This case study is an analysis of the response of Coca-Cola since the onset of the Covid-19 and how modifications in the company’s business model have enabled the company to remain profitable. The case study assesses how the company has repositioned itself in the production of beverages to ensure it regains its previous position as the leader in the sector. The creative changes and innovation of the company are analyzed to emphasize the importance of creativity in current business operations. The roles of corporate governance are also keenly studied to analyze the importance of good management in business.
Repositioning in the Post 2020 Pandemic World
The Covid-19 pandemic saw a shift in business practices as the government sought to protect its citizens from the pandemic. The biggest impediment to business was the restriction to movement guidelines and the reduced physical contact. Lockdowns meant that people could not travel across long distances and the restrictions on gathering meant that people could not enjoy their beverages in unison (Martino et al., 2021). Coca-Cola mainly sold its drinks in bars and restaurants where people congregated. The well-intended restrictions reduced the sale of Coca-Cola products and there was a need for the company to adapt to these changes and increase the use of its products at home. One major step was the partnership with Blue-Yonder which saw the company revamp its supply chain (Coca-Cola, 2021). Blue-Yonder has ensured that the online supply of beverages across the globe is maintained without interference. This is a crucial aspect of the digital revolution for a company that aims at minimizing the need for physical business operations (Barnes, 2020). The management of the company believes that the digital revolution is not aimed at slowing down anytime soon. The company aims at being appraised with the developments and the partnership ensures that customers can make orders for beverages throughout the day and night.
The pandemic saw the insurgence of the online buying models and developments which the Coca-Cola Company has embraced. Online purchase of products means that people rely on limited personal contact and movement to various stores. The company realized that it was essential it remains abreast with this development in the market. The various applications and online sites the company runs and partners the company cooperates with were reviewed (Coker, Flight, and Baima, 2021). The company ensured that their partners such as supermarkets gave their goods an online presence and included their goods in the list of products bought through clicks. Additionally, the company presented the customers with a user-friendly interface in its application that is available on various smartphones and computers (Coca-Cola, 2020). The interface was laced with colors and pleasing features. Additionally, the company generated convincing packages for the customers. These packages encourage the purchase of Coca-Cola products. These offers encourage the customers to purchase a certain quantity of beverages for a convenient price, enabling them to save. This model has encouraged the use of online purchases amongst all age groups across the globe. Before the onset of the pandemic, online purchase of goods was popular amongst millennials but has now become prevalent due to the necessity presented by the pandemic.
The company has invested in videos, images, and slogans that encourage online purchases amongst the customers. These sometimes trigger impulse buying with the various offers available. The company has also made significant investments in increasing in-app visibility. The visibility mirrors the in-store presence, to ensure familiarity is boosted. The appearance of the goods in the online platforms is designed to resemble that of the goods in the store (Coca-Cola, 2020). The management has also optimized its search engines grounded on how customers communicate. This ensures that their products are easily seen by buyers in various online stores. The company has also ensured that its goods such as sodas are included in combos for various restaurants that deal in online delivery of foods. This includes popular chicken and pizza restaurants across the United States. The combos ensure that sodas are included in various food options for the customers ensuring that sales are high. These partnerships entail ensuring that the restaurants can also make marked profits by selling Coca-Cola products (Coker, Flight, and Baima, 2021). The promotion of core brands through various online platforms has been s proven strategy of ensuring that the company continues to make profits. The company slowed down the production and marketing of new products with the onset of the pandemic and focused on proven brands.
Advertisements through various social media platforms saw the company focus on specific product promotion to increase sales, maximizing the value of familiarity. The beverages ordered online by the customers from various company stores and partners such as retailer shops are collected readily when the customers travel there. This means that the queues at the stores have been eliminated and customers have no desire to alight their vehicles (Gerritsen et al., 2021). They can be offered their goods in the comfort of their cars. In addition to picking goods at the various stores, customers can now receive their favorite Coca-Cola drinks at the comfort of their homes (Coca-Cola, 2020). This is due to the incorporation of delivery services into the applications that enable online purchases. The customers incur a minimal added cost for their goods to be transported to them, and this has been vital in ensuring that the company remains competitive. This has necessitated cooperation with various transport partners in different countries to ensure that goods are delivered (Barnes, 2020). The investment in deliveries has enabled the company to bolster its profits and remain steadfast in the market. The customers have embraced the delivery system that was previously popular amongst millennials, with all age groups appreciating its convenience.
