Article

Vincenza grows at Coca-Cola

Boudewijn Vanpeteghem Editor Connect on Linkedin

Her project was coming to an end. She took the bull by the horns. She got a new project at Coca-Cola European Partners. She continued to grow as a controller. She received a cash bonus from TriFinance as part of the "Member gets Mission" action. Vincenza Bonelli is young and wants to grow professionally.

Vicenza is a Project Consultant of the Brussels-based Blue Chip Boutique Transition & Support (T&S) and studied Administrative Sciences at UMons, the University of Mons. Before TriFinance, she worked for a shorter time for Euroclear and the Federation of Notaries. "I had only been at TriFinance for two days and was able to start at Coca-Cola as opex controller for Belgium and Luxembourg." Coca-Cola European Partners deals with the marketing, production, and distribution of products from Coca-Cola and other companies.

Vincenza replaced someone who went on extended sick leave and would eventually take on another role. "Replacing an employee with 20 years of experience caused me some stress, but it soon became clear that Coca-Cola has a policy of helping young people in their professional growth. That fits in with our way of working. I stayed on as an opex controller for a year and a half and trained my permanent successor myself."

"I was able to benefit from the culture at Coca-Cola, which gives employees the opportunity to increase their competencies."

Two trips to Bulgaria

Vincenza looked into the operational expenses of commercial teams: payroll, travel, consultancy, the evolution of the number of employees, and so on. She made simulations and projections. "I helped with the monthly closing. The operational part took place in the Shared Service Center in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. The team of controllers I was part of checked the data and worked with it. That's how we compared the actuals with the estimated annual budget."

Twice Vincenza was able to participate in the preparation itself of an annual budget. "In that context, I traveled to Sofia twice. Each time the budget process lasted six months and involved many stakeholders. I also played a role in the follow-up of those budgets and worked with the finance director."

Training in Power BI

When Coca-Cola decided to modernize its internal reporting, Vincenza had the opportunity to take a course in Power BI. "I was able to benefit from the culture at Coca-Cola, which allows employees to increase their competencies. The training fitted in with the operation to unify and standardize controlling and reporting in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway: the 'Northern European Business Unit' of Coca-Cola. I worked out reports in Power BI myself."

"I followed four brands, managed the portfolio, monitored profitability, and, on a limited scale, made strategic analyses around business cases."

Autonomous role

Working with colleagues in multiple European countries and with a manager who was based in the Netherlands, Vincenza was able to grow into an autonomous role and responsibilities. That growth intensified when she became marketing finance controller. "I knew that the holder of the position was moving into another role and told I was interested in taking over his work until someone new was permanently recruited. Coca-Cola agreed and I became responsible from A to Z for monitoring the P&L of four products marketed by the company."

"That task was much more strategic and part of the core business of the company. I followed four brands, monitored profitability, and, on a limited scale, made strategic analyses around business cases. It gave my career a new boost. Too bad the coronavirus came to throw a spanner in the works."