Starbucks received a Manufacturing Excellence award for their lean development and commitment at their Carson Valley Roasting Plant. The article is http://www.ame.org/ame-manufacturing-excellence-award. They have done a great job and personalized from the use of term partners to how every aspect was driven up down and across the organization. What I find interesting in the article and the view was that time was not the only “waste” or defect in their system. The focus on Safety is reminiscent of Paul O’Neill revitalizing Alcoa back in the 80’s as the great unifier. What is equally interesting ,in my view, is how Starbucks focused on time at the interface of the customer and the service. As they modified the process to lower the amount of resident time a customer stayed in store, the less sticky the store became. Even though focus groups would tell otherwise, the lengthening of the time in line actually was expected. Like Soul Asylum said, nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. Also, this gives the store the ability to monetize the space. This means the guy in front of you grabs a Via or a bag of Sumatran coffee beans even though he just stopped for a half half decaf. The moral of the story is there may be experiences that a company may need to slow down to please the customer. This may not work at Burger King but I can’t imagine being rushed at a 3 star Michelin restaurant. It comes down to the intersection of your core and what your customers consider value not just of the product but of the whole experience.

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