Sunday, November 23, 2014

Starbucks and technology

Technology and the web have a major role on global supply chains. With increasing innovations in technology, companies have had the opportunity to do more in less time. Also, the web has made searching and ordering easy to use and available anywhere. The article on Home Depot's E-commerce growth showed a prime example of a large company using technology and the web to create such a large, reliable customer network.
After reading about Home Depot's great success, I steered my attention to Starbucks, a very successful business that has innovated throughout many years. Starbucks has taken risks at many ends to innovate. One advancement that continues to innovate is that of technology. By beginning ahead of the game in the early 2000's, Starbucks has used technology to remain ahead of it's competitors. Through the use of Web, Starbucks has allowed content on laptops and mobile phones through major websites, such as ESPN and USA Today.
In addition to allowing easy access via the Web, Starbucks has also introduced Apple's iBeacon System, which allows customers to order through an app on their phone and be notified upon completion of their order. This increases the efficiency and decreases customer wait time.
Finally, Starbucks also has a coffee machine which allows customers to smell different whiffs of their favorite drinks, thus amplifying the scent. This same machine can access customer preferences and compile data. Once the data is compiled, this can be transported back to the headquarters to be further analyzed. Keeping customer preference in mind, Starbucks has found ways to rise above their competitors using the technology that is available to all.

In 2013, Starbucks' mobile wallet contained 11% of their sales volume. Thus, customers are using this mobile app frequently for their transactions. Also, in 2013, Starbucks began to integrate Web technology into their supply chain network. As mentioned above, the new machines at Starbucks' locations allows data to be retrieved and analyzed to further satisfy customer needs at all locations.

Based on these two articles for Home Depot and Starbucks, it seems as if technology and the use of the web is limitless. Innovations can continue to increase efficiency and effectiveness of supply chains everywhere. Technology makes information ready and available on the go and nearly everywhere. At some point, however, technology could become too complicated and interfering that it becomes less effective and efficient.
Is Starbucks focusing too much on the use of technology in the front of the business and not as much behind the scenes? Could the use of mobile apps to retrieve orders quicker backfire when orders come at once and become too backed up?


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