Skip to main content

Scheller News

Soumen Ghosh, Faculty Director for non-degree and custom executive education programs at the Scheller College, and Academic Director for the SCLX and SCMX programs
Soumen Ghosh, Faculty Director for non-degree and custom executive education programs at the Scheller College, and Academic Director for the SCLX and SCMX programs

Coca-Cola Recognized for its Innovative Supply Chain Leadership Program

In what is widely known as the “supply chain industry’s version of the Oscars,” The Coca-Cola Company was honored as the recipient of the second annual Supply Chain Capability Breakthrough of the Year Award by SCM World, the cross-industry learning community powered by the world’s most influential supply chain practitioners. SCM World created the program to celebrate the supply chain community’s most influential and innovative initiatives of the past year and award recipients were selected by fellow supply chain professionals. Coca-Cola had the highest score in the “supply chain capability” category. The company was recognized because of its ability to build a talent development system that serves and strengthens its global supply chain community with the help of the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Executive Education Custom Programs.

“In every industry and every functional area, supply chain management is an essential element to operational efficiency as organizations strive to solve complex business problems and stay on the leading edge,” said Maryam Alavi, dean of the Scheller College. “We are delighted that Coca-Cola has been recognized globally by its peers as an innovative company within the industry. The fact that Scheller College was able to have an impact speaks highly to the quality of our Executive Education Custom Programs. Scheller College understands that supply chain management is a critical driver of competitive advantage and we are helping companies create models of business strategic operations that manage cost and improve quality of life.”

In response to Coca-Cola CEO’s “2020 Vision” strategic plan (initiated in 2010) outlining growth design to double business in the next 10 years, Coca-Cola’s supply chain leadership knew that people capacity was a significant component of these goals and approached the Scheller College in 2010 about creating a certificate program to help deepen their bench strength and capabilities within the supply chain function. The result was the “Supply Chain Leadership Excellence” (SCLX) Program for supply chain directors and their direct reports, and the “Supply Chain Manager Excellence” (SCMX) Program for supply chain managers and their direct reports, a two-tier audience model to address learning needs specific to each group. The common theme across both tiers was to build on academically-sourced material regarding important supply chain topics such as supply chain strategy, sales and operations planning, supply chain finance, etc., with company-specific material tailored to the unique requirements of the Coca-Cola supply chain. The program’s content and structure was based on direct input from business units around the world, including company-owned as well as franchise bottling entities.

The value creation, in the form of cost savings, innovations, and new revenue streams, of the combined SCLX and SCMX applied projects is over $100 million. The partnership between Coca-Cola’s vast real-world supply chain and Scheller College’s leading-edge academic knowledge has delivered nearly 1,000 people upskilled with an end-to-end view of supply chain thinking. Through the years, Scheller’s Executive Education Center has helped numerous companies wanting to achieve excellence in supply chain management through results-based tailored curriculum, including the Supply Chain Strategy & Leadership Forum (SLF) for The Clorox Company, a recent recipient of Gartner, Inc.’s Supply Chainnovator Award, the Supply Chain Excellence Program for the NCR Corporation, and customized supply chain programs for Argos, the Colombian-based cement and concrete manufacturing firm.

When SCM World unveiled the award finalists, Matt Davis, senior vice president of research, talked about how Coca-Cola changed the game with the help of the Scheller College. “With this applied project at the end Coke has recognized over $100 million in savings related to the applied knowledge. So they are not just developing the work force, not just increasing diversity and engagement, but they are also showing true business results. I think it’s just a really great story for Coke.”

Coca-Cola at SCM World's Power of the Profession Awards

Soumen Ghosh, faculty director for non-degree and custom executive education programs at the Scheller College, and academic director for the SCLX and SCMX programs, has been involved in the design, development, and execution of these two Coca-Cola programs from the very beginning. He said that one unique element of these programs, particularly the SCLX program, is that it was targeted at the senior manager level to start building their supply chain capability and talent top down, rather than bottom up.

“This was based on the understanding that regardless of how The Coca-Cola Company and their bottling partners wanted to competitively differentiate themselves in the global markets, it was the supply chain that ultimately translated and delivered their competitive strategy to the customers and markets,” Professor Ghosh said. “Thus, one of the key goals of the SCLX program was to first build a competitively advantaged supply chain capability in their senior management level, and then cascade these capabilities down the organization – that is why the SCMX program was later created for driving these capabilities through their middle management level. Together, these two programs have created tremendous supply chain capability breakthrough for them, as recognized by the SCM World Power of the Profession award for supply chain capability breakthrough.”

Every six months, Coca-Cola sends between 40-45 supply chain directors to the program for best current thinking in the following key areas: strategic thinking, leadership development, and supply chain management. The SCLX format includes a two-week class offering held in the Huang Executive Education Center designed to build end-to-end supply chain general management skills. As of 2015, the SCLX program had conducted 11 sessions on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, Georgia with over 400 participants from 60 countries.

The SCLX program’s unique focus on applied learning and project work sets it apart from other programs. Participants start the SCLX with a business challenge that they have vetted with senior management. During the two weeks on campus, participants refine their challenge into a project and receive coaching from Scheller College faculty. After leaving campus, the participants have three months to implement their project.

The innovative hybrid SCMX program is the equivalent of a two-week program, with the first half of the content delivered online by the Scheller College, and the remaining half of the content delivered in traditional residential format by business schools around the world with whom Coca-Cola and the Scheller College have partnered. To date, over 700 participants have attended SCMX, and the program has been delivered 18 times in five different languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese). Partnering schools include: Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico), Gordon Institute of Business Science (South Africa), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China), University of Alcalá (Spain), and Keio University (Japan).


Profile image for News
News Contact