Category: Economics Essay

Starbucks is a global coffee company based in Seattle, Washington. The company is focused on purchasing and roasting of high quality coffee and selling it along with fresh food items and handcrafted coffee. The predominant objective of Starbucks Corporation is ensuring its coffee brand dominates the industry through enhancing customer experience and offering the ultimate Starbucks experience.The core competence of Starbucks has been its ability to leverage its cornerstone product differentiation strategies by offering high quality snacks and beverages. The global reach of Starbucks Corporation is well diversified and aims at increasing the customer base by expanding internationally through licensed local joint ventures.

The company has more than 18,000 stores in 63 countries and territories. The main subsidiaries and affiliates of Starbucks are in China, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom. The subsidiaries include Beijing Starbucks Coffee, Guangdong Starbucks Coffee, North America Coffee, Seattles Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh and Ethos water. The company aims at targeting a wide customer base across the globe. The geographical breakdown of income has been depicted by the revenue from various segments such as America (73%), CAP (7%), and EMEA (8%). The geographical breakdown of assets is strategically allocated to its various subsidiaries to cater for the production of its core products. Starbucks` involvement in the international trade has been fostered by the introduction of a full range of products because it does not only sell coffee but also other beverages such as tea and juices in more than 25 countries worldwide.

Foreign Exchange Risk Management Policy

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Foreign exchange risk (FX risk) is exposure of a company`s financial strengths to the variations that are inherent in foreign exchange movements. Starbucks is a corporation that operates globally and is, therefore, susceptible to foreign exchange risks. The FX volatility of Starbucks has been subject to exacerbation due to such factors as political uncertainties and economic instabilities. In this respect, the foreign exchange risk management policy revolves around the achievement of visibility. Similarly, lack of visibility may translate to failure to attain the utmost benefits that are related to standardization and streamlining.

The company will derive utmost efficacy from the visibility policy because the transaction of FX payments involve different geographies, various providers and different entities within an organization. It is imperative for every corporation to have a risk management policy so as to make it easier to work in close liaison with international vendors and tap the foreign markets (Mangold, 2010). In addition, the management and stakeholders of Starbucks Corporation should not be complacent about the foreign risk management policy because the policy ought to be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

Centralization and Decentralization

Starbucks Corporation conforms to a decentralized form of organizational structure. A decentralized organizational structure is one in which the major decisions of a company are not made by one person but by heads of various departments or the major stakeholders. In fact, the structure of Starbucks Corporation greatly differs from the structure that most mom-and-pop coffee shops adopt. The executives control the corporation from its headquarters while the district managers oversee the regional operations and groupings of the corporation. The decentralized organizational structure is suitable for Starbucks Corporation because it has an array of stores on a global scale and every store necessitates a slightly different form of authority.

Similarly, the subordinates and staff members conform to the decentralized organizational structure by working efficiently and communicating with employees of various departments of the company. Improved communication system will be vital especially in a decentralized organizational structure because it fosters improvement in communication thus eliminating delays and lags. Through a decentralized form of organizational structure, the main companys operations will be professionalism and functional differentiation. The structure will consist of different departments that are responsible for the overall success and growth of the organization. An example of Starbucks` decentralized organizational structure is shown in Figure 1 below.


Figure 1

Measurement and Management of Exposure

The exposure management of Starbucks Corporation aims at the management of translation exposure, operating exposure, transaction exposure and economic exposure. Translation exposure is the risk that the results of financial statements may not be rigid due to the innate nature of the exchange rate fluctuations without any other factor undermining the results of the financial statements. Economic exposure is the risk that the exchange rate fluctuations will have an impact on the nature of an organization. Economic exposure is broken down to transaction exposure and operating exposure.

Transaction exposure is the risk that exchange rate fluctuations will undermine the contractual cash flows of a company. Operating exposure is the risk that fluctuating exchange rates will have an impact on non-contractual cash flows of a corporation. Starbucks Corporation has implemented financial contracts and operational tools to manage such kinds of exposure. The financial controls will include but not limited to swaps, options, forward or future contracts and money market hedges. The operational tools will include but not limited to exposure netting, risk sharing and contractual hedging.

Starbucks Corporation adheres to a risk exposure management to aid in the management of foreign currency exposure by transferring it to the hedge management. In addition, the main functions of exposure management are the mainten