Starbucks Performance Analysis

In terms of competition, every company aims to find the most effective and productive business platform. Starbucks is the company that has already become legendary and famous for its focus on customers, quality, change management, strategic planning, and leadership. It is worth paying attention to every element in a separate way in order to see the keys towards success according to the experience of Starbucks.

Quality and Performance Excellence

Starbucks is one of the companies which proved that continuous quality improvement is the key to business growth and active expansion. The company managed to obtain the position of the leading coffeehouse chain due to continuous growth of profits and outstanding quality control strategies. The company’s approach to quality management is crucial for overall growth, development, employee retention, and customer service. The focus on the product bundle is one of the key points in the regulation of quality, which comes from the continuous monitoring of the market. Starbucks has never shown a decline in profits because of its unceasing extension of the product line. In this way, customers tend to demonstrate interest in the company’s products along with being sure of the quality of every product made by Starbucks. The company chooses its suppliers carefully, which is the core of the taste in every coffee drink. It is impossible to make a perfect drink by simply roasting beans without checking their quality.


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One of the main elements in the quality system of Starbucks is random checks of managers in any shop belonging to the coffeehouse chain. Managers may talk to customers, evaluate the performance of baristas, and check the quality of drinks served to customers. The company does everything to work on the improvement of every store in terms of even its slightest details. In this way, Starbucks aims to perform according to its mission statement: to inspire and nurture the human spirit. Quality management will always take the primary place in regulating the performance not only of every department but also of every store. The company understands that baristas are the ones representing the company’s image and reputation.

Change Management

Starbucks obtained leading positions not only due to outstanding quality of its products and services but also for the company’s ability to adapt to the surrounding environment. Change management also plays one of the major roles in the company’s strategy aimed for continuous business evolution. Today, it is difficult to find drawbacks in the performance of Starbucks, which means that the company managed to develop remarkable accommodation skills. Due to effective change management, the company is capable of making the problem-solving process smooth and flawless. In fact, the company acts immediately as soon as it finds any problems in its performance. Starbucks takes advantage of both step change and incremental change. Step change helps the company to fix mistakes in the manufacturing process as soon as they occur. Incremental change, in its turn, aims to influence the strategy of the company and its implementation. Incremental changes take place within a particular period, when the company decides it is the most appropriate to transform its performance according to new conditions of the competitive environment (Chow, 2012). Starbucks has a significant balance in regulating the forces that facilitate change and the ones that restrain change. Facilitating factors usually include customer’s desire to taste new products, influence of competition, and the need for increased productivity level. The restraining factor in the company’s activity is new employees who can hardly accommodate to new environment. However, Starbucks knows how to address any restraining factor in order to make it beneficial for the process of transformation. In general, the company has enough experience to find the most effective solution to any problem and motivate employees to follow the changes.

Competitive Advantage

One of the characteristic features of Starbucks is its desire to build a connected customer experience. Being responsive, supportive, honest, and reliable company helps Starbucks to build its primary competitive advantage, which lies in customer care(Haskova, 2015). Every process aims to meet customers’ needs and predict their preferences in the near future so that the company is capable of remaining a leader in providing customers with drinks of their dreams. It helps to make every store attractive for clientele willing to enjoy peace, comfort, and perfectly made coffee drinks. Starbucks managed to recreate an atmosphere of home, which welcomes everyone to rest at the end of the day or have a smooth start of a new day. In addition, the company introduced Customer Experience Survey, which aims to evaluate customer experience after attending any store(Chua & Banerjee, 2013). It is obvious that the company values and respects opinion of every visitor, and targets improving quality of products and services according to the customer preferences.

Another competitive advantage of Starbucks lies in its coffee beans. It is well known that Starbucks is very selective in its suppliers, which is crucial to the success of customer service and manufacturing processes. Starbucks’ managers often travel looking for the best suppliers of coffee beans (Haskova, 2015). Regardless of the store’s geographical location, customers can enjoy drinking the same coffee wherever they go. Due to high-quality beans and equipment, Starbucks made it possible to help customers feel the comfort of home even if they are miles away. Strong commitment to customers’ needs is the core of the company’s activity, which makes it a primary leader in the field of its performance.

Strategic Planning for Performance Excellence

Starbucks announces its five-year plan for the next phase of its performance every five years. In 2014, Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, was glad to announce that the company is ready to move beyond borders of its performance and reach new peaks of the performance excellence (Starbucks Newsroom, 2014). The announcement included different perspectives on future performance, which shed more light on the company’s implementation of the strategic financial and non-financial goals. It is possible to see the logic in the company’s strategic planning and its desire to keep leading positions regardless of the negative influence of competitors. Tea, coffee, and retail remain the core of the strategic planning of Starbucks, which means that the focus will be the same during the next five years. The company aims to improve its positions in the market, increase profits, enhance partners’ experiences, and extend the usage of technological and mobile devices across all its branches. (Paryani, 2012). Next, every element aims at helping the company approach its strategic financial objectives due to the improvement of every element contributing to the continuous rise of profits. In combination with Starbucks’ leadership in the world, the company easily motivates employees to stay and contribute to business evolution along with personal growth and career development. Performance excellence and quality improvement are the main checkpoints in the company’s strategic planning. Starbucks does not change the course of its strategic planning but raises the requirements for success and glory in the sphere of business. As a result, strategic plan finds its active implementation through every process and decision due to the CEO’s of Starbucks guiding employees towards new reference points in performance. Finally, the clarity of Starbucks’ activity and transparency of its financial operation prove that the company does everything to move to another stage of success.

Leadership Principles

According to the analysis of Starbucks’ quality management, competitive advantages, and strategic planning, it becomes obvious that leadership plays another substantial role in regulating the company’s sustainability. Howard Schultz is a perfect example of a transformational leader, who managed to build a strong business empire of employees willing to follow him. The main idea of leadership lies in focusing on teamwork accompanied by enthusiasm, effective motivation, innovation, and creativity. The employees of Starbucks know that they are the masters of their careers, and nobody can prevent them from moving up the career ladder if they deserve it. Starbucks recognizes the contributions of every employee and welcomes creative workers to be responsible for the implementation of various projects. The truth is that Starbucks uses a specific approach when hiring new employees. Howard Schultz believes that it is necessary to hire the right people for the right positions. As a result, interviews show the applicants perspectives in succeeding at the future position. The company also respects every employee and takes care of appropriate working conditions. Finally, the most crucial elements in leadership take into consideration everything about both employees and customers. The company believes that leaders are the ones capable of uniting staff members to meet customers’ needs and exceed their expectations.


Starbucks is a highly respected company that gained success due to its persistence, managerial wisdom, confidence, and unique approaches to leadership and quality management. The company continues to grow and sets new goals in its strategic performance in order to reach new heights of success. A brief evaluation of quality management, change management, competitive advantages, strategic planning, and leadership proved that Starbucks deserves to obtain the leading position in the coffeehouse market.

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