In Brief

ANZ’s largest drinks company partners with Merkle to develop a Salesforce solution to unify customer experience and support future growth.

About Asahi

Asahi Lifesyle Beverages is a member of Asahi Group Holdings, one of Japan’s leading beverage companies. Asahi Group comprises some of Australia and New Zealand’s most successful beverage companies, including Asahi Lifestyle Beverages (formerly known as Schweppes Australia), Asahi Beverages New  Zealand and Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) which now incorporates Asahi Beverage’s alcohol division - Asahi Premium Beverages.

With an unparalleled breadth of alcoholic and non-alcoholic products in its portfolio, Asahi Beverages is the leading beverage company in Australia and New Zealand.


After Carlton United Breweries (CUB) was acquired in 2019, Asahi Group became the largest beverage company in ANZ. As the business has grown through acquisition, multiple systems were in place, and time needed to be taken to build a consistent and streamlined enterprise architecture to ensure that customer experience remained excellent.

Asahi utilised fragmented legacy systems comprising four different CRM platforms across four business units. This had the risk of delivering a substandard customer experience, due to the customer having multiple touchpoints with different business units and representatives. The legacy systems also made it hard for the business to have a true 360-degree view of the customer, with data for different business units sitting in silos.

Asahi Group embarked on an enterprise-wide program of transformation, building on their existing investment in Salesforce technology. The project with Asahi Lifestyle Beverages is the first of four programs of work that will see Salesforce implemented as the source of truth for customer interaction across the entire Asahi business in Australia.

It was crucial for Asahi to develop a technology stack that delivered:

360 view of the customer - Complete visibility over customer data and order history across all four business units.

Customer-first experience - Streamlined ordering process for the customer, with only one touchpoint and one representative.

Enterprise Architecture and Data – Driving consistency across the business while allowing flexibility for individual processes.

After an in-depth market evaluation, Merkle were selected as implementation partner due to their experience delivering enterprise transformation projects for Consumer Goods organisations.

The team at Merkle worked closely with Asahi to develop an enterprise architecture and data model that would support the entire transformation project. Each Business Unit has unique needs regarding the customers and data they work with and so Merkle leveraged the data model from Consumer Goods Cloud to drive consistency, while still allowing for configuration at the Business Unit level. As the existing Salesforce instances in the business had been highly customised, it was determined that the most effective approach was to deploy a new instance of Salesforce.

As Chris Pang -Group General Manager, Digital Transformation, explained, “It was evident from the very beginning that Merkle were experts in the technology and had a lot of experience with Salesforce. They also provided a much more agile and flexible delivery method that allowed us to move in a much more iterative manner. We were impressed with their flexibility, knowledge, willingness to partner and determination to get the right outcomes for Asahi. We were confident that they were going to deliver on their promise.”

Merkle utilised it’s proven agile delivery methodology, working closely with Asahi's project teams to develop a program of work that revolved around a series of sprints featuring many smaller epics and stories. After each milestone, progress is assessed, and the next stage is iterated, ensuring that the following sprint's execution strategy was accurate, desirable and achievable. This methodology ensures that Merkle provides well-considered and well-delivered outcomes for Asahi Beverages.


Consumer Goods Cloud - Salesforce CGC has been deployed as the foundational capability. Consumer Goods Cloud helps organisations to break down functional silos and drive intelligent insights and relationships.

360-degree customer view - The sales team has a more holistic view of customer data, allowing them to better understand customer needs and eliminating the need for multiple representatives to connect with the customer.

Field sales process optimisation - The new system enables field sales team members to optimise their sales routes automatically, allowing them to visit all of their locations via the shortest route possible.

Scalable - The solution was required to be easily scalable across the Asahi / CUB business while allowing each business flexibility to support its unique processes.


Pipeline Management – Asahi Beverages now have a centralised method to manage pipeline on Salesforce. Replacing the previous process of pen, paper and Excel, this new approach has improved the accuracy of data across the sales pipeline.

Opportunity Visibility – the business can now track over 2,300 opportunities nationally, more than double what was possible previously.

Sales Trends – Asahi now has access to over 12 months of forecasting data. This allows the Sales Management team to make better strategic decisions based on data.


Merkle is a performance marketing agency with a 32-year track record of helping the best brands in the world create personalised experiences at every stage of the customer life cycle. As experts in data and technology, the agency helps organisations to transform their end-to-end customer experience. The team have strong strategic partnerships with, Adobe and Google, allowing them to design, implement and manage the best customer experience solutions for clients.

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