Rob Haddock, group director of transportation strategy for Coca-Cola North America, has spent his entire career — over 40 years — in all areas of the supply chain but says transportation has always been his passion.
At FreightWaves’ Future of Supply Chain event in Cleveland on Wednesday, Haddock said it is crucial to build a resilient supply chain in this volatile freight environment.
In 2017, he was tasked with overhauling Coca-Cola’s transportation group after a major restructuring. At the time, he admits, he had no magic fix. Instead, he spent time evaluating the transportation group’s problems before formulating a plan.
“I looked at some of our technologies that needed a little bit of refreshing, and I didn’t have a whole lot of insights into market intelligence at the time and it seemed like everybody else in the room was smarter than I was,” Haddock said. “I had to change that paradigm.”
When he inherited the transportation group, Haddock said he started with a “small team for such a large business.”
“We looked at what was the talent base that we needed to start to grow that,” Haddock said. “We [still] don’t have a whole lot of people, but we rely a lot on the technologies, the processes and the relationships that we’ve established.”
Over the past six years, Haddock said he’s trained his team to understand the importance of delivering on-time service to customers.
“If we do fall short, why did we fall short? Did we not give the carrier enough time to move it? Was there a delay at the dock? We keep some very stringent metrics on on-time performance, and we start to analyze where did we fail and could we do a better job?”
In less than a week, Haddock will be moving to a new role at the Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO).
“I’ve trained the younger team members on this is why we do stuff, here’s how numbers should be interpreted, here’s how you develop a long-range planning strategy,” he said. “We’ve got some very talented young people coming in, and quite honestly, it was time for me to get out of their way to let the younger organization flourish.”
Investing in advanced visibility technology has played a huge role in reinventing Coca-Cola’s transportation group, Haddock said.
“If there is a particular lane that is starting to misbehave or a carrier that’s struggling a little bit with service, we have some visibility to it and then we have people assigned to go ahead and have a conversation to get things back on track.”
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