Operations Management: Critically appraise how Starbucks attempts to meet its customers demand in a fluctuating market.

Essay by Buffalo_kikiUniversity, Bachelor's March 2003

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Starbucks is an international coffee company selling and specialising in hot beverages from frappaccinos to expressos, they also sell a range of cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sandwiches and pannini's. Based in Seattle, USA, It was founded and born in Seattle in 1972 and today has thousands of coffee houses spanning over 5,886 locations across the globe. It has been opening over 1000 coffee houses around the world every year since 1999 and so needless to say the operations management of each and everyone of these restaurants is important to the whole structure and well being of the company.

Operations at Starbucks (to be known henceforth as SB) are run to a very tight and demanding schedule, their employees are subject to the mercy of a highly sophisticated piece of software called 'star labour'. Star Labour uses information about an employee such as their level of training and how many coffees per day sold, and it creates tailor made working schedules for each of its employees in every SB restaurant.

This as a result means that the computer maximises and uses all the available staff in a restaurant to its utmost potential generally designating half or quarter day shifts to maximise output, minimise waste and maximise profit. There are no Barista's/Partners (these are terms SB uses for its employees) in full time employment at SB all staff are part time workers which means that Starbucks don't have to promise work and employees don't gain the benefits that traditionally, full time employees would, for instance pension plans. This has great benefits for the company as no money is being spent frivolously on items and time that wont directly help the company.

To look further into the SB machine and assess the operations first hand primary research was conducted into one of its...