Product quality, service reliability and management of operations at Starbucks
High product quality, service reliability, and management of operations are key factors in business growth and sustainability. Analyzing “The Starbucks Experience” is a pedagogical approach to reinforcing the concepts of control and management of quality, service reliability, and efficient operations in action. The objective of this paper is to show how providing high-quality, reliable products and service at Starbucks have influenced its market share, productivity, and profitability. In turn, Starbucks has improved on these business measures by excelling in operations management. The approach taken was to research the early days at Starbucks to gain insight on what made Starbucks so successful and then to use observational research to assess the customer experience at a particular Starbucks store in a city in the state of Michigan, USA. Sitting in this Starbucks store in the city’s little downtown and observing its operations and customers contact offered the opportunity to observe customers waiting in line, the baristas serving the customers, examining the store’s layout, and listening to conversations that revealed what customers like and dislike about “The Starbucks Experience.” Recommendations are made to improve operations. These areas fall under operations management for a company that sells a product and provides a service. There are three reasons customers choose Starbucks: the coffee, the people serving the coffee, and the experience in the stores. By excelling in these three areas and improving operations management, Starbucks can regain its market share, and improve productivity and profitability.