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Lessons From Coca-Cola to Charity Organizations (Case Study Sample)


The paper aimed at showing how non-profit organizations can improve by borrowing from for-profit organizations. It used the case of coca-cola organizations and what NGOs can learn from Coca-Cola's supply chain and operations.


Lessons From Coca-Cola to Charity Organizations
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Lessons From Coca-Cola to Charity Organizations
The non-profit sector is driven by the cause to change the world but is less effective in furthering its goals than the for-profit sector. It suggests that charity organizations must borrow some ideas from the for-profit sector to register exponential growths and actually change the world. It must start by changing the perceptions and the rules governing the two industries: for instance, stakeholders agree that for-profit organizations should and are allowed to advertise, but non-profit organizations must only spend the bulk of the cash for the cause. Similarly, for-profit organizations can high salaries for marketing executives and CEOs, ensuring they attract talent and retain it. Still, charity organizations should only spend the least on overheads. The differences reflect in the growth rates witnessed for charity organizations and business enterprises. Research indicates that non-profit organizations have not grown above 2% of the U.S. GDP since the 1970s, while for-profit organizations have expanded. It is vital to understand how the different treatments affect the charity industry.
Summary of the Ted-Talk
The Ted-Talk, given by Melinda Gates, elaborates that the non-profit organizations can learn a lot from Coca-Cola Ltd. She notes that Coca-Cola products have managed to reach the remotest areas of the world; something that has eluded the non-profit sector. Coca-Cola’s ubiquity is a masterpiece of innovation from which the non-profit sector must learn from. Pushing for the goal to change the world means that non-profit organizations must not differentiate the lessons learnt from for-profit organizations to increase progress and reach as many people as possible. Melinda identified three aspects used by Coca-Cola’s supply chain:
* Using real-time data- She noted that Coca-Cola uses real-time data to enhance its decision making. Real-time data ensures that the firm knows where its products are sold, and in case a problem arises, it can quickly identify it and device solutions. However, non-profits evaluate progress at the very end of the projects, and by then, the data cannot be used as it already too late. It explains why for-profits are so effective in response to changes in the environment while the non-profits remain fixated and ineffective.
* Tapping into local entrepreneurial talents- Coca-Cola effectively tapping into the local talents, which play a critical part in propelling its penetration into remote areas. Melinda notes that Coke determined that their system was adapted for the developed world, but the system was inapplicable to advance in Africa. The flawed transport system and the inaccessibility of the remote areas meant that Coke had to re-strategize. It came up with micro-distribution centres where it trained distributors and provided them with resources to penetrate the areas using the most available means. The locals use pushcarts, bicycles, wheelbarrows, etc., to reach the areas. However, the non-profit organizations have failed to connect with locals who know the changes needed and how to reach the people who need it most for real impact.
* Incredible marketing- Coca-Cola uses an aspirational marketing system that associates people with the kind of life they wish to live. She notes that Coke uses a glocal strategy, which generally means that it takes a local approach to advertise (Luigi & Simona, 2010). How it advertises in Africa is not how it advertises in Europe and so on. For instance, using the theme of happiness, Coca-Cola finds out what makes people happy at their local levels and targets it.
The inherent perceptions that non-profits and for-profits are different and should follow different rules in attaining objectives are misleading and disadvantaging the non-profits. In the above case, Coca-Cola can tap into technological advancements and use real-time data to make informed decisions. However, such technologies cost the firm a lot of money. The non-profit sector may not access the same technologies due to capital limitations and societal expectations. For instance, most resources are expected to furtherance the organization’s goal and not develop the firm. Most donors also prescribe how they expect their funds will be used. However, such perception means that non-profit organizations will have technological advancements to collect real-time data. They will always act when it is too late to prevent some disasters from happening. Collecting real-time data and acting on it to prevent unfortunate incidences like the spread of HIV and Malaria should also be part of the cause. It is even better to spend more resources preventing spending the same resources curing a disease of a condition. It is also hypocritical that people would rather see for-profit organizations spend funds to exploit them than see non-profits spend funds to save their lives. Technological advancement and collecting real-time data to determine a problem is the only way non-profits can have real change.
Secondly, developing local relationships to gain entry and penetrate the remotest of areas. As noted, Coca-Cola used resources to train and fund the local entrepreneurs. Non-profit organizations can also use the same route to penetrate the areas. However, NGOs face scrutiny o

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