In this thrilling subject, i would be focusing on the Management Information System of Starbucks. It is no doubt that this firm in question, is one popular and well patronised firm amongst many. That being said, i would be doing justice to the very background of this organization in question and i would elucidate in tangible details their IT systems, schemes and practices and lastly, i would be recommending what i see fit to suite the organisation even in this era of technology. But before i proceed, i would like to briefly define MIS(Management Information System)
MIS (Management Information System)
This may be defined as a general word for computer systems in an enterprise or organisation which provides information or details on firm’s business operations. It’s also refers to the people who manage and maintain these systems. Furthermore, in a large corporation, “MIS” or the “MIS department” refers to a central or centrally-coordinated system of pc expertise and management, and entire network of computer resources in a business organization (firm).
Starbucks was first introduced in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971. Back then, the company was called Starbucks Coffee, Tea ans Spices before change into what we have known today, Starbucks Coffee Company. Today, there are approximately 16, 706 Starbucks stores in 50 countries.
The first ever Srabucks store in Malaysia opened on December 1998, located at KL Plaza, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Later, there are more than 115 Starbacks stores in Malaysia.Basically, their buyers will travel to Africa, Asia and Latin America to choose only the best quality of arabica beans. These high quality beans will be sent for roasting and production. Starbucks experts then only combine the roasted beans with Italian style expresso beverages to produce different type of cold and hot coffee beverages. The famous products introduced by Starbucks company and mainly can be found in all of it’s stores include more than 30 blends single-origin premier arabica coffees.
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As for their own signature of handcrafted beverages such as hot and iced expresso beverage, coffee and non-coffee blended beverages Vivanno smoothies, Frappuccino bottled coffee or blended and premium ice creams with the and brewed coffee and also tea product,Tazo Tea. Merchandises are also offered by Starbucks are coffee mugs and accessories. Customers not only can enjoy sipping their high quality coffee beverage but also indulging on baked pastries, sandwiches and cakes. The company focuses in providing a relax, comfortable atmosphere with modern fittings. It is an ideal place for hanging out with friends and families, with entertainment magazines to read. Most of the Starbucks company offer free wi-fi for their customers, so it is a great advantage to business people discussing on their work or students doing some research for assignments/ projects.
P.O.S which stands for Point of Sale is a front-of-the-house system use by Starbucks company. Only employees with given authorization can access to this system such as Assistant Manager, Shift Supervisor, and Store Manager. Types of transactions can be made by the manager include paid in, paid out in the cases of emergencies or using the cash to buy supplies needed by the store. Other than that, making amendments for transaction mistakes in a form of refund. Important for inventory control as well. List of all food and beverages and merchandise sold are recorded in the P.O.S system. Wastage cost might as well be stored. All these vital information of daily’s operation are transferred to a Management Work Station system to be analysed and evaluated. The information will be transform into a measurable data for decision making purposes.
Manager Work Station (MWS)
Manager Work station is the back of house computer system which prepares and sends all store information to adequately manage all parts of the store business. It brings access to real-time system wide reporting at store level. It shows all the various functions provided on the Intelligent Restaurant Information System (IRIS), of which some are only usable by partners with the accurate security. It helps the store manager to manage the store and also help the franchisees manage their entire market chain. It can be used in the office where there is a pc connected to an intranet of which is a private link channel for staffs to use the organization network that resembles the internet. It is required to log on with a passkey and ID to use the system. The system detects security level and allows using the method assigned to the security level.
The staff can only use the time button option, which is a method that saves staff clock in and out for lunch and shifts. A begining of day and end of day is also saved into the very system on a daily bases. Shift managers can use cash control methods that are used to count cashboxes, change or fix transactions and to make ready everyday bank deposit. A menu of available reports is provided on a report menu.
The Store manager can use these reports to follow sales, check customer transactions within various hours range, to view sale by product category, to save wastage, to carry finance audit. All these information’s are relevant to Store Managers for them to pin out business requirements and customer needs, to check peak time in the store, to maximize or change product ordering, to manage wastage and monitor stock and choose whether it is necessary to reduce labour. Managers can use staff information and personal records in the work station, they can place new partners, cut off partners, manage employee records, watch employee’s training and process payroll. The payroll process carries over details to the support centre in order to pay partners. Store Manager and the shift supervisors can use the IRIS System to process electronic ordering for food, stationery, packaging.
Example of hardware used for the computer system in Starbucks company include ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) modem and speed touch cable modem. These two are connect the Starbuck’s computer system to it’s retail network system. Wireless internet connection by T-mobile allows consumers to have the access of the available wireless network. Cisco Wireless and Cisco Routers are the type of equipment used as well. Other hardware output devices used include printers to process receipts. For security purposes, chips and pins for the payment made by credit card or debit card. A confidential security number (Pin number ) is required when making payment by either of these two cards. No signing is required.
Further more, the Starbucks firm, uses Intel based systems and fast Computers. In terms of functionality, the Starbucks firm is bent on getting hardwares(PC) that have great and outstanding specifications to avoid slow down on business.
