Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated has faced a whole host of unforeseen challenges during the past 18 months as the pandemic wreaked havoc with the national economy. However, the company, which is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States, has found that taking a holistic approach to supply chain decision making has helped it weather the storm.
During an educational session at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ EDGE Conference and Exhibition, Dave Cruz, director of logistics, recounted the wild ride that the company has been on, which includes:
The company found that the key to responding well to these changing conditions was creating an agile response team, which consisted of the senior vice president of supply chain, the marketing vice president, and the revenue growth management vice president. According to Cruz, all three of these executives have strong personalities but agreed to leave their egos at the door. Instead, they are have been making decisions that are based on data and take a holistic view of what would be best for the entire organization (and not just their own particular portion of it). (See slide above.)
Initially the company launched this team to deal with the problems associated with the early days of the pandemic. But this “portfolio solutions team” has proved to be so successful that it has become a permanent part of the organization and is now being replicated at lower echelons at the business.