Biggest had also to be best when Cadbury Schweppes became the world's largest confectionery company with the acquisition of Adams from Pfizer in 2003. City and investor confidence had to be maintained as the deal had cost 2.7 billion and had to show returns in terms of cost savings from consolidation, market share gains, increased profit and shareholder value.

The company took the opportunity to make wide ranging changes in management and operational structure in a 4 year programme aimed at exploiting synergies and driving growth.

Chris Bones, Group Organisational Effectiveness and Development Director, led the organisation and change aspects of this  programme.The company aimed at delivering cost cutting, reinvestment and targeted growth in sales, profit and shareholder value. The targets were tough: net growth in sales value of 3-5% per annum and gross savings of c400m in costs over a three year period. 

Chris pointed out, "To make it happen we all had to resist the urge to apply traditional thinking and find different and more effective ways of managing the new enlarged company.
   We spent time developing a very business focussed approach to thinking about planning and implementing the change. As part of this thinking we needed to change the way people thought about major strategic change and looked for a catalyst to find our own way effectively, not a prescriptive or off-the-shelf solution.
   We had to take our people with us through a period of massive change and rationalisation in which confidence would be tested. They had to be happy to adopt a single approach to thinking about programme and project management methodology."


Eddie Obeng of Pentacle was the catalyst of choice for Cadbury Schweppes. He had worked with the company two years previously on a behavioural change programme which had been fully and successfully implemented prior to the acquisitions of 2002-3. He knew the company culture and had experience of customising his own project management delivery techniques to it. He had worked with small groups of key managers in structured workshops where he helped them identify where to consolidate, where to innovate, where to focus resources for growth and how to implement the changes effectively.


The tools and techniques which evolved from this process were immediately put into practice and worked. Pentacle got a very positive reception and the project generated a high level of interest, reflected in, for example, a huge amount of email discussion.


The process of changing the thinking about strategic change is still underway, but it has got off to a good start with key programme managers being supported in developing their approaches and plans to improve the chances of meeting or beating their targets.

It is supporting the business change where ten business units have been rationalised to a leaner, more effective 5 operating regions, supported by 6 staff functions and new global leadership headed by a team of eleven key executives reporting to the new CEO.

In 2003 the company announced better than expected results. Margins are growing on target. The integration process is producing savings which are being fed back into support of key brands.

For the new Cadbury Schweppes the change is working.