In the book “The Art of War”, Sun Tzu, he states “He who occupies the field of battle first and awaits his enemy is at ease and he who comes later to the scene and rushes into the fight is weary”. This statement by Sun Tzu is interpreted by businessmen to mean preparedness, timeliness and proper execution of a strategic plan to overcome competition (enemies-in business). The Coca Cola Company has been in the beverages industry since 1890 and has perfectly “awaited its enemies” and “executed” them strategically. The current strategic plan of the Coca Cola Company is to maximize growth and profitability in order to create value for its shareholders. Coca Cola has implemented this strategy fairly well and remained the global market leader for almost all of its existence.
Building a capable organization
Coca Cola has managed to build a very capable organization through efficient systems. The company runs a very efficient management system where private bottling companies partner with The Coca Cola Company and are able to carry out the company’s vision and mission. Coca Cola has maintained a secret over its concentrate product for the flagship product Coca Cola. This strategy has seen Coca Cola maintain the uniqueness of its products, build string brands and enhance its capabilities thereby compounding its profitability for its shareholders.
Allocating resources to strategy-critical activities
Coca Cola has invested heavily to support distribution systems and to safeguard the secret formula to its concentrate. The allocation of adequate resources to critical activities helps the company maintain relevance and grow steadily with minimal legal battles over trademark rights. Establishing strategy-supportive policies
Coca Cola has established strategy-supportive policies in management, production facilities, marketing among other supportive policies at different levels. Part of the strategy-supportive strategies also includes the exertion of quality leadership necessary to drive the process forward and keep improving the operations of the company to realize improved profits and growth. Instituting best practices and programs for continuous improvement
Coca Cola operates on world renowned strategies such as Kaizen in order to reduce losses, reduce the cost of production and standardize operations. The application of best practices acts as a unification as well as motivational factor to employees. This is a strategic measure to ensure the company achieves profitability and it grows to satisfy the needs of increasing shareholders.
Motivating people to pursue the target objectives
The strategic plan by Coca Cola to maximize growth and create value for its shareholders is well captured in its mission of refreshing “the world in body, mind and spirit”. The company has pursued aggressive strategies to gain market shares in almost all countries with its magical flagship product of coca cola soft drinks. As such it has continually supplied its customers with its invigorating products and raking in massive profits for its shareholders.
Tying rewards to achievement of results The Coca Cola Company maintains a highly productive labor force of about 130,000 people worldwide. Franchisees, employees as well as customers of the company receive rewards for their loyalty through various campaigns such as the My Coke Rewards customer loyalty program. By rewarding dedication from franchisees and the excellence of its employees, Coca Cola keeps its employee turnover rates low which in turn lowers the expenditure on staff acquisition. Retention of an experienced, well-remunerated and talented workforce has been instrumental to the company maintaining an impressive 47% share of the global beverage market!
The Coca Cola Company has several policies. Some of these are the work rights policy, corporate and social responsibility policies, Accessible Client Service Policy, sustainability policies among others geared to ensure that the company achieves growth and profitability for its shareholders. The company has reviewed its policies continually in order to align them to the market dynamics. In 2012 for instance, the Coca Cola Company introduced the Public Policy Engagement through which it has been educating US policy makers and also helps to shape reasonable policies by the government that impact on its business and its more than 60,000 associates in the US. Implementation of such policies has pushed the company’s growth and profitability higher.
Information and communication strategies
Installing needed information, communication, and operating systems. Coca Cola adopts the advanced and relevant communication and information devices, systems and technologies to ease distribution and enable effective communication between suppliers, customers and bottlers.
Culture-Creating a strategy-supportive corporate culture
The culture at the Coca Cola Company can be summed up its mantra “diversity is an integral part of who we are, how we operate and how we see the future”. All of Coca Cola’s establishments in more than 200 countries have for years now been guided by a culture built and sustained by seven crucial pillars. These are integrity, leadership, passion, quality, collaboration, diversity and accountability. The management of the Coca Cola Company has inculcated a culture of appreciating the diversity and uniqueness of all its subsidiaries based on the seven values. As such, franchisees and employees have found it easy to adopt and implement the Coca Cola’s corporate culture.