coca cola and technology

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The company's annual revenue and earnings have been declining in recent years, which can be attributed to dropping soft drink sales as a result of changing customer habits and desires in developing markets. The 2016 financial year, for example, witnessed a reduction in sales by $41.8 billion with the sales falling in almost all the segments save for North America which withstood the decline due to its sales of teas and bottled waters. The company has adopted the social media advertising, 3M technologies Light Tube Technology, Merlin Mobility Augmented Reality Technology, Freestyle dispenser, greener bottles as well as the Micro Chipped Bottles. Although the technologies have been applied moderately, the resultant effect is an increase in the overall sales which suggest intensification of their use to minimize the cost of production but maximize revenue. There is a greater necessity to increase their social media appearances, adopt inventory management technology to minimize time wastage in ordering. In addition, the company should introduce age-specific beverages that tailor products which are ideal for the infants to reduce the isolated incidences of increasing prevalence of infant diabetes due to consumption of high sugar content products.

Coke Company Profile

Coke is one of the dominant nonalcoholic beverage and world’s renowned brands. It houses over 21 billion-dollar brands comprising of four of the major soft drinks which include the much known and enthused Coca-Cola, Sprite, Diet Coke among others, recently launched Minute Maid, vitamin water, as well as Powerade, adds to the list. All said the company also prides itself to own over 500 beverage brands that comprise waters, energy as well as sports drinks, juice drinks, ready to drink coffees and teas (Isdell & Beasley 2011). The original recipe of the Coca wine was invented by John Pemberton. The discovery was an accidental invention when John was tasked with making juices for his friends and unfortunately added carbonated water. His friends enjoyed the test making John adjust the formula which was rejected forcing him to revert to the original formulation.

Operations management

The company manages seven major operating segments distributed globally in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, Corporate as well as bottling investments. Even though the company operates through various segments, the realized profits from the bottling segments are much higher from the sale of ready to use beverages alone while other segments realize their sales through the sale of ready to use beverage concentration and syrups. During the 2016 financial year for instances, the company made 60% of its sales from the operation of finished products with the remainder coming from concentrate operations (Varadaradarajan & Menon 1988). The division of bottling investment relies heavily on the company’s owned bottling operations from other regions. The division assists in enhancing the production efficiency, distribution as well as effective marketing campaigns. The campaigns include the over 28% stake in the FEMSA Coca-Cola bottler situated in Mexico.

Sales and marketing management

Coca-cola is not only the world’s most dominant brand but is also a major distributing brand world over to reckon with comprising of the company-owned distribution system as well as controlled distribution and bottling partners. The beverage that bears Coke trademarks accounts for over 1.9 billion out of the estimated 59 billion of beverages of all kinds consumed in the world on a daily basis (Culnan, McHugh & Zubillaga, 2010). To maintain the brand name as well as intensify its awareness, the company parted with over $4 billion on advertisement campaigns alone in the 2016 financial year. It uses radio advertisement, television, and print media alongside other advertisement media like the social websites to entice the general population towards their product for sales purposes (Armstrong, 2015). The most recent promotional drive has adopted the global approach. The company has also diversified the market through its non-soda products like bottled water to increase more revenue and subsidies its operations.

Financial performance

The company’s annual sales and profit have been witnessing a decline in the past couple of years that can be associated by the falling level of sales of soft drinks as a consequence of shifting consumer tastes and preferences in developed markets. The 2016 financial year, for example, witnessed a reduction in sales by $41.8 billion with the sales falling in almost all the segments save for North America which withstood the reduction due to its sales of teas and bottled waters (Culnan, McHugh & Zubillaga, 2010). Nonetheless, the unit case volume shipments witnessed an increase in every segment in the lower single digits. Bottle investment shipments, on the other hand, witnessed an increase in such countries like China, India but negligible growth in Germany. Despite the reduction in sales in the 2016 trading, the net income of the company still stood at $6.5 billion. In addition, the company’s operating cash levels deepened to $8.78 billion as well as 10.5 billion operation cash (Taylor 2000).

