When Coca-Cola BIG was developing its HR transformation strategy, it needed a solid, affordable and timely solution for a complex situation.


How Coca-Cola BIG Capped its HR Transformation

Lisa Johnston
Lisa Johnston profile picture
Teejay Gonzales

No digital transformation comes without its own set of challenges, but initiatives surrounding human resources can be particularly complex. Sure, technology drives progress, but it’s the people behind it who are powering the change.  

For Coca-Cola Bottling Investments Group (BIG), developing its human resources transformation strategy was even more complicated by the fact that BIG is a conglomerate of bottling operations that are solely or partially owned by The Coca-Cola Company.

While its parent is certainly no stranger to technology innovation, Coca-Cola BIG markets include 15 separate legal entities: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, UAE and Vietnam. Including all of these pieces into one cohesive HR strategy requires a great deal of influencing work to ensure all agree on the processes, systems and service delivery model, Teejay Gonzales, Coca-Cola BIG people transformation director, tells CGT.  

With a goal to improve employee experiences in order to drive consistent brand practices and quality across its operations, the company desired a standardized process for managers and employees to collaborate on expectations, execute on shared goals and access readiness tools.

It also wanted a solution that enabled it to leverage best practices across all regions, as well as employ data and analytics to aid in its decision making. Given the priority that more consumer goods brands are placing on their analytic investments, this comes as little surprise.

Ideally, the solution would also integrate with SAP SuccessFactors solutions — Coca-Cola BIG’s standard HR system — and be deployed in countries without SuccessFactors, as not all regions are currently onboarded to the system. Such a solution would let all associates, as Gonzales puts it, “join the party today.”

And, of course, it wanted all of these things executed rather quickly — and affordably.   

“One classic problem is our inability to make countries move from SAP to SuccessFactors all at the same time and deploy the same modules,” notes Gonzales, who’s tasked with driving the overall HR Transformation program for Coca-Cola BIG’s HR.

What’s more, the company had several initiatives that weren’t included within the different international versions of SuccessFactors, leaving the Coca-Cola BIG team wondering if they should simply soldier on through the challenges or forge a completely new path. 

Rather than doing either, it connected with Sodales Solutions for its Extension App for SAP SuccessFactors, located on the SAP App Center. The extension offered a templated and streamlined approach to launching and receiving real-time feedback. The integration, which took just three weeks, helped Coca-Cola BIG provide a more contemporary employee experience that had country-specific settings for bottlers with real-time policy compliance. This in turn improved performance, collaboration and relationships between teams and bottlers.

The benefits of partnering with SAP and Sodales ultimately provided a more cost-effective method to deploy solutions that meet funding standards, as well as the demand to deploy it as fast as possible, Gonzales says.

Coca-Cola BIG is currently finalizing its digital HR strategic plan that aims to implement a standard set of HR systems in all of its markets.