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Food Service Industry Updates Supply Chain Industry Updates

Starbucks to Help with Shots, But Not the Caffeine Kind

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Starbucks will provide “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support” to assist Washington state’s vaccination rollout. (iStock/Inside Creative House)

If we need a shot of caffeine, we stop by a Starbucks. We have almost 15,000 of them to choose from in the United States.

But who could have figured that Starbucks would be called upon to help with another kind of shot — that being the one to protect against COVID-19.

In Washington state, where Starbucks was born and beloved, the Seattle-based coffee company will provide “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support” to help the state with its vaccination rollout, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced recently.

Like other states, Washington has struggled to get people vaccinated quickly and efficiently. One of the reasons for this is simple. Logistics.

But it’s a big reason, too. So realizing this, Washington’s governor has called upon an entity that knows a little something about logistics and supply chain execution.

That would be Starbucks, which operates more than 30,000 locations in 70 countries. You can bet your latte that Starbucks can help with this matter.

Starbucks, which serves 100 million customers per week, is an example of how the supply-chain expertise of businesses can help rescue U.S. vaccination efforts, Nada Sanders, distinguished professor of supply chain management at Northeastern University, said in a news article posted on the Boston-based university’s website.

“Starbucks is an excellent example of a business that understands operational efficiency, and can apply that expertise to the setting of vaccine distribution,” Sanders says in the article.

The partnership with Starbucks shows that government leaders aren’t afraid and shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help from gigantic businesses like Starbucks that specialize in the many nuances of supply chain distribution.

“We keep hearing physicians being asked about distribution and the vaccine rollout — stop!” Sanders says in the Northeastern article. “I don’t go to a physician for a supply chain problem, in the same way that I am not qualified to give medical advice. Let the physicians do what they do, but understand that they don’t have a clue about supply chains.”

According to the article, Starbucks will help Washington triple its current rate of vaccinations by discovering problems in the supply chain. The goal is to provide 45,000 shots per day.

Read the entire article here.

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