Different technologies applied by Coca-Cola

Social networking/media

Coca-Cola, which is one of the biggest companies in the world, has since embraced different forms of social media to help in their marketing. Coca-Cola has close to 63 million fans who like their legit Facebook page, and this does not come as a surprise considering that the company is one of the brands recognizable in the world (Heller & Parasins 2011).Moreover, one of the privileges, which associated with international celebrity, is the luxury of remaining mute in their Facebook for a long time. While different consumer brands like Red Bull and ASOS put up updates on a daily basis to update their clients, coca cola takes up to a week without any new notifications (Marakarkandy et al. 2014).

Coca-Cola being a common brand also opted to have different twitter feeds for every remote market that they have the business running. It equally has dedicated pages for sub-brands and different products, incorporating Coke Zero, Coke, its racing teams, and the firm’s late founder Doc Pemberton. The Coca-Cola primary Twitter Feed has close to 700,000 followers. Coca-Cola also manages a Pinterest account dedicating one board to the coca cola ad crusades while the rest centers on random themes (Armstrong, 2015).

In conclusion, coca cola upholds a visible appearance on the social media. As of 2011, they had over 34 million fans in all the social media networks. The company harnesses the social networking’s power to announce their new products, invite fans to play games, test advertorial crusade, and relate the coca cola product with a positive vibe. The use of Social Networking Technology makes the brand to remain young, current and fresh (Hanna & Crittenden 2011).

3M technologies Light Tube Technology

This refers to a type of technology that creates an improved lightning for the coolers that are used in the production and ultimate distribution of the final products. It enhances the expansion of the chilled space without the necessity of increasing the carbon footprint expansion. Feasibility studies have witnessed a lot of successes when the technology is piloted in various segments. More sales are realized as a result of utilizing the uniform lightening technology which translates into a 5% to 9% per cooler. However, brighter lightening is accompanied by more energy consumption requiring the integration of LED lightning that has the potential to reduce the overall energy consumption (Porter 2008),

A further integration of the 3M Light Tube techniques to the cooler will enhance efficiency meeting the global light standard targets. The 3M is a composite of a multilayer total film reflection inserted in a tube made of polycarbonate with two ends attached to two LED lights. The caboodle, as well as the whole kit, is then mounted on the coolers door with well-designed coolers designed to provide uniform light to all the areas where needed. The average effect is the increased lightening inside the cooler with little to no effect on the temperature of the beverage at any particular time. There is also reduced general cost of energy, wear, and tear, carbon footprint as well as the cooler compressor.

Merlin Mobility Augmented Reality Technology

The best example of the technology at work can be seen on the television during the NFL championships that reflects a yellow line that is applied to illuminate the first down markers. The adoption of this technology which relies on the superimposition of information on a real-world background helps in sorting out or reducing the amount of time wasting villains that are witnessed on a day to day basis. It is now possible, for instance, to successfully assemble a piece of furniture without any written command, picking a faucet that precisely fits on the bathroom sink limiting the possibility of a return (Armstrong 2015).

The technology benefits the company in that it can be used as a tool to train new staff as it allows the maintenance employees to find the best way to fix a cooler through the use of superimposed information on video or the equipment messages. The department of sales can also use the technology to orient clients or customers how a particular drink cooler will appear when they occupy an identified spot in their enterprise as well as allow them to make a choice the type of mix of drinks that are supposed to be used in ensuring that the cooler is full. Moreover, it is a great time and energy saver.

Freestyle dispenser

The company shifts from being the focus in the production and distribution channels by giving the customers an opportunity to customize their own beverage through a selection of the best from over 100 drinks in a variety of combinations. The impact of the computer-like-interface is the creation of a variety of drinks. The dispenser also has the capacity to record information with regards to the consumers’ choices of drinks; the information that is relayed back to the company which provides literature for further market research. The machine also has the capacity to undertake automated ordering from potential suppliers as well as integrate the same into the system. In addition, it also optimizes the order that consequently reduces the cost of delivery.

