Coke One North America
IT service provider reliably scales SAP-backed processes to accommodate rapid growth.
Coke One North America (CONA) is elevating the North American bottling business by equipping local bottlers with state-of-the-art technology solutions for business process optimization. Founded in 2013 when six North American Coca-Cola bottlers came together to form the organization, CONA’s service platform and industry expertise promote superior service to its bottlers and their customers, and enable continuous differentiation of the Coca-Cola system in the marketplace.
Every day, the Coca-Cola Company ships considerable volumes of beverage bases to its bottlers, who in turn manufacture and deliver large quantities of Coca-Cola products to their customer sites (more than 10,000 deliveries per day). This also means there are a lot of documents to manage to make sure delivery logistics for one of the biggest manufacturing operations in the world operates without a hitch.
From the beginning, CONA recognized that they could streamline processes for bottlers by automating processes in operations, finance and customer care. Leveraging world-class digital solutions would ease high-volume, intensive daily paperwork while enabling bottlers to focus on delivering the best, personalized customer experience to their local customers.
35,000Users accessing documents
1.4 millionDocuments captured and stored per week
Hyland Global Services stepped up to the challenge. CONA initially engaged Hyland to deliver content services solutions for CONA’s cross-functional document storage needs, but the Hyland services engagement quickly evolved into a consultative partnership.
Built on the CONA vision for state-of-the-art service delivery and the Hyland team’s expertise in project management, advanced capture, and content services consulting and development, this partnership enabled CONA to succeed.
Scaling infrastructure and adjusting performance ahead of its significant growth, the teams completed the successful roll out of solutions to 12 independent bottlers — representing 95% of Coca-Cola products distributed in North America — on time.
The CONA content services solutions use SAP on the back end and a multi-tenant, managed services suite for delivery of transactional and administrative solutions to its bottlers, which require:
- Cross-functional document capture, storage and delivery, automated and integrated with SAP
- Dynamic user access to document-driven data for nearly 30,000 active users
- Well-performing uptime and accessibility around the clock with off-shore process verification and resolution
- Close collaboration with all of CONA’s managed services vendors who provide outsourced infrastructure and hosting, database support and hardware support in addition to the content services solutions
“As we were growing, Hyland teams were scaling up the infrastructure ahead of time so we wouldn’t be reactive," Chief Data and Technology Officer Bob Shank said. "I think it’s important that they are proactive, that they are not just satisfied with where we are in today’s world, but that they are looking toward the future. And I think Hyland has done a good job with that with us.”
Navigating the reality of a large-scale implementation
The roll out of CONA’s solutions began with two bottlers processing 5 million documents per year. While initially planned to be a five-year rollout to the rest of the top 12 bottlers in North America (511 production and distribution sites), CONA leadership accelerated the implementation target date by 18 months.
With the project timeframe acceleration requirement, the Hyland and CONA teams knew they had to stay on top of solution scaling. Paramount to success was ensuring the solutions were stable, highly available and well-performing with uptime requirements of 20-plus hours per day and processing volumes reaching 5 million documents per month.
The Hyland team recommended conducting health check infrastructure and performance services every six months as the implementation scaled. This enabled infrastructure experts to focus on identifying bottlenecks in processing or resource utilization, and adjust resources and infrastructure as necessary along the way.
Additionally, a true project sponsorship commitment meant that project managers and leaders from CONA and Hyland were close to the project throughout the journey, along with the technical teams working together. This ensured continuity between expectation, delivery and outcome at all levels in a project with accelerated time frames.
Hyland understands what our needs are, and they have been able to make the right design decisions, as well as help guide us the right way, to make sure that the solution overall is the right fit for us.
— Hemant Kochhar, Director of Application Development, BI and Mobility, CONA
Visits to bottler sites uncover optimization quick wins
The bottlers are their own legal entities — not part of the CONA organization — and do not share data, so integral to solution success was the capability for the independent bottlers to easily adopt the solutions despite varying standards for IT infrastructure.
As solutions rolled out across the 12 bottlers, unique challenges unfolded. For example, because the bottlers were independent entities, there were wide variations in their processes, as expected. The project team recognized that significant variations in productivity and performance results were directly related to these variances, so they went on a series of site visits to operations and production sites.
This visibility into processes identified gaps and uncovered opportunities to streamline processes and solutions. With the resulting optimized solutions, improved outcomes include a marked increase in invoice throughout.
Low-code solutions for SAP integration
The Global Services experts provided guidance in content services delivery from the onset, educating the team on the low-code capabilities of the Hyland platform in place for the CONA solutions. Together, the project team uncovered solutions that would best meet CONA’s needs with minimal SAP development.
“The services team has been great in terms of coming up with quick solutions to meet our needs and being able to deliver them on time," said Hemant Kochhar, CONA's director of application development, BI and mobility.
Automated workflows integrated with SAP, automated indexing and data set lookup, single sign-on (SSO) integration and mobile solutions ensure user access to the documents and data they need. After a four-year implementation, the Hyland solutions store more than 2 terabytes of information, processing 5 million documents per month.
Managed services framework service delivery
The CONA solutions’ managed services framework is designed to optimize business processes across bottler enterprises with solutions delivered in a multi-tenant environment. This ensures accessibility and security for the independent bottlers who do not share data.
CONA’s business model includes the hosting of its own IT infrastructure through managed services providers. This requires close collaboration between CONA, Hyland and third-party entities maintaining and continually optimizing the infrastructure environment.
Additionally, CONA outsources to Hyland resources areas including the administration of its Hyland solutions and the management of data capture processes. Hyland’s Staff Augmentation and Outsourced System Administration services ensure that daily operations in those key areas are well-managed, while the project team focuses on other strategic areas of opportunity and growth.
Capture solutions for the independent bottlers
Today, CONA captures and stores 1.4 million documents per week as part of their AP and Direct Store Delivery (DSD) solutions, which are tightly integrated with SAP.
- The Hyland team designed solutions that bottlers can adopt with a Citrix account and a password.
- The CONA solutions use standardized data sets, security keywords, security groups and roles.
- Bottlers can scan using their preferred method for scanning following the defined CONA capture standard.
- The low-code environment enables rapid rollout of solutions that capitalize on the documents and data stored in SAP and are available from a variety of solutions, including mobile solutions for the bottlers’ workforces.
Aside from the 30,000 users accessing documents real-time in SAP ECC, there are 5,000+ users accessing SAP transactions and documents from Hyland solutions on a daily basis for AP, AR, exception handling and customer support.
Trusted advisors and true enduring partnership
The “people” part of the CONA and Hyland story is not to be underestimated in its success.
“They understand what our needs are, and they have been able to make the right design decisions, as well as help guide us the right way, to make sure that the solution overall is the right fit for us," Kochhar said.
Willing participation to determine the best path forward: The team is adaptable to pivot strategy depending upon new development, ensuring all decisions are made based on what is in CONA’s best interest — the success of its customers.
Programmatic methods to ensure optimal performance: Regularly scheduled health checks to assess infrastructure and performance, as well as site visits to meet with users of all roles, ensure CONA has a close understanding of challenges and is able to quickly provide solutions.
Continuous feedback loops including executive-level vision and support: Close collaboration among core team members and key stakeholders, including outsourced teams and executives, enable them to move forward rapidly and successfully.