Win in the Marketplace

Growth Capabilities

We are a customer-centric business aiming to provide value to our customers by growing their business and through perfect execution in the marketplace.

We grow by supporting our customers’ growth. To do this, we leverage our 24/7 portfolio and segmented sales execution to grow the overall beverage industry, focusing on areas of high value opportunity and executing with excellence.

With over 100 brands covering eight categories – sparkling, water, juices, ready-to-drink tea, energy, plant-based, premium spirits and coffee – we have more opportunities to help our customers delight consumers than ever before, by providing the brands and drinks people want, when and where they want them.

We have prioritized 5 critical capabilities for growth: Customer Centric Key Account Management, Tech-enabled Route to Market, Value-led Revenue Growth Management, Disciplined Innovation and Growth-focused Big Data and Advanced Analytics. Fast-forwarding these across the organisation, evolving our strategic frameworks and enabling everyone to play their role, is crucial to delivering growth. ​

Our next-generation customer partnership model allows us to generate powerful insights from customer data, which supports tailored execution plans implemented in collaboration with our partners.

We start by commissioning an annual survey of more than 16,000 customers, comparing ourselves with other beverage suppliers. This survey allows us to understand the challenges and opportunities our customers are encountering, meaning we can identify how to become better partners and continue to exceed their expectations.

This approach is helping us to develop stronger and more productive customer partnerships and provides a platform for us to continue building these relationships. As a result of this model, we are recognized as the top supplier for traditional outlets, with the share of our satisfied customers (good & excellent) reaching 68.6% in 2019.

To optimise strategies undertaken together with our customers, we are developing more powerful analytic tools to assess commercial decisions and better understand the investment and returns required.

Building customer-centric capabilities

To improve our efforts to partner with our customers to drive mutual revenue and profit growth, we have developed a new framework for end-to-end customer management.

We are also training and developing the next generation of key account leaders as we continue to evolve into an even more customer-centric business. To accomplish this, we have put in place a robust programme of training backed by a targeted development centre to address skill gaps and ensure our people have the right capabilities to take our customer partnerships forward. As an example, we are setting up dedicated negotiation rooms in each market for our teams to practise and build their negotiating skills, ready to meet our customers’ expectations.

We are investing in improving leadership skills and intensifying the involvement of leaders in talent development. We have also launched a simplified people-powered process for performance and talent management which incorporates regular feedback from peers and customers. This is part of our effort to improve employee experiences, with increased focus on hiring, onboarding and career discussions.

Our route-to-market approach is about converting our strategy into excellent execution at every point of sale. In line with our improving portfolio, we are continuously strengthening our route to market and partnering with our customers to bring our 24/7 portfolio into the hands of our consumers faster and with greater efficiency.

A broader portfolio requires greater sales force specialisation, with dedicated teams for the premium Hotels, Restaurants and Cafes (HoReCa) channel for example, and this is an important part of how we activate these great brands in the market.

Our route to market is increasingly segmented to offer more customer service options, aiming to capture the full potential of each individual outlet rather than just the channel.

Our targeted and segmented way of serving our customers, with an appropriate level of sales force specialisation and combined with the utilisation of new technologies, gives us a competitive advantage to win in the marketplace.

Capturing growth opportunities requires more than a strong product portfolio. It is equally necessary to have excellence in execution, successfully serving every customer through every outlet for every occasion, 24/7.

Our success is dependent on the success of our customers. When our customers are able to generate profits by selling our products, they demand more products from an expanded range. Joint value creation is therefore key to both category and market share expansion as well as profitable growth.

Leveraging technology for better Execution

Our industry-leading commercial capabilities also include excellent sales execution, which lets us offer the right range of products and services to our customers while remaining cost competitive.

Our route-to-market approach converts our strategy into excellent execution at every point of sale. We have equipped our sales teams with a sales force automation tool, which helps our people provide the very best service quality. This platform uses a range of customer data, including from connected coolers, suggesting activities with the biggest impact for each customer visit, and recommending products and quantities to be ordered whilst reducing administrative tasks.