Creative Change and Innovation
The digitalization of the supply chain by the Coca-Cola Company with the onset of the pandemic was geared towards minimizing losses that occurred in the process of delivering goods. The supply chain relied on a decentralized system that involved multiple players and companies. This resulted in the company making enormous losses due to the errors in the delivery. The losses resulted from delays in delivery, unconfirmed deliveries, and errors in computing the appropriate figures (Lorentzen, 2021). The company could not continue to make the losses with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic that saw its profits diminish. The process of digitalizing the supply chain was already underway before the pandemic but the situation coerced the company to accelerate this process (Abdin, 2020). The digitalization of this vital aspect saw the company reduce reliance on manual records and instead increase its enormous online presence and reliance on technology (Bathe and Godager, 2021). Digitalization meant that a single vendor could manage documents, storing images, indexing, and physical storage. These were vital in ensuring that the company remained competitive and maintained its position as a beverage vendor. The technological devices are capable of processing millions of documents on the sale of Coca-Cola products in a short duration of time hence better efficiency.
In December 2020, Coca-Cola announced that it would reduce its global workforce by more than 2,000 employees. The workers who would lose their positions within the company were encouraged to apply for new positions within the company (Lucas, 2020). The reduction in the workforce was necessitated by the need to make adjustments in business operations within the company and the new needs that were necessitated by the company (Boston Consulting Group, 2021). The company was focused on promoting the online revolution that was rampant during this period. In 2021, the various positions were left vacant and the company announced that these changes were necessitated by the revolution in business models (Mostert and Kern, 2021). The management had discovered that there was rampant reduplication of roles within the organization and there was the need to enhance efficiency. This decision was prompted by the pandemic that saw profits drop and the need to maximize operations.
The company was dedicated to ensuring the workforce predominantly comprised of employees with the appropriate qualifications to run a company that was massively dependent on technology. In addition to retaining the employees who were well versed with technology, the company invested in training the unskilled workers. This ensured that all the employees boasted the necessary competence to run an online delivery system and boost the operations of the newly conceived supply chain (Mathur and Karande, 2020). The employees who were released by the company were offered packages that would cater to their welfare. Others were offered an opportunity to voluntarily resign and receive appropriate compensation for their troubles (Elfond, 2020). The Coca-Cola Company offers its employees opportunities for career advancement that enable them to acquire additional crucial skills. The pandemic revealed the need for technologically skilled employees and the company prioritized its career advancement programs to ensure its workforce was well versed with the crucial skills.
Innovative Products and Services
The company responded to the pandemic by making modifications to the goods and services it offers to its customers. The management of the company surveyed the various products in the market and determined the highest selling and lowest selling brands (Chu, 2020). This action was undertaken to minimize loss and ensure that services were centered on the needs of customers. The company eliminated about 200 of the 400 products currently available in the market. The next step in ensuring that the goods and services were relevant was analyzing the different regional sales of varied products and scaling the production of certain beverages in some areas (The Coca-Cola Company, 2021). The elimination of loss-making products ensured that the company was better financially placed to achieve success (Grgić, 2020). The company was generally inclined towards ensuring that new products were not unveiled during the pandemic. The release of new products was poised to bear losses and damage the reputation of the company.
The pandemic has subsided in 2021 and the company has a new outlook on the goods and services it is planning to sell to its consumers. In addition to the shift towards digital business operations, the company has prioritized experimentation. This has ensured that 2021 will be a year when the company can unveil new goods for its diverse market, warding off competition and increasing profitability (The Coca-Cola Company, 2020). The company has also adopted a targeted marketing approach that associates some of its drinks with certain activities. The advertisements in 2021 were geared towards marketing the famous Coca-Cola as a family beverage (Mialon, Pinsky, and Schmidt, 2021). This encourages its consumption during home gatherings and meals, hence greater sales. The company can reap immense benefits from comprehensive market research into various flavors in different parts of the world. Adding these flavors is likely to increase sales and profits.
