Coca-Cola UNITED Celebrates Opening of $65 Million Tifton Sales Center
Monday, February 28th, 2022
Tifton Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a sales and distribution center of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., celebrated the grand opening of its new $65 million facility at 22 Lamb Loop in Tifton. The 343,000-square-foot facility, which also includes a warehouse, fleet shop, administrative offices and meeting space, is home to the latest technology and state-of-the-art equipment used in the beverage industry – a benefit to both associates and customers.
“Our investment in our associates is paramount, but so is our investment in the communities we serve every day. In the past five years, we have invested more than $200 million in the state of Georgia,” said John Sherman, Coca-Cola UNITED president and CEO. “In 2019, we announced our plans to invest in the Tifton community and this investment also represents our continued commitment to the state of Georgia. This facility is a reflection of how we conduct our business, staying focused on what is most important – our associates, our customers and our communities.”
Tifton Sales Center Manager Charlie Yawn added, “This grand opening has been a long time coming, as many of us have been involved with this project for the last several years. We are so excited to see it come to life.”
The Tifton facility serves more than 3,100 customers throughout South Georgia and the Florida Panhandle, and refreshes some 600,000 consumers annually with beverages from the expansive Coca-Cola portfolio. The facility, which has been operating since May 2021, serves 21 counties in South Georgia and three counties along the Florida Panhandle.
Approximately 275 employees work at the facility, which has a payroll of approximately $13 million.
“This facility is one of the most technologically advanced distribution facilities in the North American beverage industry,” said Crawford Jones, Coca-Cola UNITED East Region vice president. “It is a great testament to our partnerships in Tifton and across the state of Georgia, and the thousands of associates who serve our customers and communities.”
After remarks by Coca-Cola UNITED executives and government officials, the official ribbon cutting took place outside the new facility in front of a crowd of some 100 guests. Facility tours and lunch followed, and COVID-19 protocols were adhered to onsite.
The Tifton Sales Center sets a new standard in technology for a beverage sales and distribution center using the Vertique case picking warehouse system, manufactured by System Logistics. Vertique transforms the case picking process into an organized, more ergonomic and efficient sequential operation, and puts less physical stress on associates. The design of the facility also accounts for harmony in people movement, truck logistics and product flow. A new palletizer system provides a more efficient flow of operation and people, and minimizes the number of touches to the product before reaching customer shelves.
Sustainable Construction Process
Construction on the Tifton Sales Center began in early 2020 and was complete by mid-year 2021. The project used sustainable design and resources, and incorporated environmentally-friendly materials throughout the facility. Additional features include LED lighting, solar reflective glass and an HVAC energy management system.
Coca-Cola UNITED’S Commitment to the State of Georgia
Coca-Cola UNITED’s presence in Georgia dates back to 1916, when it acquired the Augusta territory. In the past five years, Coca-Cola UNITED has invested more than $200 million in the state of Georgia. In April 2017, Coca-Cola UNITED acquired the Atlanta territory, which includes 10 sales centers and two production facilities, from The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola UNITED increased employment at each of its newly acquired facilities by 10 to 15 percent in an effort to better serve its customers and communities. The company celebrated the grand opening of its $86 million Atlanta South Metro Sales Center in January 2020, and broke ground on the Tifton Sales Center shortly thereafter.