Technology continues to play a pivotal part in the modern business world. Technological advancement steadily continues to become an integral part of the operations any company. Companies continue to adopt new technologies in enhancing their performance. The impacts of these technological adoptions, however, continue to be felt in numerous aspects of the company.
The impacts form an internal and external influence to the business of the company. It becomes necessary to analyze the internal and external impacts of any technological adaptation in order to provide room for improvement. This analysis can also enable informed decision making by the board of a company.
The coca-cola company is a multinational company supplying soft drink across globally. The company’s headquarters lie in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America. Over the years, the company continues to create leadership in the manufacturing of non-alcoholic beverages globally.
Though it began in 1886 with a single brand of soft drink, that situation has changed over the years. The company run over 500 globally recognized brands across the world. The company has effectively utilized franchise marketing, across the globe, to reach out to its customers in rural settings within third world countries (Dent, 2011).
As a global leader within the industry, it employs the use of various technologies for maximizing sales across the world. Listing of the company in the New York stock exchange means that it operates as a limited liability company.
The company defines its mission as striving to refresh the world. This, the company seeks to achieve through creating value and making a difference. The company continues to live up to its mission globally. The number of servings delivered daily is estimated at 1.7 billion across over 200 countries. The company utilizes franchised distribution for the distribution of its products worldwide. The company has employed this structure of distributing since 1889.
The distributors get an allocation of the territory where they supply coca-cola products. This structure continues to ease the distribution burden on the company as the subcontracted organizations manage the distribution logistics. The company only distributes its products up to the bottlers’ level. The rest of the distribution channel is left to subcontracted companies and individuals. The company contains numerous subsidiaries running the operations of coca-cola in various countries.
The chairman of the company also acts at the chief executive for the company. The headquarters of the company are in Atlanta. All the company operations run from that central place. The rest of the services are controlled through subsidiaries of coca-cola. Many of these subsidiaries operate as independent companies although few fall under the ownership of coca-cola.
From the inception up to now, the company continues to adopt new technologies in delivering services and products. These technologies come in all operations of the company, from production to distribution. One of the notable technological advancement by coca-cola continues to be the use of vending machines. The impact of these machines on the organization cannot be ignored. The machines continue to play a crucial role in the operations of the coca-cola company.
History of the vending machine
A vending machine can be described as any machine dispensing items, to customers, automatically upon inserting currency. These machines had been in use since the 19th century when they were first employed commercially. The growing demand for coca-cola products can be attributed to the integration of the vending machines into the selling system of the company. With a global rise in the demand for products, especially in the populated areas, there came a need for an invention to cater for those numbers.
The demand for coca-cola products in office blocks seemed to be rising as days progressed. The mode of selling using sales men could not efficiently cater for the desires of the growing number of customers. This led to the use of automated machines to dispense products to customers. The machines had been used in other industries in dispensing products. Post offices extensively utilized these machines in the sale of postage stamps.
Introduction of these machines can be traced to the years after the First World War. Before this time, the company used service packs as a way of catering to large numbers of people in highly populated place. The vending machines allow for a reduced number of employees while supplying the products to a wide range of people (Philippine de T’Serclaes, 2007).
The technology vending machines were installed in the regions where there was a substantial demand for the products. The employees of coca-cola would only need to check that the levels of the products do not drop. The company first installed the machines in the American region. They were initially installed to enable the company sell to many people and not for convenience. The burden on the employees conducting selling activities was also eased with the adoption of the vending machines.
The technology continued to be distributed to other regions of the world following the same criterion of installation. Other competing companies in the industry accelerated the trend. It became common for each soft drinks beverage company to provide an automated vending machine at various selling points across the world.
Since the setting in of competition for technology, companies install their vending machines in proximity to competitors. This continues to help companies within the beverage industry achieve improved sales in new regions. In the modern times, these machines are placed in every soft drink outlet in leading cities of the world.
