Starbucks Coffee Company - MIS Review

The aim of this assignment is to produce a report about the Management Information System used within the organization of my choice.
The organization I choose is Starbucks Coffee Company ltd, where I have been working for the last two years as a Shift Manager.

The aim of this report is to identify two Management Information Systems used in Starbucks and how the MIS facilitate problem solving.

This report describes hardware and software used to obtain, store and analyze data.

The last part of the report includes possible weakness in the company’s system, how they could be resolved and what possible training could be provided to help staff to cope with new technologies.

Report based on Management Information System
A Management Information System (MIS) is a computer system designed to help managers to plan and direct business, with organizational operations, provide reports and access to company data.

In different organizations can be found different types of systems that meet specific business requirements.

There are four major types of systems:
• TPS (Transaction Processing System) is a basic business system that serves the organization’s operational level.
• DSS (Decision Support System) serves management level with data, analysis for making decisions.
• ESS (Executive Support System) provides communication that serves the organization’s strategic level.
• Management Information system serves mainly Middle Managers.
Starbucks Coffee Company ltd uses a Management information system called IRIS.
IRIS stands for Intelligent Restaurant Information System.
This tool provides the Managers with the information needed to run a successful business.
The IRIS System is made up of two components:
1. The Point of Sale System (POS) or front of house till system; in addition to regular register functions offers some functions to be accessed only by Store Manager(SM), Assistant Manager(ASM) and Shift Supervisor(SS), with the correct security level.
2. The Manager Work Station (MWS) or back of house computer system compiles and reports all store information to effectively manage all aspects of store business.
It displays all the different functions available on the Information System (IRIS), some of which are only accessible by partners with the correct security which consists in typing the correct username and password.
The Point of sale consists in two touch screen tills used by deployed partners that need to insert their username and specific password before to start.
From the Point of sale, managers can access different manager’s functions menu, such as paid in and Paid Out, and Refund to customers.
These manager functions are security measures for cash management and inventory control in the store.
Paid in and paid out occurs when money is taken from the till to buy items necessary for the store operations and/or any kind of emergency.
Other functions such as Cash Skim, Void transactions or refunds occur when money is given back due to complaints or customers are returning faulty merchandise.

The point of sale is used also to record wastage.
In conclusion, most Point of sale functions are related to customer service, sales, refunds, discounts, voids.

By ringing items through the tills, data such as time, customer transaction, quantity of food and drinks sold, quantity of wasted items, are transferred to the Management Work Station where data are stored, analysed and produced in form of reports, graphic, charts or diagrams.

The Manager Work Station can be accessed in the office where there is a computer connected to the intranet, a private communication channel for employees to access the organization network that resembles the internet.
To access the system it is required to sign in with a password and the partners ID.

The system recognises security level and allows accessing the function assigned to the security level.

The normal partners can just access the time punching option, which is that function that record staff punches in and out for breaks and shift.
A start of day and end of day is run into the system on a daily base.
Shift managers can access cash management functions that are used to count tills, modify or correct transactions and to prepare daily bank deposit.
A menu of available reports is available on a report menu.
The Store manager can access these reports to track sales, find out customer transactions within different hours range, to check sale by product category, to record wastage, to carry a financial audit.
All this information is relevant for Store Managers to identify business requirements and customer needs, to identify peak time in the store, to increase or amend product ordering, to control wastage and track stock and decide whether is necessary to cut labour.
Managers can access staff information and personal details in the work station, they can insert new partners, terminate partners, maintain employee records, track employee‘s training and process payroll.
The payroll process transfers information to the support centre in order to pay partners.
Store Manager and the shift supervisors can use the IRIS System to process electronic ordering for food, stationery, packaging.
The IRIS System can also use e-mail set up for communicating with London Support centre and other stores within the district and others.

