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Users have embraced our Anaplan solutions because we build them to their specific requests.Alex Durham, Director, RGM System Enablement
less cost for trade promotion management compared with legacy solution
independent bottlers collaborate on one revenue growth management plan
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.
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.
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.”
Alex Durham, Director, RGM System Enablement, The Coca-Cola Company: A lot of people think the Coca-Cola company is a slow lumbering giant. We're not. We're a growth company. We are trying to be the beverage of choice throughout the day for all drinking occasions. And so how do we get to that growth? RGM, revenue growth management. It's finding the right products to getting it to the right consumers’ hands at the right price point so they have value in our beverages, and we can provide those moments of refreshment throughout the day.
We’re the math and the numbers and the brains behind that strategy. One of the five key pillars of our growth strategy is RGM. So it's that important to Coca-Cola.
One of our challenges in RGM is we have to figure out how to align across our 67 bottlers. Anaplan's been a great solution for us in that regard. We can collaborate effectively. Everybody can log in wherever they're at and contribute to this aligned plan that we come up with together.
Anaplan at Coca-Cola has grown organically. It's sprung up in several different areas of the company and it's grown to adjacent processes as people see the value of connecting things together. In my area, we started with aligning the revenue plans for our bottling system. And that's grown into our adjacent customer planning and trade promotion management, or TPM. It allowed us to build a custom-fit tool for the way we work, with our terminology and our processes.
I put in the prior TPM system. We replaced that system with Anaplan. It is 95% cheaper and three times as fast.
Users have embraced our Anaplan solutions because we build them to their specific requests. 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. We don't have to go and spin up a new IT project and onboard new resources. We can just go ahead and make those changes ourselves, and we can do it as fast as we are capable of. Which, turns out, is pretty fast.
This is just a totally different ballgame and one I'm happy to be playing in. It's speed. It's happy users. It's business results quickly, so I'm thrilled to be in this new paradigm.