Saturday, February 1, 2014

Does Starbucks want to make human to be robot?

Does Starbucks want to make human to be robot?

 Starbucks used to be the anti-fast-food. However, currently Starbucks use “lean manufacturing” to reduce time and cost. Lean manufacturing helps to increase revenue and customers’ satisfaction. It seems that the majority of effort in the Starbucks adoption of lean manufacturing principles is around increasing the quality of the coffee, more consistent taste outcomes, and on reducing the time it takes to make coffee and serve the customer.

 In late 2001 and early 2008, Starbucks entered a very challenging period because its sales slowed down and number of customers also declined. Thus, Howard Schultz decided to accept lean manufacturing to increase Starbucks’ revenue. There are few reasons that Starbucks decided to adopt lean manufacturing.
§  Lean can … provide store partners with better training and tools.
§  Lean can  improve store design and customer flow, along with other industrial engineering approaches such as Queueing Theory.
§  Lean can … reignite emotional attachment with customers by restoring the connection customers have with the barista, the product, the brand by helping the barista spend less time on making coffee and more time in connecting with the customer.
§  Lean can … help guide organizational redesign to bring leadership closer to the partners and customers; doing so, allows the Starbucks leadership to be closer to the Gemba, reduces the time-lag in the feedback-loop, and allows Starbucks to more quickly listen to and respond to customer feedback and concerns.

Lean manufacturing actually helped to increase revenue and customers satisfaction. How? To make drink, it requires communication between customers and baristas. Thus, to save more time Starbuck uses short form language and writes short form notation down on the cup. Moreover, now baristas are required to grind beans for each batch and timers buzz every eight minutes to signal when it’s time to make new coffee. It reduces waste but on the other hand, it makes human to be a robot to make coffee so quick. Then is there any other suggestion that Starbucks can do?

 I believe there might be solution. Currently in the South Korea many cafés and restaurants use App for delivery services and for take away food or coffee.

Similar app is in the US as well such as Yelp and Starbucks started to use app to use gift card. However, does Yelp and gift card provide pre-order for Starbucks? Actually they are not. If customers can pre-order the coffee about 15 minutes before baristas can have some more time to make coffee and customers can save some time. Of course, this App has some weakness. If customers do not show on time, coffees will get cold. However, if customers get used to it like Korea, maybe Starbucks customers also can get used to it to use this process.


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