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“Increased productivity and efficiency as a result of an outstanding training portal and high quality training” Jan Willem Sewalt
IT Service Manager EMEA | Starbucks

With more than 20,000 locations worldwide, Starbucks is the world’s largest chain of coffee houses. Besides coffee, hot and cold drinks, tea, coffee beans, sandwiches, pastries and merchandise are also being sold. As expected from an organisation the size of Starbucks, the knowledge of its staff members needs to be up-to-date.

Previously the training programmes were purchased from multiple suppliers, which created confusion and was also very time-consuming. In addition, the quality of training courses was perceived to be disappointing. As a result, Starbucks began their search for a more efficient and higher quality solution.

Industry: Retail
Employees: 220,000+
Locations: 20,000+
Countries: 70+
Products: coffee, hot and cold drinks, coffee beans, sandwiches, pastries & merchandise.


  • Quality of training improved
  • Clear overview of entire training portfolio
  • More manageable training budgets
  • Cost & time savings due to automation of back office
  • Increased productivity & efficiency

Jan Willem Sewalt, a member of the EMEA IT Service Management team, played an important role in the search for a new training partner.

“We had no clear training plan. The providers were fragmented and we had to look up 30 different suppliers to get an overview of all training courses. Very cumbersome and time-consuming of course, also because of the proliferation of associated certificates.”

“In addition, my personal experience with some of these suppliers was very unsatisfying; due to a lack of quality, these courses did not offer the added value we were hoping for. To ensure better quality training and to be able to improve the offering to our employees, I started my search for a partner that could help with this.”

Pink Elephant’s quality and knowledge were decisive. Sewalt was already familiar with Pink Elephant and due to his positive experiences he decided to knock on the door of the Pink Elephant Academy. “In my eyes, Pink Elephant stands for quality, therefore I went straight to Pink. We had a good conversation about quality, training and the organisation around it.”

“It was a very good match! The idea was suggested to build a portal from where we can offer the entire suite of ITIL® training courses, as well as other training programmes” he sums up.

“Ultimately, Pink Elephant has delivered a total solution; a portal where training and education can be booked. The collaboration went smoothly and we were able to move quickly. The Pink Elephant team had all the required knowledge to execute and manage this project well. That has been super.”

“Based on my experiences with Pink Elephant I knew the organisation could offer the level of quality and the technical solutions required by Starbucks. However, looking at the end result I’m glad to say that Pink Elephant has definitely exceeded my expectations.”

“We continuously feel and experience Pink Elephant’s drive to be innovative. The Pink Elephant team has been proactive in their approach and are constantly looking for additional valuable solutions for Starbucks” Sewalt explains. One of those solutions is MemoTrainer™ that is designed to challenge learners through selective repetition and smart exercises to activate knowledge. The knowledge that leaners struggle with will be shown more often, this way a personal repetition scheme is created.

“The system trains knowledge in a personalised way so learners remember more and pass their courses quicker. The employees are more aware and therefore have a more critical look at certain things” Sewalt said.

The new training portal also provides a clear insight regarding training budgets which enables more realistic forecasting. “The transparency, as well as the automation of the entire back office, provides time savings as well as peace of mind. Now we can book a training course by simply pushing a button.”

“Whereas previously this was a very time-consuming process to find the right training course, employees can also look for appropriate training courses based on what they have already completed. As we offer a very wide-range of training, our employees get all the freedom to develop themselves. Even outside their field of work.”

“In addition to time savings, simplicity & benefits, realised by the training portal, the collaboration with the Pink Elephant offers more advantages” Sewalt said. “As the quality of the training courses delivered by Pink Elephant is significantly better than our previous suppliers, our employees are more skilled and feel more confident doing their work. As a result, their productivity has increased significantly as well as the quality of the service provided.”

“The results are already visible within the organisation as our employees are more productive and also have a better understanding and knowhow, in their approach of day-to-day activities. One of the main achievements so far is a reduction of 65% in tickets open longer than 120 days. Translating this to our retail stores, the main benefit we experience is a shorter period of waiting until the solution is provided. That saves money and frustration!” Sewalt adds.

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