Win in the Marketplace

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. ​

win-the-marketplace win-the-marketplace

Key account management Key account management

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.

Throughout 2020 our salespeople continued to serve every one of our customers that was able to operate, whilst maintaining contact with our customers who were not. We have increased the frequency of our customer engagement, providing customers with the best support we could offer as they faced their own challenges caused by rapidly shifting demand patterns.

Excellent customer service remains our north star ambition. Achieving this in a rapidly changing environment meant listening to customers’ concerns and collaborating quickly to make changes. For example, to reduce pressure on some supermarkets’ supply chains, in some cases we arranged direct deliveries to stores rather than to the customers’ central warehouses.

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.

Retail moves online

Although the dynamic e-commerce channel is still a small proportion of our overall revenue, it has doubled in value over the last two years. The channel offers great growth potential with high margins, and it also has a greater proportion of single-serve and low- and no-sugar mix compared with modern trade.

E-commerce growth during 2020 was fueled by lockdowns and restrictions implemented across our markets. This encouraged customers that had never shopped online to try it for the first time. During the second and third quarters, 70% of our online shoppers were new to the channel, and we expect more than half will continue to order online. As a result, the number of customers we are collaborating with in e-commerce increased by over 80%. Online shopping has allowed us to further expand our network of online food takeaway partnerships. We have co-operated with food delivery platforms, helping them increase the value of each transaction by including a beverage with every meal.

Across our markets, we have designed combination meals, with a meal and beverage for a single price point, and improved product positioning in online menus. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we also started connecting our brick-and-mortar customers with our food delivery platform partners to deliver grocery products, including our own, to consumers at home. To support our e-commerce success, we accelerated capability development through various bootcamps, sharpening our digital skills, sharing best practices and aligning our system priorities. In 2021, we will continue to invest to improve our ability to serve online shoppers and respond to rapid growth.

Route to market Route to market

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.

In light of the changing landscape, we have increased our efforts to strengthen our offering with existing customers as well as target new outlets. We have been able to further optimise sales and distribution because our specialised sales force, intelligent cooler assets, ample use of technology and unparalleled execution make us the industry leader with the most extensive and flexible processes across our territory.

We have employed external data and leveraged big-data advanced analytics capabilities in 2020 to update our outlet segmentation model and identify new high-potential outlets. We have rolled out image recognition technology starting in Russia and expanding into Nigeria and Ireland, and we are ready to further scale it across our markets. This allows our salesforce to spend more time with customers, while obtaining more accurate and granular data from the outlets.

We have continued investing in new coolers to support our business growth and have reached 85% coverage of our top customer outlets. In parallel, we also continue to build our network of internet-connected coolers which help us drive the efficiency of our assets and enhance our sales teams’ productivity. We have a total of 1.4 million coolers on customer premises, and more than a third, 39%, have online connections.

We have developed and evolved a range of digital solutions for customer service and ordering, and to provide solutions for our customers’ shoppers. One of these solutions is our Hybris platform, which has been transformed from a functional ordering platform to a user-friendly customer portal for business owners who want to order regularly or who have requests. The re-designed platform is used in 22 of our markets and has been a notable success. In Russia, for example, active users increased from 2,000 to 46,000 during 2020, with 18% of all orders in the country coming through this channel.

We also support our customers with their digital transformation. We created e-Partnershop, an exclusive selling platform providing direct home delivery for our wholesaler customers. This allowed them to shift their focus to online retailing due to the closures in the out-of-home channel. In addition, we are investing further in the growth of our own direct-to-consumer platform in Switzerland, Qwell. The platform includes a web-based ordering system and a mobile application, which offers potential scaling opportunities.

Sales Academy

As route-to-market plans and sales and distribution models have shifted, our people require new capabilities quickly. Our new sales academy is developing a sales force that constantly strives to improve our service, executing with excellence in every channel for prioritised drinking moments.

In 2020 we piloted the sales academy in Russia, Romania and Poland, giving our sales force the experiences and the full curriculum to build the capabilities needed at each stage of their development. Developed as a transformative digital learning approach to help build our teams’ capabilities on the job, the sales academy will be introduced in all of our markets in 2021.

While our capabilities are centrally led in an aligned way across our business, we make sure that each country has the flexibility to make their own choices, focusing on the development of capabilities that are most relevant to their local realities.

Revenue growth management Revenue growth management

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.

Leveraging technology for better execution_ Leveraging technology for better execution_

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.

Big data and analytics Big data and analytics

We are accelerating our use of big data, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities across our business with the aim to cover our largest markets by 2021.

We use data and analytics capabilities to identify and capture value-creation opportunities, particularly for top-line acceleration and cost optimisation, and to improve our service and operations across all functions.

We are now able to analyse data at a granular level, allowing us to make decisions and implement focused initiatives that generate incremental value in targeted areas of the business. These capabilities greatly enhance our segmented execution model by identifying customer needs in different locations and different types of outlets. As a result, our sales force is able to have a bigger impact per customer visit. In the fragmented market of Nigeria, where we rolled out these enhanced analytics capabilities in 2019, we have continued to see promising results, including volume increases and improved outlet prioritisation for new product launches. We are currently expanding this model to the rest of our markets.

We are driving operational excellence through machine learning, improving our forecasting for short and long-term customer demand in our markets. This streamlines inventory management and prevents out-of-stock incidents. We are also transforming our promotion management with increased capabilities to identify profitable promotion tactics and optmise investment. Our algorithms provide a holistic measurement of the return on investment for each promotion, including the negative impact of forward buying, competitive promotions and cross-brand cannibalisation.

To further scale our capabilities we are combining a number of data sets to develop a 360-degree view of each of our customers, while also maintaining strong data governance.