In addition, Coca-Cola Freestyle is one of the best when it comes to self-serve drink machines and this has increased its popularity. While different Beverage dispenser gives eight to six drink options, Coca-Cola Freestyle is has a touch screen, which permits the consumer to dispense close 100 different brands including some that not in the international markets yet. These are more drink options that one can access from the local stores (Dickson & Ginter, 1987). Coke fits all these beverages into the machine by dispensing various drinks by influencing micro-dosed ingredients’ small cartridges to make different choices rather than the syrup found in the traditional machines. The cartridges fit neatly in the device and technology aural the machine identifies when every brand is low and needs some refill (Tucker, 1964).

The device is covered in a sleek welcoming design that was made by the industrial design team of the company. The consumers appreciate that the device is easy to use, its digital display and the big beverage brands’ selection. Moreover, the point that it is plain fun is even more appealing. This machine was not only a blast but also a great marketing practice. The final drink endeavor helped in boosting sale, and it appreciates customer traffic, which the machines take the credit for (Tantbirojn et al. 2008).

In conclusion, Coca-Cola starts issuing these machines on the brink of 2011. Unlike the soda fountains, the device permits the consumer to make his own beverage by making a choice from the over 100 drink in the many combinations. The freestyle technology does not give the consumer an array of beverages to choose from in its computerized interface but also takes records of the most liked beverages and reflect them to the company as market research (Teece 2008).

Greener Bottles

To the firm, innovation is always accompanied by inspiration, and they are inspired by the individuals who consume their drinks and beverages. The company always had the idea of delivering to their clients as well as adherence to its social responsibility mandates; added an advantage of coming up with a bottle that is environmentally friendly (Varadarajan 1988).The coca cola company incepted the Plant Bottle packaging technology in 2009 that are efficient and eco-friendly. The Plant Bottle Technology’s innovation did resonate with the consumers; it aided sales, made headlines, and help in attaining sustainability status as well as winning the company of the year awards on innovation. From inception, the company forecasted contracting Plant Bottle Technology to other firms on the basis of the conviction that they had a collective responsibility to work towards mitigating the environmental challenges (Bassiouny 2006).

In conclusion, Coca-Cola came up with eco-friendly bottles and packaging as early as 2009 making 2.5 billion of their goods employing little petroleum. The move has been so triumphant that companies like Heinz have yoked this innovation to make eco-friendly packaging as well. When the 2009 production shows only a small percentage of the packaging of coca cola the movement perpetuates to grow as many of coca cola products’ cases are shipped worldly every year (Mourad 2014).

Micro Chipped Bottles

In an innovative venture to diminish the packaging of the soft drink, the firm is happy to announce yet another technology, which is already up for trial in 2017. The test that has started with the European countries where new generation smart fountain dispenser, which work with micro-chipped bottles, is to be integrated into the company’s cost efficiency through technological approach. The Freestyle machines were installed in different training institutions in Europe at the beginning of their academic years. In the first week, only 1500 refillable bottles were already obtained by the students and this drastically reduced the packaging cost for the company (Tiger, 2017).

Even though the plastic bottles, the company makes presently are very recyclable, the company is more than determined to diminish the budget they spend in packaging their goods. Therefore the company has resolved to be proactive in Europe by coming up with refillable bottles. However, for now, the refilled bottle is being tested in the universities in Europe. Staff and students can purchase all their soft drinks in the university environ in their reusable bottle and outside the campus as well. Both the university and the coca cola company are investigating the influence the venture has on littering and recycling at the Freestyle machine locations (Tiger, 2017).

The customizable bottle work hand in hand with the Freestyle machines; every understudy need to buy a bottle, from the pre-pay, for drinks and the university- with one pouring, unlimited and limited refills. The microchip on the device helps the dispenser in scanning and connects it to the user's account. The hard part is choosing the hundred different beverages that can be solved through the automation of the whole system.

Recommendation and conclusion

From the analysis, the company’s annual sales and profit have been witnessing a decline in the past couple of years that can be associated by the falling level of sales of soft drinks as a consequence of shifting consumer tastes and preferences in developed markets. The company has adopted the social media advertising, 3M technologies Light Tube Technology, Merlin Mobility Augmented Reality Technology, Freestyle dispenser, greener bottles as well as the Micro Chipped Bottles (MOHAPATRA, 2012). Although the technologies have been applied moderately, the resultant effect is an increase in the overall sales which suggest that an intensification of their use can further minimize the cost of production and maximize revenue. There is a greater necessity, therefore, to increase their social media appearances, adopt inventory management technology to minimize time wastage in ordering. In addition, the company should introduce age-specific beverages that tailor products which are ideal for the infants to reduce the isolated incidences of increasing prevalence of infant diabetes due to consumption of high sugar content products (Devlin, Bassiouny & Boston, 2006).

