Collaboration at speed sharpens The Coca-Cola Company’s competitive edge

Legendary CPG company embraces Connected Planning for revenue growth management, trade promotions management, and much more

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Revenue growth management is a key initiative for The Coca-Cola Company. By using Anaplan to collaborate with dozens of its bottling partners, The Coca-Cola Company creates an optimal strategy to get the right products to the right consumers at the right price. That’s just one transformation the company is pursuing using Anaplan. In a variety of divisions and functions, The Coca-Cola Company has seen massive financial and time savings to support business growth with Anaplan.

Users have embraced our Anaplan solutions because we build them to their specific requests.

Alex Durham, Director, RGM System Enablement

The Coca-Cola Company has aligned its growth strategy with several key initiatives, including revenue growth management (RGM). Alex Durham, The Coca-Cola Company’s Director of RGM System Enablement, describes his work as “finding the right products, getting them to the right consumers’ hands, at the right price point,” with the ultimate goal of having consumers choose the company’s beverages throughout the day.

RGM at any company is challenging, and at The Coca-Cola Company, it’s complicated by two things: The company’s large portfolio of products, including waters, sports drinks, dairy products, plant-based beverages, and the ubiquitous flagship soft drinks; and the many independent bottling partners The Coca-Cola Company works with in North America. Each bottler serves unique geographies with differing consumer priorities and preferences. They’re independent companies, but for RGM to succeed, they need to work in concert for the good of all.

Raising the collaborative planning bar

RGM at The Coca-Cola Company is, essentially, a multidimensional planning puzzle that requires input from many geographically dispersed contributors. “We have to figure out how to align [plans] across our 67 bottlers in the United States,” Durham explains. “Anaplan’s been a great solution for us in that regard. We can collaborate effectively [and] contribute to this aligned plan that we come up with together.”

The results have been substantial, even in the face of global economic headwinds. In an earnings release, The Coca-Cola Company announced that excellence in RGM helped it build “a competitive edge” and that the company “continues to raise the bar in integrated execution [with bottlers] to deliver value to its customers and consumers in an inflationary environment.”

Anaplan at The Coca-Cola Company has grown organically since 2017, springing up in several different areas of the company and expanding into adjacent processes as people see the value of Connected Planning.

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Constant iteration at the speed of business

RGM is just one of several areas within The Coca-Cola Company that are transforming processes with Anaplan. Other teams using Anaplan include finance in several divisions (for long-range planning and planning, budgeting, and forecasting); supply chain (for supply planning, demand forecasting, and product lifecycle planning); and trade promotion management (TPM). Durham, who formerly managed IT projects for TPM at the company, notes that Anaplan proved to be 95% less expensive and was implemented in one-third the time of the legacy solution it replaced.

Durham attributes successes like these to the team of talented, user-focused Anaplan personnel – employees supplemented by partners – that The Coca-Cola Company has built and nurtured since it became an Anaplan customer in 2017. “Users have embraced our Anaplan solutions because we build them to their specific requests,” he explains. “The platform allows us to build in a much more agile fashion. We iterate constantly. That’s a huge, refreshing change for me. We can react at the speed of business.”

And that has transformed business planning at The Coca-Cola Company into a practice that is ideally suited to the company’s needs as its growth accelerates. “It’s speed, it’s happy users, it’s business results quickly,” Durham says. “I’m thrilled to be in this new paradigm.”