Developing and implementing the digital strategic plan
HEINEKEN is the world’s most international brewer, with revenues of over €27bn, brands present in over 180 countries and operations in more than 75 markets. Heineken is a proud and independent global industry leader, with a strong brand portfolio and an extensive sales & distribution network across the globe. Understanding that digitisation is driving a seismic shift in how people connect, consume media and consume products, HEINEKEN launched a broad set of digital initiatives across functions and markets throughout the world, with a view to ‘staying in the game’ and learning along the way.
Acknowledging this promising start, SparkOptimus urged HEINEKEN to fundamentally elevate and accelerate its digital transformation. Committed to accelerating growth in a rapidly changing competitive playing field and driven by the ambition to become the clear winner in beer & cider in a digital age, HEINEKEN asked for SparkOptimus’ support in co-developing a shared vision, strategy, and execution plan with HEINEKEN’s key decision makers: the Executive Team and MDs of HEINEKEN’s largest global Operating Companies.
Together with the Executive Team and key local leadership teams, we co-created a shared vision, strategy and 3-horizon plan for accelerating growth in a digitised world. We also defined what was required to realise this ambition across the globe. After formulating the 3-horizon strategy and plan, HEINEKEN asked SparkOptimus for support with achieving the core components of the plan. As part of that support, HEINEKEN and SparkOptimus jointly embarked on an ambitious, multi-year programme to drive the most exciting, most rewarding but also the most complex ‘pillar’ of the three-horizon plan: digitising HEINEKEN’s B2B Route-to-Market to outlets across the globe (scope of this case study). This represented a significant challenge given HEINEKEN’s decentralised governance model and the large variety of routes-to-market and digital maturities present across different markets.
In our experience, companies generally go through 4 different stages in becoming customer-first, self-learning and high-velocity businesses – at scale. With HEINEKEN, we focused first on moving from stage I to stage II, and subsequently to move from stage II to stage III (see Exhibit 1 – Stages).
By supporting HEINEKEN with digitisation of the B2B route-to-market, we helped them improve customer satisfaction and grow the top line. In addition, we helped HEINEKEN effectively lay the foundations for digital customer business operations, enabling HEINEKEN to become the business partner of choice for outlets across the globe in an increasingly digitising world.
SparkOptimus has helped us to walk a path we otherwise never would or could have. We embarked on a fundamental transformational journey in our global customer approach and SparkOptimus has formed a crucial role in the shaping and delivery of this journey. Their strategic capability and digital expertise combined with their ability to truly transform analogue businesses on the ground in varying local market contexts, allowed us to successfully embark on a digital transformation that will significantly improve the way we do business with our customers across the globe.
Jan Derck van KarnebeekChief Commercial Officer