HOUSTON -- Coca-Cola Foods is preparing to initiate a re-engineering of its field organization to set up decentralized customer service centers.
Announcement of the details is "about six weeks away," said Chris Bozman, manager of media relations, who added, "The specific structure is still being determined."
She confirmed, however, that CCF will shift broader functional authority to the new field units across its entire brand family, which includes Minute Maid, Five Alive and Hi-C.
Bozman said that the planned change comes as Coca-Cola Foods works to further decentralize its sales organization. "For us that means pushing the sales administration side down into the field."
The new field units will replace the current structure of 17 regional sales locations, absorbing not only some sales administration functions formerly handled at CCF headquarters, but going further to incorporate regional marketing, logistics, financial, promotion planning and other functions.
In effect, Bozman said, CCF will be "setting up cross-functional teams at these locations." These teams will be focused on retailers within their geographic areas. This model contrasts with an approach pursued by some other brand marketers in which very few teams are created for key national accounts.
Precisely which retail accounts the CCF teams will work with will be determined as the process unfolds, she added.
The shift to multiple customer service centers at CCF comes as the company seeks to emphasize a more customer-centered, consumer-driven approach to marketing its juice products through supermarkets. "That is the primary force driving this effort," said Bozman. She described a project team composed of a "mix of people" from various levels within the CCF organization that has been dedicated to developing the new field unit structure. The field sales units will be organized under a point person Bozman won't name yet. "We are not prepared to make that kind of personnel announcement as yet," she said.