How Starbucks is Solving its Greatest Challenges Today

Softvision’s one-on-one with the Director of TRYER Innovation Center, Starbucks

At the Retail Innovation Lounge at SXSW this past March, Softvision had the chance to chat with Brent Cashell, the Director of TRYER Innovation Center at Starbucks. Brent revealed two of the coffee giant’s biggest challenges today, and how they’re working to solve them.

The first of Starbucks’ challenges is figuring out how the chain will continue to stay relevant to their customers. With 27,000 locations across over 70 countries, it’s a large undertaking that involves all parts of the organization and requires creative thinking. Brent focuses on how they can get “great ideas into our stores and figure out if they’re worth pursuing.” The solutions can be found not only in technology and software, but through people and engagement in the retail environment.

Secondly, the incredible success of Starbucks’ mobile ordering has led to a large amount of orders, creating a need to make the Baristas’ job simpler. According to Brent, Starbucks will incorporate AI technology to make the Baristas’ production more seamless. By helping their employees do their jobs more efficiently, Starbucks improves the customer experience.

Perhaps one of the most valuable pieces of advice we can take away from our interview with Brent is to consider the following: “Why does this piece of data matter to my customer and how is it going to help me market the next business decision? Let’s try this and see if it’s solving a problem for both of our customer and for us.”

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