A sample spec would be:
A PC with 512 Memory or 1GB. And A flat screen monitor and processor speed of 2.40GHZ and a HDD of 150GB to 200GB. The company has a nac for greater heights that why its no surprise that Starbucks is doing greatly well in terms of their ability to maintain their standards.
OS (Operating System):
As we all know, the I.T age is springing forth with lots of softwares and technology all with the focus of improving the lives of humans in all ramification of life. Having said that, the Starbucks company makes use of Windows based softwares for their computers which is categorized in the hardware section. They run applications that aid their business. Example POS, Excel and others. Excel is often used for their spreadsheet needs. When it comes to system software for driving their hardwares, they run windows XP or 7.
Current themes and practices
This Starbucks new idea of POS was introduced earlier this year and only available in all 6,800 Starbucks stores in the United States. This process only applicable to consumers with Blackberry or iPhone. The first steps will require consumers to download the Starbucks Card Mobile Application to their phones. Once he / she enters their registered Starbucks gift card’s number into their phone and when they obtained the application, the card number is automatically saved. Consumer upon arriving at Starbucks counter can just inform the employee to make payments for their order via mobile phone. He / she then opens up the Starbucks Card Mobile Applications, choose the payment screen in the application where the 2D bar code appear showing the consumer’s Starbucks card. When this process is completed, Starbucks employee will key in payments made by mobile phone in the P.O.S system and asked the consumer to place their phones under the customer facing imager for scanning. The 2D bar-code is detected and treated the transactions in the likes of a giftcard, based on the normal payment verification procedures. Consumer can just enjoy their coffee once the transaction is done. However, there are some setbacks of this new P.O.S strategy implemented by Starbucks. First, not all retailers practice the use of stored value card or known as giftcard. Secondly, Starbucks focuses on potential users with key smart phones, such as iPhone and Blackberry. It only covers the consumer demographic of savvy consumers at the U.S where most the people are iPhones and Blackberry users compared to consumers in Malaysia. Not all Starbucks’s mobile payments scheme is negative since this methods of payment can actually help Starbucks to cover up the cost of operational system, able to record loyalty data of consumers and balance of cash as well. Since payments are charged on the consumer’s giftcard, means that the 2D bar-code payment system is actually connected to the card. Besides, payment made this way is different compared to the legislation for payment made by credit card or debit card .
4).Starbucks also runs a high scale of management in handling their I.T related issues. They are I.T aware such that, they have good network services. An example would be, Starbucks offers free WIFI Zone. An attraction for a customer on the move. The firm has VOIP services for communication with other chains around the globe. As we live in a net centric age, Starbucks has made it a perfect fit, to incorporate most I.T business related schemes into their business.
A good analyses on this company, would however show us that Starbucks uses the I.T based things to build their customer range. It is however no secret that most competitors have based their examples on companies in the likes of Starbucks.
Some practices in Starbucks, include some discount sales issued by the management. A customer however sees this as a grand opportunity to have a 50%(Percent) discount on whatever he buys and also enjoys free internet. This indeed is a wise practice. The ManagementInformation system has in many ways, made things easy for staffs. Most messages to staffs are communicated via the network. As fore mentioned, Starbucks uses intranets and internet(Voip). This helps in forwarding swift messages to workers in the company. In addition to the newest development of MIS, payments made via mobile phones currently introduced in the Unites States is also one of the best P.O.S strategies to reduce the cost of operation.
This company also makes judicious use of their MIS by running web based adverts and all. The firm keeps its customers continuously aware of products and new recipes that might be tried in a given time. Thus, their market base increases undoubtedly.
In my opinion having patronised Starbucks from time to time, i would suggest the following:
Starbucks should try in purchasing a reasonably fast internet with low traffic.
They should try to maintain their hardwares and try upgrades from time to time, to avoid being left out in the dark age of slow computing.
They should employ staffs that are more I.T learned to avoid difficulty in system operations.
They should embrace more of touch screen services. And what i mean is, buying gadgets(hardwares) that provide self service for each customer.
The MIS should continually see to it that customers are intrigued by the brilliant I.T based services that Starbucks provide thus leaving the customers spell bound to return and purchase more items .
They could also provide on screen advertisements for new generation hardwares this in itself, could be an avenue for Starbucks to get paid for advertising for I.T firms in the cities and wherever .
They could also make a web based system, that would enable customers to order online to ease driving out of the office at lunch.
At this juncture, it is important that i reiterate that it is of immense importance that the MIS in Starbucks embraces more heightened technology hardwares to ease the work load and the number of staffs. We all in the world are aware of the generation of computers. This promises to be huge and phenomenal turn in every industry especially industries like Starbucks.
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As we see Managements improve their information systems, it would be an important part for Starbucks to play in their MIS. With an improved and well balanced MIS, Starbucks has what it takes to battle up for the future even competitors. Time is of the essence for firms like Starbucks this is because each day slips away and more upgrades are made to databases.
To this end, i would beseech Starbucks, to keep up the very good work and embrace a new era of improved management systems. Thus increasing their profit base and client base.
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