Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated Realizes a 26% Reduction in Vehicle Program Costs

Switching from Fleet Cars to Vehicle Reimbursement Saves Millions of Dollars Per Year

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Client Info

Industry: Food and Beverage

Revenue: $1.6 billion

Employees: More than 6,000

Mobile Employees: 1,500

Geography: 11 states (mainly SE US)

Savings Generated (annual): 26%

Client Since: 2008

Challenge

Millions of dollars and significant auto-liability risk tied up in owning, servicing and managing internal fleet

Goals

  • Free up capital
  • Reduce exposure
  • Clearly communicate program changes to its employees and administer the transition from a fleet to an auto allowance approach

Solution

Motus’ suite of vehicle reimbursement and expense management solutions

Results

Savings of 26% in a single calendar year, reduced risk, administration fees, insurance premiums, general liability, capital interest, depreciation and more

Largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States streamlines operations by outsourcing the design and administration of its vehicle program

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated (Coke Consolidated) is the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. Coke Consolidated offers a complete portfolio of carbonated and non-carbonated drinks, including some of the most recognized and popular beverage brands in the world. The company operates in eleven states, primarily located in the southeast, in what has become known as “Coke Country” to many of its loyal consumers.

In 2010, Coke Consolidated generated net sales of over US $1.5 billion after several years of growth through a combination of acquisitions and internal measures. Today, Coke Consolidated employs more than 6,000 and serves more than 18 million consumers through food, convenience and on-premise channels on a weekly basis. Coke Consolidated’s history of success has depended as much on driving efficient operations as it has on seeking innovative ways to bring value to its customers and consumers.

Until 2008, Coke Consolidated owned, serviced and managed a large fleet of trucks and passenger vehicles. “We had several million dollars wrapped up in passenger vehicles and decided we had an opportunity to unleash those dollars elsewhere in the organization, while also reducing our auto-liability exposure,” said Jody Billiard, Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller. It was time for Coke Consolidated to find a partner to whom it could outsource the design and administration of an auto allowance program.

In fact, there were no other competitors that even came close to matching their technology. – Jody Billiard
Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated

Coke Consolidated seeks a solution provider that can deliver best-in-class technology and top-notch customer service

Motus made our transition to a vehicle reimbursement program seamless. – Jody Billiard
Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated

Coke Consolidated began its search with clear expectations about what it needed from a partner. Strategically, it needed a partner who could enable it to achieve three primary goals:

  • Free up capital

  • Reduce exposure

  • Clearly communicate program changes to its employees and administer the transition from a fleet to an auto allowance approach

On an operational level, the right solution provider had to deliver best-in-class technology, top-notch customer service and the ability to align with Coke Consolidated’s corporate values. An extensive search led Coke Consolidated to Motus (formerly Corporate Reimbursement Services, Inc.) and its suite of vehicle reimbursement and expense management solutions. According to Billiard, “Motus went above and beyond to meet all of our criteria. In fact, there were no other competitors that even came close to matching their technology.”


Motus ensures a seamless transition to a new vehicle reimbursement program

Transitioning from a company-provided fleet program to a vehicle reimbursement program is often viewed as a significant fundamental change for a beverage company.

Throughout the process, Motus continuously provided the Coke Consolidated management team with invaluable guidance on how to optimize results throughout the transition. To ensure every one of Coke Consolidated’s mobile employees were properly educated on and comfortable with the new program, Motus delivered twenty-five training sessions, some of which began as early as 5AM. Billiard states, “Motus made the entire transition process a smooth one. It was seamless to both the management team and the impacted drivers.”

To easily synchronize all vehicle and employee-related data, Motus integrated directly with Coke Consolidated’s human resources (HR) system. This provided a flexible, organized way to calculate tax-free reimbursement rates for each employee, track compliance with company policies and IRS guidelines and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) including cost savings, reductions in insurance claims, and resources reallocated to the core business.

…we’ve been able to achieve a whole new level of savings and efficiency, all while managing our risk and providing a great recruitment and retention tool for our employees. – Jamie Harris
Chief Financial Officer
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated

Coke Consolidated saves more than expected during the program’s initial years

That (26 percent savings) number doesn’t include the ‘soft dollar’ savings such as reduced administration fees, insurance premiums, general liability, capital interest, depreciation — and the list goes on. – Jamie Harris
Chief Financial Officer
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated

Over the last three years, Motus’ vehicle and expense management solutions have enabled Coke Consolidated to exceed its targeted savings. The program achieved millions in savings (26 percent) in the calendar year 2010 alone. “That number doesn’t include the ‘soft dollar’ savings such as reduced administration fees, insurance premiums, general liability, capital interest, depreciation – and the list goes on,” stated Jamie Harris, Coke Consolidated’s Chief Financial Officer. “The team at Motus continuously went above and beyond to help us achieve our goals. In the end, we’ve been able to achieve a whole new level of savings and efficiency all while managing our risk and providing a great recruitment and retention tool for our employees.”