance and administration, research, marketing and sales. Details on the number of jobs affected will be revealed in the coming fortnight.

Philips chief executive Frans van Houten told investors today that under the ‘Accelerate’ business transformation programme the company aims to “transform customer value chains” into seven Lean business models.

These areas include sales, marketing, manufacturing, the supply chain, and research, and would be “enabled by effective IT”, he said.

By improving its production and distribution, Philips wants to accelerate its speed to market by 40 percent. It is also looking to improve warehousing control and reduce excess inventory, also underpinned by IT improvements.

The Accelerate programme originally targeted €500m in cost savings, but this was increased as the group faced continued struggles over diminished demand and weakness in some key markets.

Van Houten said the firm will focus on “increased innovation efforts and customer intimacy, while removing complexity and changing our culture to transform Philips into a more entrepreneurial company”.