Management Information Systems at The Coca-Cola Company
As a world-wide leader in the soft drink and beverage industry, Coca Cola maintains a vast corporate and industrial structure which serves to run the business as smoothly as possible, and enhance all around internal performance. To make this happen, and to grow to where Coca Cola is as a business today, they have amassed a large variety of products, and reached deeply into the global market with these products. Some useful stats which help to realize the corporate landscape of The Coca-Cola Company are as follows: as of 2009 the company employed 92,800 people, featured a line of 3,300+ beverages, boasted 48 consecutive years of increased dividends, and had its products being sold in over 200 different countries (The Coca-Cola Company, 2009). However, all of this expansion and growth as a business could not take place without significant internal structuring. The corporate structure of Coca-Cola utilizes a mix of high end technology and computer systems, collaboration with bottling companies and retailers which exists on a large and impressive scale, as well as a massive focus on advertisement that is constantly on the competitive edge and the horizon of social developments in order to represent their products most efficiently to customers. Customers are of course, the final and most important link in this chain, and Coca-Cola has excelled at finding new and creative ways to reach its customers, while at the same time growing and expanding as a business in order to retain its position as the global leader in its industry.
An example of Coca Cola’s extremely large dominion over the beverage industry comes in the form of a statistic, one of several important statistics found on the Coca Cola corporate website which states that according to a 2009 study, people worldwide consumed an average of 1.6 billion servings of Coca Cola products per day (The Coca-Cola Company, 2009). In order to manage all of this capital effectively, Coca-Cola employs a highly technological, highly structured system that includes 300 bottling companies independent of Coca-Cola. The company works essentially by producing the syrups, concentrates, and base products used in Coca-Cola beverages. This is the main purpose of the Coca-Cola Company, along with advertisement and management. After the syrups and bases are manufactured, they are shipped to any of the 300 bottling companies, who finish and package the final product. In this way, Coca-Cola is able to exist on a global level, while still working with local bottling companies. This is an efficient way to manage such a huge distribution operation, and although corporate oversight obviously still exists to a certain extent, it breaks the huge process of distribution up into smaller, more manageable chunks which improve the over-all efficiency of the company. Bottling partners are for the majority not owned by Coca-Cola, and the company prides itself on allowing bottling partners to work completely independently in most cases. An important stat which highlights this corporate relationship between Coca-Cola and bottlers can be found in the Coca Cola 2007 Investor’s Review, where in a pie graph entitled “Company’s 2007 Worldwide Unit Case Volume by Bottler Relationship” it shows that a majority 54% of its bottling operation is in non-controlling equity interest. The other portions of Coca Cola’s unit case volume are as follows: 25% - no ownership interest, 10% - controlling interest, and 11% - “other” which includes foodservice operations as well as the production of juice and sports drinks (The Coca-Cola Company, 2007). As we can see, the importance of these “bottling partners” cannot be underestimated, as it is their responsibility to manufacture the product and package it to vendors, who are the next key member in the structure of The Coca-Cola Company. The vendors...
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