Coca-Cola Supply Chain Management Success Story


By Chris Sapardanis | SCS 

A Modern Supply Chain for a Classic Beverage

When it comes to the world’s most powerful brands, Coca-Cola is still number one. The iconic beverage maker, which has dominated the global soft drink market for more than a century, continued its 12-year reign at the top in 2011, according to Interbrand’s latest global rankings.

For Coca-Cola, achievements like this are byproducts of a vision and an operating framework that is built on excellence. At Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), the exclusive Coca-Cola bottler for its territories in Western Europe, the company’s goal is to be the number 1 or strong number 2 choice in every category it competes in.

But on the road to long-term, sustainable growth, CCE faces similar challenges to many other manufacturing and logistics businesses. A top priority is replacing dated systems with a modernized platform across markets to create a cohesive view of metrics and streamlined processes.

Bottling iconic brands in Europe

CCE is one of the world’s largest marketers, producers and distributors of Coca-Cola products. CCE buys concentrate from The Coca-Cola Company and combines it with other ingredients to create some of the most popular beverages in Belgium, Great Britain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

In 2010, CCE completed a significant transaction with The Coca-Cola Company, selling its North American operations, while retaining its European territories and acquired new bottling rights for Sweden and Norway.

CCE’s executives recognized that establishing a uniform IT program across all of its business units would be critical for expanding CCE’s footprint in Europe.

“It is very important for us to have a set of consistent standards and processes, so that when we acquire and integrate new territories into our business we can easily put those practices in place in a short time,” says Kemal Cetin, vice president of European deployment at CCE.

Driving regional expansion with IT

As part of its Genesys program, CCE set out to deploy a new supply chain management solution at all 17 of its European plants. The new system would replace and automate many of CCE’s supply chain processes and required new skill sets to ensure the required speed of deployment.

CCE needed a partner to help deliver this new SAP-enabled business transformation. This would involve not only delivering a technology solution, but also training users on the new processes to ensure the full benefits were realized.

CSC was selected because it has combined a strong ‘front office’ business transformation and change management consulting capability with a ‘back office’ technology delivery capability for CCE since 2008. Prior to Genesys, CSC had already been supporting CCE’s applications with SAP, including order processing, manufacturing, financial transactions, human resources, procurement and other related processes.

“We started Project Genesys not as an IT project, but as a business transformation project to enable CCE’s day-to-day business to work in a harmonized way,” says Cetin. “Since CSC knew our processes, people and solutions, we thought that would carry over very well into the deployment process, and especially from an acceleration perspective, because the learning curve would be relatively short.”

“Beyond that,” Cetin adds, “CSC has very experienced and capable people from an implementation perspective. And, we needed to make sure the cost-quality equation worked for us. CSC met our criteria and satisfied us from that perspective as well.”

Filling a gap between supply and demand

The Genesys program is an integrated SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that will replace CCE’s legacy systems in the processes of “order to cash,” “requisition to payment,” and “record to report.”

Genesys will allow CCE to shorten cycle time in these processes and be more productive. It will also help bring more visibility into the business and improve decision making.

“We are a shelf-replenishment company, a supply chain company, a sales and customer services company,” says Esat Sezer, senior vice president and chief information officer of CCE. “It is very important for us to integrate our manufacturing plants all the way up to the replenishment of shelves in the retail outlets. Through the information side of the equation, we are basically tying those two ends of the business process together: the manufacturing side, which drives the supply of our product, and the shelf-replenishment side, which drives the demand part of our product.”

CSC is playing a major role in expediting the delivery of Genesys across CCE’s operations, allowing CCE to deploy Genesys at multiple-country locations at a much faster pace than if CCE had forged ahead alone.

“There are a lot of technology areas that require some capacity that we might not have or some technology areas that we might not have the knowledge about,” says Sezer. “So whenever we have those knowledge gaps, we turn to our strategic partner CSC to fill in. Whenever an accelerated deployment need arises, we leverage CSC, and we can generate value much more quickly.”