Coke’s European Scare Nishtha Vyas (80) Question 1. What are the management issues in this case? Answer- The major issue faced by coke was wrong and late anticipation of a problem that led to disastrous consequences. Also, the company’s hard earned goodwill was at stake due to poor communication and a lax approach in dealing with an issue of high priority. Coke faced serious issues inside the organization which was the lapse in quality control that contaminated the CO2 content. Coke’s myopic outlook towards the issue made it lackadaisical in dealing with it. Question 2.

What did coke do and what could have been done differently? What did it do| What could have been done| * Initially treated the incident as isolated and benign. * General approach towards the customers by apologizing. * Communicated to the Europeans in a haphazard manner, with no consensus among the management of Coke. * Testing was confined only to plants. * No action taken against the quality control department. * Importance of Public Relations ignored. | * Promptness in reacting towards the problem and treating it as important * The approach by Coke should have been more specific. The management should have discussed the issue and arrive at a common solution, then would have issued an explanation to the public. * Testing should have been done in the areas of shipment and transportation as well to ensure safety and quality of product from the plant to the hands of the customer.

* Strict action should have been taken against the people responsible for the lapse in quality control in order to set the internal process right. * Public relations is the panacea to many disasters. A systematic public relations program should have been chalked out to communicate and convince the Europeans . Question 3. What were the key factors that were or should have been considered by the Management? Answer- The key factors that should have been considered by the management are as follows:- * Mode of communication to the public:- The company did issue an explanation but it wasn’t convincing enough. Instead, a public relations officer should have been appointed to deal with the media and the European bodies. * Overall approach towards the issue:- Coke turned out to take the matter at ease and dealt with it in a very general manner.

But the need of the hour was to give the issue high priority and assign a special force to deal with it in a specific manner. * Inspection areas:- Though the coke officials and the French Government was convinced after inspecting the plants, it should not have been confined to the plants only. They should have extended the inspection to the shipping area and the transport quality because any deterioration in the quality due to bad shipping or transport would malign the image of the company, pulling down its hard earned goodwill. *********

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