The maturity of this technology came with the recognition and the extensive use of technology in almost all industries. In the food industry, the technology of vending machines continues to be used even in the portioning of food. Better control can be achieved when machines are utilized as opposed to the employment of human capital.
The technology has allowed for a full time supply of soft drinks in places where this was not possible. The acceptance of this technology by many countries played a significant role in the maturity of the technology. This has seen the machines offering selective services. The soft drink vending machines of the earlier days could only sell a specified brand of drink. The modern machines offer a variety of up to five different brands of soft drinks.
The technological advancement has also increased the efficiency of the machines. Privately owned machines can sell not only different brands, but also brands from different companies. Independent machine companies continue to construct machines targeting other establishments like restaurants.
The restaurants posses the rights to the machines and can sell a mixture of hot and cold drinks from a single dispensing machine. Owing to numerous regulations set in the 21st century, the technology of vending machines continues to advance in conformity to standards.
Impact of vending machine on the organization
The adoption of this technology continues to produce immense impact on the operations of the coca-cola company. The global marketing business receives a surmountable boost from the use of vending machines. The various aspects of the company showing significant impacts are discussed below.
The company established itself as a global leader in the manufacturing of non-alcoholic soft drinks long ago. Maintaining this position continues to be essential for the company. The use of this technology has impacted the way customers purchase coca-cola products. The vending machines continue to provide refreshments to customers around the globe in a similar manner.
Customers can access similar quality of drinks whenever they travel to across the entire world. The availability of these products continues to provide the desired satisfaction on the customers. The technology is unified in all countries it is used. This provides customers with a service they can identify from any country.
With differing technological advancements around the globe, the use of standard vending machines continues to standardize the technology in different nations. This allows customers from third world countries, to use the machines in developed nations.
The coca-cola company contains an estimated 140,000 employee base in all countries where it operates (The Coca-Cola Company, 2011). The company has employed this technology across all regions equally. The employees continue to reap the benefits of the technology. To the employees, the technology allows them to conduct a lot of sales under minimum effort. An employee can singlehandedly sell to an entire office block without getting exhausted.
The main chores involve replenishing the drinks and other disposable materials in the machine. This makes the selling aspect for the employees extremely easy. The area of coverage by an individual also increases through utilizing this technology. The general output of employees continues to increase as an impact of the adoption of the vending machine technology.
The technology has helped create numerous jobs not related to the manufacturing of soft drinks. The company has integrated the services of engineers and programmers to operate the machines. The programmers’ work in the machines includes, adjusting prices when a change occurs. They also work to ensure the prices are maintained globally as the exchange rates for currencies keep on changing.
The vending machines have also had an impact on society. The society has been transformed immensely through the use of vending machines. The machines have eliminated the salesmen who used to be positioned at strategic points selling coca-cola products.
The crowding along the streets of cities across the world caused by these salesmen continues to reduce with the installation of vending machines. Cities continue to improve on the appearance as advertisements can be run on the machines. The machines occupy small spaces and can, therefore, be linked to the de-congesting of pedestrian footpaths in cities.
The machines have transformed how selling is conducted in the industry. The use of credit cards in the 21st century continues to be extensively utilized in many industries. Through these machines, the industry has adopted the use of credit cards in the purchase of soft drinks.
Some machines have the capability to accept credit card payments for drinks dispensed. This has changed the way purchasing of soft drinks is conducted. The industry continues to experience new technological advancements through the vending machines. The industry has been able to operate many points of sale run directly by the company. While franchising is common as a mode of selling, it cuts the profits a company receives.
Elimination of the franchising aspect has increased the level of profits realized by the companies in the industry. The vending machines also help the industry achieve product standardization in terms of packaging (Peter Martin, 2010). Since the machines can only accept cans of a certain size, the companies manufacture that size of cans. This standardization makes purchasing decisions easy to make for customers products based on other considerations apart from appearance.
