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Wartburg College Operations Management Starbucks Discussion Board


Using the definitions of quality in the text and quality tools, discuss how the organization that you work for, or associate with, could implement quality tools for either product or service quality improvement. Be sure to recommend specific opportunities that represent measurable characteristics…not just conceptual.

( I work at starbucks)

After posting your inital response to the questions, respond to at least two others’ posts in the discussion.

1- Rylan:

For the purpose of this discussion, I will use the dirt work and excavation job I have been at for the last five years. Over the years I have worked there, I have noticed that we have what seems to be a never ending list of customers we try to help. During the busy seasons, fall and spring, my boss’s phone does not go ten minutes without ringing. Farmers are constantly calling and asking when we will get to them this year, sometimes people can be on the waitlist for up to a year. An area I think my company could improve on is proper employee communication. The foreman talk amongst themselves and have an idea of what is going on, but the rest of us are left to figure it out and it causes a lot of unnecessary stress and confusion. I definitely think that morning meetings need to be implemented to discuss the agenda for the upcoming week or day. There are many times when I have been unprepared for what is to come that day and we waste time waiting for parts we need that I could have grabbed in the morning. Overall, the involvement of people needs to be better. Another common area that we can improve on is inventory. From my knowledge, there is currently no system in place to keep track of the supplies being used for jobs during the day. More often than not, we completely run out of a supply and are stuck to figure something else out. For example, I have been forced to cut, glue, and tape different fittings together to make do with what we have. With the correct supplies in stock we could more easily, and efficiently complete jobs. Tracking supplies would also help with the billing process; we could charge out based on supplies used. Overall, the implementation of these quality improvement ideas would increase our productivity and customer satisfaction. The customer satisfaction would then open the door to more job opportunities and an increase in profit.

2- Devin:

I am finishing up one of my first actual jobs in my major—accounting–but I feel like this example does a great job in describing quality and its impact on an organization. I currently work at a small, local accounting firm that offers tax services to a variety of clients ranging in net worth. Taxes are something that a lot of people and businesses are able to complete, and there’s quite a market for different services regarding taxes (i.e., Turbotax, H&R Block, other local CPAs, etc.). Because of this, differentiation plays a big role in the overall strategy of the organization during the tax season. Meeting the needs of the clientele is a big part in what drives the overall strategy for most accounting organizations since a client can always find another accountant to fulfill their needs.

All in all, I feel that the organization that I was a part of did a satisfactory job of meeting and exceeding the needs of its clients; but, I do feel that there are different tools that may be adopted that would further enhance the drive to differentiate their services from other competitors. Communication always seems to be a big thing, both between the clients and employees, as well as employees to employees. Taxes can be complicated, so when clients bring in their information and just expect the accountant to understand every decision they made during the prior year with no background knowledge or information it can potentially lead to a communication breakdown and may not result in the best possible outcome. Because there are many people who can do taxes, providing the best possible service is crucial in order to retain the current customer base as well as grow and expand it. I think that having meetings with each individual client, while it might take a longer amount of time, allows for the tax associate to truly understand as well as clearly communicate what is needed in order to complete the client’s tax return. In fact, many of the issues regarding tax for the firm I worked at were completing the return in a timely manner because one, we did not have an understanding of each client’s situation during 2020 (crazy year, as is!), and two, we did not have all the necessary forms or items needed to actually complete their tax return. In the tax software, it actually tracks the amount of time spent, which associate, as well as how many entries were made, which I feel is a great way to track whether or not client meetings made a bigger difference. A reduction in time spent on each individual tax return because a client meeting occurred is the best way to gauge whether or not they actually had an impact. I understand why it hasn’t currently been integrated to the current system as we have over 1,200 individual clients, but by the end of this last season we still had to file extensions for over 144 clients because we lacked the necessary information. While it might be hard to completely track whether or not clients found it to be a better quality by offering these meetings, their retention as well as potential growth might be an indicator of the growth through differentiation brought on by an increase in quality. By being able to clearly communicate what we need from the client, the firm would be able to complete their return faster as well as provide them the best possible outcome in reducing their tax liability.


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