Coca-Cola signs deal with SAP

Coca-Cola Enterprises has signed a multiyear deal with SAP to develop a beverage-specific application to improve its ability to...

Coca-Cola Enterprises has signed a multiyear deal with SAP to develop a beverage-specific application to improve its ability to serve customers, cut costs and share data through disparate systems.

The software package will be built around SAP's ERP, CRM and NetWeaver integration middleware to enable mobile connectivity.

It is aimed at helping beverage and other consumer products companies improve the logistics around direct store delivery and vending machine maintenance.

Coca-Cola said the software will cut out paperwork, make sure cash settlements are made properly and reduce wasted cargo space in delivery trucks.

"This should improve market execution, and the consumer will experience better service," said Margaret Carton, chief information officer at Coca-Cola.

The system will be able to take information from, for example, an account manager via a handheld device and feed that into the SAP application and "integrate that across the entire application portfolio much more effectively", Carton said.

"This will give us a more integrated system that hopefully will give us more information at the store level and account level, and we'll be able to more effectively manage the business on the street."

Coca-Cola already runs a mix of ERP and supply chain management applications, including SAP's own R/3 material and production planning applications. What has been missing up to now, said Carton, was connecting direct store delivery capabilities to its ERP backbone.

SAP also said that the software will deliver enhancements for price-list and promotions management. It will also help improve management for vending machines, with support for direct upload and download of sales information using a handheld device.

SAP will offer the first product for sale early next year.

Marc L Songini writes for Computerworld

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