The Fundamental functions of the role of managers are five:
• Planning is possibly the most important managerial function.
Planning is the process of setting goals and deciding the best approach to achieve them.
Careful planning reduces uncertainty, focuses attention on goals, eliminate wasteful effort and ensure appropriate control system.
• Organization is the way that aims and objective are turned into reality.
• Communication is the exchange of information so that the message communicated is understood by everyone involved.
• Decision and problem solving.
Problem will always arise but from managers it is required to have the ability to solve problems before they become crisis.
• Controlling is the managerial function that monitors the performance of systems to check that what is supposed to happen is happening or going to happen.
Control can be done in different ways; with financial checks, comprehensive reporting and communication systems, technological system and regular reporting.
The presence of a Management Information System in Organizations of different nature, facilitate the role and the functions of different managerial level
In STARBUCKS the Iris system provides a number of reports that can be used to help to manage store profitability
These reports can be viewed on the computer monitor or can be printed for review or archive.
Store Managers can use the Management information System to prepare short term budget to plan long term profit and prepare proper forecasts.
The Iris system helps the managers to identify customer needs trough accurate reports, so to implement sales and marketing strategy and to plan production based on actual demand.
The Iris system can be also accessed to check and monitor inventory.
Hardware components of the computer system used in Starbucks
There are two types of modem: The speed touch cable modem and the ISDN (integrated services digital network) modem.
The speed touch cable modem and the ISDN connect the store computer system to the STARBUCKS retail network.
The Retail Network is the communication access between the store and the internet.
This allows the management work station to send and receive large quantities of data and information.
There is a wireless internet provided by T-mobile, which allows customers to connect to the wireless network.
There are two pieces of equipment; the Cisco Router and the Cisco Wireless access point.
Connected to the computer system there is a Printer used to print reports of any nature, and a cash scale which counts Cash in a faster way and more accurately, mainly it is used to count the tills and at the end of this process all data are sended to the system.
At the Point of sale there are two small printers where all receipts come out, and two (chip and pin) credit and debit card machines.
To protect retailers, a new security system has been designed for cards which will use a smart chip.
When customers pay using one of these cards, rather then signing a confidential security number (PIN) is entered.
Recommendations about training staff and limitation of the computer system used
Starbucks invest a lot on training people, many books are provided to partners, shift supervisor and store managers, where useful information can be found such as how to use the point of sale and the management work station, and the different functions.
Different level of information are given depending the different position covered in the organization; while in one side partners learn how use the point of sale and the register functions, in the other side store managers and shift managers receive a more accurate training how to use the management work station and the related functions.
The management information resources used by STARBUCKS’ partners are really accurate and detailed; I would rather suggest investing in new technologies such as new monitors, wireless system, printers etc.
The chip and pin machine sometimes result being a bit slow, and when doing some credit or debit card transactions the point of sale freezes and the same issue occurs when doing transaction with STARBUCKS card or when trying to upload cards.
The issue has been minimised a lot during the last few months.
The support centre and the help desk from USA have been working on the issue, this apparently has been happening because for the STARBUCKS system in UK, this of uploading cards is still something new and lots of work has been done by the management information enterprise to make it a faster and more efficient system.
At the moment the best way to minimise the issue is to reboot the tills and the chip and pin machine before every shift and/ or before each partner sign in for a till.
Store Managers and Shift Supervisors have been trained on which procedures to follow when rebooting the system; my recommendation is to involve partners to learn how to react when this kind of issues may happen and to follow same procedures when rebooting the system without having to rely on their Shift Supervisors.
When considering training to be given to store managers and shift managers; it would be helpful to involve them in a more practical training session where it can be explained how to solve small technological issues or troubleshooting instead of panicking when it occurs or call the help desk in USA, which some time it may take longer than just to fix the problem, such as what do in case the system does n t accept partner ID, if the cask scale is not working, etc.
The use of management information system in the organizations has had a deep impact on the way to conduct daily business; the different functions that can be found on the system facilitate and simplify the role of managers within the companies.
Numerous companies have also developed websites to promote their image online.
Also the way the Travel Tourism Industry conduct its business has changed the last decades or so.
These changes are due to the major inroad made by electronic distribution.
Several types of system are used in the Travel Industry.
Travel agencies use agency system that handles office management accountancy, reservations and administration.
In business travel is popular the global distribution system or computer reservation system that help the role of travel agent, in fact their service result being more efficient and faster.
The only limitation is that technologies need to be updated regularly and every company should invest in training their staff how to cope with new technologies.

• Notes of Chris Skipp
• Operation manual from Starbucks

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