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What is driver-based planning and how did it help Coca-Cola?

Coca-Cola European Partners, the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, had three goals in mind when it set out to improve its supply chain processes: leaner finance, automated planning and optimised reporting.

One of the main strategies to achieve these goals was to adopt a 'driver-based planning' approach. In other words: financial planning became far more closely linked to operational data and key business metrics. The company also moved away from using Excel and Access and implemented a single integrated corporate planning and analysis platform by Board, the company behind the business intelligence platform of the same name.

In this client case study Board explains that the implementation for Coca-Cola European Partners focused on the organisation's short-term forecasts, monitoring of its closing activities, its annual business planning and budget, consolidated country and monthly reporting, as well as organisation-wide supply chain consolidation.

And one of the senior managers involved in the transformation at Coca-Cola European Partners said that the driver-based approach meant that a large percentage of financial data from the supply chain could be automated. Coca-Cola's Ivan Evstatiev said: “Ten per cent of the input of our finance supply chain activities are based on country-specific business insights, whereas 90 per cent consists of pre-populated profit & loss outputs thanks to the value driver methodology and the automation of operational data input. We do not want finance people to struggle with all the tedious sequential steps of preparing a plan: we wanted to digitalise this area and that’s what we’ve succeeded in doing with the Board platform.”

One of the main benefits to come out of the implementation was a move to a much quicker turnover in terms of data transfer, from overnight updates of key metrics across the organisation, to data updates every 15 minutes. Access to more up-to-date information has improved planning cycles and decision-making processes, according to the Coca-Cola bottler. Using the Board platform with the driver-based planning approach also improved communication throughout the company by engaging decision-makers from different areas of the organisation.

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