- State-of-the-art technology to benefit associates and customers -
UNION CITY, Ga., Jan. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company today celebrated the Grand Opening of its new $86 million sales center at 4913 Mason Road in Union City. The 456,000 square foot facility – which includes a sales and distribution center, warehouse, fleet shop, administrative offices and meeting space – represents one of the largest investments in a sales center in the U.S. Coca-Cola System. It sets a new standard in warehouse systems for the beverage industry, utilizing state-of-the-art technology that benefits both employees and customers.
"When we acquired the Atlanta territory in 2017, we made a commitment to being world class in the way we serve this market, our customers and our communities. After all, it is the home of the worldwide Coca-Cola System," said John Sherman, president and CEO of Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, the parent company of Atlanta Coca-Cola. "This facility demonstrates – through its state-of the-art technology and aesthetically pleasing environment - our commitment to honor our associates, customers and the communities where we operate and serve every day."
"Coca-Cola UNITED's South Metro Sales Center is a welcome addition to the hometown of Coca-Cola," said Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America. "As a valued partner in our U.S. bottling system, Coca-Cola UNITED continues to make incredible investments in Atlanta, creating more local jobs, bringing more of our beverage portfolio to store shelves, and doing more good to make a difference in our communities."
The South Metro Sales Center will serve more than 10,000 customers throughout Atlanta who refresh some 2.8 million consumers annually with beverages from the expansive Coca-Cola portfolio. The facility, which has been operating since the end of 2019, serves the following counties in metro Atlanta: Carroll, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dekalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton.
Approximately 750 employees work at the facility, which has a payroll of more than $41 million.
"This facility is one of the most technologically advanced sales and distribution facilities in the North American beverage industry, and it is one of the largest investments that has been made in a U.S. Coca-Cola sales center," said Mike Suco, East Region vice president for Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED. "What a great testament to the commitment our company has to the Atlanta market and the thousands of associates who serve our customers and these communities every day."
"We're absolutely ecstatic about the state-of-the-art Coca-Cola UNITED facility joining our community and becoming part of the Union City family," said Vince Williams, Mayor of Union City. "The strong investment of over $80 million dollars proves they're serious about a committed relationship with the Atlanta metro area and the Union City community!"
The South Metro Sales Center sets a new standard in technology for a beverage sales and distribution center. It uses a "Vertique" warehousing system, manufactured by System Logistics, which turns the case picking process into an organized, more ergonomic and efficient sequential operation, with less stress on associates and not as labor intensive. The design of the facility also accounts for harmony in people movement, truck logistics and product flow. A new Easy Pallet system provides efficient flow of operations and people and minimizes the number of touches to the product before reaching customer shelves.
Approximately 36 million cases of beverages will be loaded annually out of the facility, which includes a 375,000 square-foot warehouse; a 25,000 square foot fleet maintenance area; 36,000 square feet of administration space, and a 20,000 square foot service department for equipment and vending repair.
Sustainable and Socially Responsible Construction Process
Construction on the new sales center began in early 2018 and was complete by the end of 2019. The project utilized sustainable design and resources in the construction of the facility. In addition, it incorporates environmentally friendly materials throughout.
"In both the design and construction of South Metro, we took into account how the facility would impact our local community," said Stan Ellington, vice president of supply chain and operations for Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED. "We wanted the facility to blend in harmony with the community by incorporating benefits such as noise reduction, low level lighting, landscape buffers and plantings and, of course, procedures to assure safe traffic flow.
"In addition, in coordination with general contractor, Brasfield and Gorrie, the company achieved a 20 percent MBE/WBE/DBE participation (Minority/Women/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) through job fairs and community outreach."
Coca-Cola UNITED's commitment to Atlanta and State of Georgia
Coca-Cola UNITED's presence in Georgia dates back to 1916, when it acquired the Augusta territory. In April of 2017, the Birmingham, Ala.-based company acquired the Atlanta territory – which includes 10 sales centers and two production facilities – from The Coca-Cola Company. UNITED increased employment at each of its newly-acquired facilities by some 10-15 percent in an effort to better serve its customers and communities. Soon after, the company began plans to construct a new larger and technologically advanced sales center to serve parts of metro Atlanta. The new facility is located about three and one-half miles from the former South Metro Sales Center on Buffington Road, where it had operated since 1986 when it was owned by a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company.
In the past five years, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED has invested more than $145 million in Georgia, with about 90% of that investment in the Atlanta metro area. Atlanta is the largest single market in Coca-Cola UNITED's six state territory, with some 2,100 associates and a payroll of approximately $107 million. In addition to this major investment in Atlanta, Coca-Cola UNITED recently broke ground on a future $60 million sales and distribution center in Tifton, which is in south Georgia, and is planned to open by the end of 2021.
About Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc., founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the U.S. Coca-Cola UNITED has approximately 10,000 associates located in more than 60 facilities across six southeastern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee). Historically significant franchises within our Coca-Cola UNITED family include Chattanooga, the world's first Coca-Cola bottler; Atlanta, home of the worldwide Coca-Cola System; and Columbus, Georgia, development site of the original Coca-Cola formula.
Coca-Cola UNITED is engaged in the production, marketing and distribution of a diverse portfolio of leading sparkling (Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero Sugar®, Dr Pepper®, Sprite® and Fanta®) and still (smartwater®, Dasani®, POWERADE®, BODYARMOR®, Fairlife®, Gold Peak®, Monster® and Minute Maid®) non-alcoholic brands under exclusive franchise agreements principally with The Coca-Cola Company® and Keurig Dr Pepper®.
For 118 years, Coca-Cola UNITED has remained true to its foundational core values of: Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect. Local relationships, personalized customer service, and strong community engagement have been the foundation of our business for more than a century. Each year, millions of dollars are invested in our local communities, supporting education, community development, sustainability and nonprofit organizations that empower and impact those in need.
Contact: Linda Sewell
Coca-Cola Bottling UNITED
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SOURCE Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc.