What will "Coke" do now?
Coca-Cola Company has been running shared services since 1998. The recent acquisition of Coca-Cola Enterprises – the North American bottling business – however, has transformed Coca-Cola Company in terms of volume of transactions and assets on the balance sheet. That transformation on the business side needs to be matched by a new shared services strategy. Doug Bonthrone, recently appointed Global Services Strategy Director, has a big job before him.
Shared services plays an important part in achieving the "2020" company vision, namely to achieve double today’s revenues, at a reasonable cost.
Although Bonthrone won’t commit to a specific strategy yet, he thinks they’ll be announcing one within the next 18 months. As of now, the Coca-Cola Company runs five regional shared services, and has no global strategy in place. The focus, however, has been shifting from transactional to expertise services, In line with many "best practice" organizations.
On outsourcing, Bonthrone says that the company would be "giving away too much value" if they outsourced now. The company has a lot to do in terms of stabilizing processes before any outsourcing decisions might be made.
With operations in over 200 countries, Bonthrone could imagine running a series of captives in Asia, Latin America, and Africa… but there’s a lot to be done internally, first.