The machines can also be said to limit the design creativity for products. When a company wants to change its packaging design, the vending machine has to be changed. To avoid the expenses that may be incurred, the companies within the industry continue to restrict themselves to old packaging designs.
Ramifications of the technology
The company continues to encounter numerous complications relating to the application of the vending machine technology. Many of the issues of concern for the company are based on the environment and climate change. The material used in the packaging of products available in the machines continues to pollute the environment.
Most of the products contained in the vending machines are packaged in plastic of metal. Since a majority of the people who purchase from the machines are on transit, this encourages littering with the packets. The disposal of the packaging material has been an issue of concern within the company. Though the company has adopted the use of recyclable materials, the challenge to curb littering continues to exist. These machines have been faulted as the origin a sizeable percentage of litter found on major cities’ streets.
The vending machines have been identified as causing a considerable level of contribution towards gas emission. The United Nations summit on climate change in Copenhagen came up with a solution to reduce greenhouse gas effects. The company and its partners also agreed to use hydro fluorocarbon-free vending machines and coolers by 2015 (The Coca-Cola Company, 2011).
This aims at ensuring the company plays a leading role in the conservation of the environment. The challenge to construct vending machines complying with the set rules has been identified by the company as its principal role going into the future. The company continues to urge other companies in the soft drink industry to follow suit in the adoption of hydro fluorocarbon-free coolers and vending machines.
The adoption of this technology has tremendously improved the operations of the coca-cola company. There can be several recommendations that the company can adopt to deal with the challenges facing the technology.
The company should seek to partner with the other players in the industry to come up with environmentally friendly vending machines. This would reduce the costs incurred by the company in the construction and installation of such machines. While reducing costs, this partnership would also allow exchange of technology between the various employees for the companies.
The company should seek to work in close relationship with the local authorities within areas where the vending machines are installed. This partnership with the local authorities would enable the company to come up with an innovative way of controlling littering. This would play a crucial role in improving the image of the company in association with clean environments.
The company can also sponsor garbage collection companies collecting garbage in areas where littering from coca-cola products seems extensive. The company can be able to play a part in the cleaning of the environment through such a project.
The company would be well placed using machines accepting only credit cards and no cash. As the company heads into the future, such machines would eliminate the problem of cash collection. Numerous incidents have been reported of employees being attacked after collecting money from machines.
This would also reduce the losses incurred by the company when a machine is attacked. Losses in such scenarios would only be of the unsold drinks. In the current system, successful burglary of a machine results in the loss of the unsold drinks and the sales.
Using electronic payments, the company can secure the sales in the event of a burglary act. Such machines can also ensure profitability as the pricing can be set using a single currency. This would ease the problem of converting sales affected by fluctuating rates of different currencies across the world.
The company should seek to partner with distributors to provide security in machines located within an area allocated to the distributor. This shall immensely improve reduce cases of burglary of the machines. The machines can also be partly owned by the distributors to ensure the distribution of the risk between the company and the distributor.
This shall reduce the amount of losses incurred on the company as parts shall be transferred to the distributor. Partnering with distributors can also ensure that the company locates the machines in convenient, strategic locations. The company can utilize the distributor knowledge of the area to identify the strategic positions to place the machines.
The coca cola company has adopted the use of vending machines to ease the supply of their products. The company continues to advance the technology by improving the machine to comply with modern technology (Peter Martin, 2010). The impacts of the machines on the company have both been negative and positive. With significant advancements and rectifications on the existing machines, the company can improve the profitability of the venture significantly. This would in turn increase the total returns for the company.
Dent, J. (2011). Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market (2nd Ed.). London: Kogan Page ltd.
Peter Martin, G. H. (2010). Automation Made Easy: Everything You Wanted to Know about Automation and need to ask. New York: International Society of Automation.
Philippine de T’Serclaes, N. J. (2007). Mind the gap: quantifying principal-agent problems in energy efficiency. Paris: International Enegy Agency.
The Coca-Cola Company. (2011). Goals & Performance. Web.