At Starbucks, coffee means grande business. Since opening its first location in Seattle in 1971, the company has grown into one of the world’s largest specialty foods retailers and one of the most globally-recognized brands. Fans include more than 7 million people who use Starbucks’ mobile app to order and pay for their coffee.
As a leader in mobile engagement for consumers, it makes sense for Starbucks to provide apps that help employees do better work. In early 2016, Starbucks set an initiative to improve the way thousands of their field sales professionals service commercial customers.
These field sales employees ensure that a Starbucks’ beverage is always available near you — at work, school, events, and on the road. They maintain relationships with store managers, replenish Starbucks’ merchandise, and introduce promotions.
To do their jobs well, field sales employees need access to real-time account information that is stored in the company’s legacy systems. This includes information on a customer’s order history, promotions, key contacts, and inventory levels. On-the-go for much of the day, these workers require quick access to all of their account information, even when they’re offline.
Satisfying the mobile needs of field sales employees was a challenge for Starbucks. Apps for enterprise workers have complex requirements. One critical requirement is the ability to elegantly handle large volumes of data from multiple systems, on and offline.
As an Oracle Siebel CRM customer, Starbucks quickly ran into the limitations of Siebel Open UI Mobile for creating an app. Poor user interface flexibility, no support for offline access, and a restriction to Siebel data only sent the Starbucks IT team in search of a better solution for mobilizing field sales.
The Starbucks IT team selected TethrOn for its capabilities of building apps that are flexible, perform exceptionally well offline, integrate data from multiple enterprise systems, and deliver a quick time-to-value.
Built using TethrOn, Starbucks new selling app has reinvented how their field sales employees work. Cumbersome paper-based processes have been replaced by a series of mobile moments that simplify sales. All the data that field sales needs to support Starbucks’ commercial customers is delivered in real-time through a simple user interface. Employees are free to work wherever, whenever, however.
From their tablets field sales can now review order history, status and tracking and swiftly place replenishment orders right from the store. Promotion management is simplified as well. Reps receive an alert on their device when promotions are submitted, and can then review details and approve or reject. All changes are automatically synchronized to the enterprise system.
With their new mobile selling app Starbucks’ field sales employees are 30% more productive. They now complete orders while they’re with customers instead of waiting to enter them at the end of the day on their laptop. By entering orders in the field, order clarification phone calls and errors are dramatically reduced. On average, field sales employees save an hour a day of administrative time. Time which can now be used to see more customers.
In addition to making Starbucks’ employees more productive, TethrOn slashed software development time and expense. Thanks to TethrOn, the company rolled-out the new field sales app within two months of kickoff. The development team consisted of TethrOn and Starbucks employees working jointly to deliver the app.
Not only did the app deploy much faster, TethrOn cut development costs in half. Without TethrOn, Starbucks would have had to build an expensive and unpredictable custom solution, and wait at a few quarters for the app to be ready for deployment.
Headquarters: Seattle, WA
Retail stores: 24,000
Revenue: $19B (2015)
Products: Beverages, food items
Systems: Siebel, Oracle EBS, custom database
Mobile Moments @ Starbucks