Roles of Corporate Governance in Creative Change and Innovation
The decline in the effects of the pandemic and the effective management of the challenge through the innovation of vaccines has been vital in normalizing business operations. Crucial business management challenges have arisen due to this phenomenon with Covid-19 necessitating these new changes. The businesses are now confronted with the challenge of ensuring that remote working for their employees continues. The Coca-Cola Company adopted a policy where they allowed some of their workers to labor from their houses (Nair et al., 2021). The decrease in the number of infections prompts the dilemma of whether these workers must report back to their various stations. The company has allowed some of the employees to return while encouraging others to continue working remotely with appearances as directed by the management. The corporate governance of the company was essential in determining the sectors that were effective while working from home and those that were affected.
The increased role of managers with the need to control the various employees who toiled from their houses is also under threat. The firm’s management must decide whether to make adjustments to the roles of these vital employees or whether to retain the roles assumed during the pandemic. The role of the company in the climate change matrix is also important, owing to the resumption in production (Nair et al., 2021). The company’s brass has been compelled to initiate vital climate change initiatives that are geared towards enhancing the image of the company as an environmentally-sensitive entity (Brondoni, 2021). This will ensure that the release of pollutants is managed and that the company continues to spearhead these drives (Scavarda et al., 2021). The company has prioritized recycling and reusing its various packing materials to minimize wastage.
The focus on ensuring environmental preservation has been boosted with the decline in Covid-19 infections. The company has revamped its efforts to ensure that its outlets entirely rely on 100% renewable energy by 2040 (Coca-Cola Australia, 2021). The pandemic offered the company the ideal opportunity to accelerate these efforts. This is because the pandemic presented a period characterized by decreased operations and production. This feature enabled the company to make vital changes to its power solution and reliance, on renewable electricity (Carmona, 2021). The priority of the management of the company is a partnership with companies that prioritize renewable energy sources. The company has also made multiple deals with governments in the many countries it operates. This is intended to ensure that its emission of carbon is within the required limits and inclined towards minimized pollution and decreased climate change.
The Coca-Cola Company was strategic in setting the dates when their employees would return to work with the decline in infections. The company has emphasized the need for its employees to observe personal safety while within the premises. The management has also been at the forefront, promoting the vaccination drives that are geared towards the resumption of normality. The leadership maintains that vaccination is essential in ensuring that its employees are protected from the disease (Agustinus and Putri, 2021). This is poised to ensure that the employees are effective contributors to the targets set by the company by minimizing sick leaves. The company also withholds the importance of personal liberty in deciding to receive the vaccines. While focused on ensuring that the workforce is vaccinated, the company has resisted the urge to compel the unvaccinated workers from taking the jabs. This has promoted a good working relationship within the company and the absence of intimidation techniques has fortified the position of the entity.
Corporate management has been at the forefront, encouraging innovation within the company by the various teams. The leadership has encouraged the development of new products and the enhancement of existing ones (Nowicki, 2021). The team has also prioritized various social media campaigns that ensure visibility and efficient marketing. The development of the online purchasing models has also been under the stewardship of the management team in cooperation with strategic partners.
In conclusion, the Coca-Cola Company is an ideal model for other companies on effective means of shaking off the impacts of the pandemic. The company has managed to remain profitable and maintain its position as a global leader in the sector. This advancement has been materialized by the company’s focus on innovation and its importance in ensuring that it remains profitable. The company has also increased its presence in various online sites such as social media hence effective marketing. The firm has also shown immense care for the welfare of its workers by enabling remote working. The increase in the marketing of the famous products has been a major strength in maintaining sales. The company investment in climate change and a shift towards renewable energy will enable Coca-Cola to cement its position as an environmentally-friendly entity.
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