Digital Transformation

Rosalind Brewer

Lesson time 10:40 min

Disruption leads to growth, which is why Roz continues to highlight the importance of technology for innovation. She discusses how the inception of the Starbucks app significantly impacted the success of the business during her tenure.

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Topics include: Incorporate the Human Connection Into the Digital Experience • Embrace Digital Transformation • Build a Digital Road Map


[MUSIC PLAYING] - It's important for you, as you're problem solving for your company, thinking about the next growth opportunity, thinking about long-term development, is to consider the benefits of a digital transformation. And we're going to talk about this in this next lesson. While at Starbucks, I was faced with a decision crossroads. We were faced with a customer service problem-- long lines. When you combine a long line and a commuter walking several blocks to grab a drink, it can add up to 15 or 20 minutes for a customer who just wants a quick cup of coffee. That could easily turn off the customer and eat into sales. Well, I thought we could solve that with technology. I was really concerned about the potential loss of the human connection-- the core of the Starbucks culture. When I came into the company, they really had a really good grounding of digital and technology. But I think the next step for them was to really integrate technology in everything that they were doing. And the team and I realized that our customer base, they were demanding their coffee when they wanted it, at the time they wanted it, and as fast as possible. But there was another side of the equation. They did not want to compromise two things. They wanted customization, and they wanted high quality. Sometimes, those two things could battle. We had to determine, what was the best way not to compromise the quality of that cup of coffee? From that, the Starbucks app was born. So the Starbucks app is a really good example of innovation at its best. What happens behind the scenes in that app is also a lot of artificial intelligence. When you look at those machines when you come in, and you see these big espresso machines, there's artificial intelligence assigned behind those espresso machines. So those espresso machines are really tabulating how many shots are pulled, shots per hour, shots per beverage, so it helps you manage inventory. It manages who comes in the store. It's tied to when Roz places a mobile order, the history of my purchases are known by the barista. The barista is able to know when I'm coming to the store because I've ordered a beverage by my phone. That means I'm coming in to pick up my order. They can send me back a text to say your order has been prepared, order is ready. But also, too they can say, Roz, how are you this morning because they know I'm coming. And it's really an exciting moment to look at the capabilities of an app, when you align it to artificial intelligence and you align it to the processes that make the whole system come together and click for the best experience for the customer. I think when you think about things like coffee, you want an experience. You want that hand-off. You want to know that it's almost handmade, and you feel better about it. And so you have to apply technology where it almost makes sense. And again, it's back to what the customer really wants to experience. ...

About the Instructor

After years of helming the ship at some of the country’s most iconic companies, including Walmart, Starbucks, and Walgreens, Rosalind Brewer has forged ahead in her quest to innovate while maintaining deep integrity. Now she’s sharing CEO-level strategies for team leaders of all types. Learn to promote innovation, gain buy-in on projects you believe in, and stand out as the leader you know yourself to be.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Rosalind Brewer

Fortune 500 CEO Rosalind Brewer has transformed companies like Walmart, Starbucks, and Walgreens— now she’ll teach you how to make an impact at any level.

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