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On December 12, 2015, devon_stewart commented on Starbucks: It’s not just about the coffee. :

Alejandra – Great submission! As an avid Starbucks drinker, it was so interesting to hear about the background operations that allow for the business model to be so successful. From personal experience, I am always very impressed with Starbuck’s operations running smoothly as the baristas are always very kind and accommodating, and the ordering process is always very quick and easy. As a company that utilizes innovation and technology to improve operational efficiencies, I am curious to see how Starbucks adopts and integrates new consumer facing tech (e.g., Apple Pay) to make the experience even better. While Starbuck’s operations and business models are well aligned, I am worried about some challenges it may face going forward in competing with other smaller coffee shops that may be able maintain more of personalized, less corporate culture. It will be interesting to see how Starbucks will adapt its operations to combat these challenges in the future.

On December 12, 2015, devon_stewart commented on Wawa: Rethinking the Convenience Store Experience :

Great submission, Sasha! As a Pennsylvanian, I absolutely loved your post! Based on my own personal experience, you did a fantastic job outlining Wawa’s operating model. What resonated with me the most was Wawa’s emphasis on quality, and specifically its operations that focus on delighting the consumer. Wawa’s key differentiating factor for me (vs. going to 711 or other similar convenient stores in the Pennsylvania area) were its employees and their focus on customer personalization and satisfaction. I knew most of the employees names at my nearest Wawa and they always went out of their way to accommodate any requests. Additionally, the quality of Wawa’s products, especially its coffee, was evident in the taste. Wawa’s convenient and quick service was also a key point of differentiation, especially given each store’s multiple POS and ordering stations. I am curious to see how Wawa adapts to new technologies (e.g. preordering on apps, etc) and how it will maintain its personal community culture as it scales.

On December 12, 2015, devon_stewart commented on Bring it On, Amazon! :

Great submission, Danielle! I found your post particularly interesting given that I wrote about Jet’s competing incumbent, Amazon! It was interesting to compare their business models given that Jet did away with it’s membership fee and Amazon was able to add a fee to its existing pricing scheme through Amazon Prime. I am curious to see if Jet will add a similar shipping membership program as it achieves more scale. It was also interesting to compare Jet’s operating model to that of Amazon’s. For one, Jet’s pricing algorithm saving consumers money where it does it extremely smart given the well-aligned incentives. Amazon’s pricing algorithm is not as transparent, but instead more of a hidden method to finding the lowest price for consumers so that they will naturally realize the value savings. Additionally, it was interesting to hear that both use similar inventory management and fulfillment center operations. I am curious to know if Jet is also using machinery and robots to maximize efficiency to compete with it’s large competition as it grows in scale. It will interesting to watch the platforms battle for sales in the future, and how each will capture more margin given the competition for the lowest costs and the best shopping experience.