We have increased our investment in coolers over the past few years. This investment serves to drive immediate consumption and increases revenue per case. At the same time, we are building a network of connected coolers, which are now present in all of our 28 markets. This technology automatically keeps track of inventory and supports promotional messaging to consumers within close range.

In order to improve our in-store execution we have deployed image recognition technology. In 2019, we launched Coca-Cola HBC’s first service brand, Qwell by Valser, for delivery in Switzerland. The project includes a web-based ordering platform and app. In many of our markets, we have improved online ordering and self-service functionality for customers with a solution that fully integrates SAP platforms with Coca-Cola HBC back-end systems. This streamlines both ordering and processes for cooler servicing, financial claims and order tracking.

Sales force specialization

By segmenting our customers and introducing dedicated sales teams specialising in specific channels, we are unlocking the potential of our 24/7 portfolio.

We start by understanding the total universe of outlets, defining different service levels and contact options and optimizing customer visits by channel and segment. This process helps us determine the right level of specialisation so that we deploy the right number of business developers. In big cities, we have launched dedicated teams serving HoReCa key accounts and wholesalers, as well as ambassadors for coffee and premium spirits. Meanwhile, our business developers in rural areas are responsible for a mix of customers and products.

Our customers are also developing their own offerings. The HoReCa channel remains a key focus, as it is pivotal in driving premiumisation and building the right consumer experience around our brands. We leverage the expertise of our centres of excellence in Croatia and Greece to build a shared value proposition, provide a bespoke service to our customers and capitalise on available synergies.

Our industry-leading commercial capabilities include a game-changing approach to revenue growth management, which makes our business more sustainable and profitable.

By improving revenue growth management, we aim to maximise value from every transaction. Our new revenue growth management framework, developed in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, makes better use of big data and advanced analytics, giving us deep insight across different channels, customers and types of shoppers. This has led to fundamental changes in planning, and it empowers our markets to make the right strategic decisions.

In the last few years, we have continued to expand our portfolio and make it more consumer centric, along with an increased focus on consumer occasions. At the same time, we have striven to improve category and package mix, focusing on portfolio premiumisation, brand stratification and growing sales of single-serve packages.

As our Revenue Growth Management approach is analytically intensive, it requires the right tools to be supported by our systems. To embed this model, we have equipped our business units with various analytical tools which are fully integrated with our digital environment. Our business developers can now use advanced pricing and assortment optimisation tools which are allowing us to make the right strategic decisions.

As we become the leading 24/7 beverage partner, we are unlocking growth potential in segments outside our core sparkling portfolio.

By offering a broader portfolio, with a wider choice of products, we grow our business and those of our customers. In established categories, new recipes, variants and packages are having a strong impact, while initiatives for new categories are the basis for long-term success.

With every initiative, we are focused on growing the value of our portfolio. Additionally, we have launched an internal innovation platform with thousands of employees currently engaged in the scheme. This is a hub for our employees to share their ideas, and so far, we have generated thousands of ideas. We also engage with external parties in our quest for innovation, partnering with leading universities and start-ups.

As we seek to become more innovative and customer-centric, we are leveraging our data and investing in advanced analytic tools to identify and capture value creation and improve our service and operations.

In Nigeria, where trade is very fragmented, advanced analytics have given us the ability to segment our outlets to the same degree we had previously achieved in our other markets. This allows us to have different activations for different outlet segments, addressing different drinking occasions. In Lagos, for example, we were able to target the Easter occasion in outlets near major churches, with additional premium products in more affluent areas.

We aim to build and sustain this critical capability as a long-term competitive advantage.

Data and advanced analytics techniques are also supporting our segmented execution model, providing suggested activities to our sales force, including recommended orders with specific products and quantities to minimise out-of-stock incidents.