Introduction of inventory management system to monitor the flow of stock is of much importance if the company has to achieve its targets. The flow should be centralized to mimic diffusion of techniques that can be applied from a single point outwards. The effect will be a standard procedure that will, in the long run, be subjected to formative and summative evaluations to determine its viability (HILL & JONES, 2010 p180).

There is no harm in running a customer database where esteemed customers can log in to place orders, post a complaint, recommend adjustments as well as review the progress the company is making from their own perspective (CRANE, 2016 p 260). The review could be a fertile ground for future research on the best strategies to apply in customer management, stock movement as well as an evaluation platform for posterity of the company.

References

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M. and Brennan, R., 2015. Marketing: an introduction. Pearson Education.

Bassiouny, M., 2006. The hardness of enamel exposed to Coca-Cola (R) and artificial saliva. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation.

CRANE, A. (2016). Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Culnan, M.J., McHugh, P.J., and Zubillaga, J.I., 2010. How large US companies can use Twitter and other social media to gain business value. MIS Quarterly Executive, 9(4).

Devlin, H., Bassiouny, M.A., and Boston, D., 2006. The hardness of enamel exposed to Coca‐Cola® and artificial saliva. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 33(1), pp.26-30.

Dickson, P.R., and Ginter, J.L., 1987. Market segmentation, product differentiation, and marketing strategy. The Journal of Marketing, pp.1-10.

Hanna, R., Rohm, A., and Crittenden, V.L., 2011. We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem. Business Horizons, 54(3), pp.265-273.

Heller Baird, C. and Parasnis, G., 2011. From social media to social customer relationship management. Strategy & leadership, 39(5), pp.30-37.

HILL, C. W. L., & JONES, G. R. (2010). Strategic management theory: an integrated approach. Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin.

Isdell, N. and Beasley, D., 2011. Inside Coca-Cola: a CEO's life story of building the world's most popular brand. St. Martin's Press.

Marakarkandy, B., Pawar, N., Mankame, S. and Ramasubramanian, V., 2014. Using Social Media To Gain Business Value. International Journal of Research and Engineering, 1(3), pp.32-34.

MOHAPATRA, S. (2012). Information Strategy Design and Practices

Mourad, A.L., Jaime, S.B.M. and Garcia, E.E.C., 2014. Sustainability & Ethics–key issues for packaging trends. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2014), San Francisco, California, USA, 8-10 October 2014 (pp. 864-871). American Center for Life Cycle Assessment.

Porter, M.E., 2008. Competitive advantage: Creating and sustaining superior performance. Simon and Schuster.

Tantbirojn, D., Huang, A., Ericson, M.D. and Poolthong, S., 2008. Change in surface hardness of enamel by a cold drink and a CPP–ACP paste. Journal of dentistry, 36(1), pp.74-79.

Taylor, M., 2000. Cultural variance as a challenge to global public relations: A case study of the Coca-Cola scare in Europe. Public Relations Review, 26(3), pp.277-293.

Teece, D.J., 2008. Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy. In The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property: Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World (pp. 67-87).

Tiger, A.A., Nance, W., Roach, C. and Emery, B.G., 2017. Whats All the Fuzz About? A Teaching Case Study on the Use of Coca-Cola® Freestyle® Machines in Quick-Service Restaurants. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 11(2), p.17.

Tucker, W.T., 1964. The development of brand loyalty. Journal of Marketing research, pp.32-35.

Varadarajan, P.R., and Menon, A., 1988. Cause-related marketing: A coalignment of marketing strategy and corporate philanthropy. The Journal of Marketing, pp.58-74.

Insinga, R.C., and Werle, M.J., 2000. Linking outsourcing to business strategy. The Academy of Management Executive, 14(4), pp.58-70

November 17, 2022
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