6 minute read

Lessons in Supply Chain Visibility From Domino’s Pizza

Learn what supply chain visibility is, why it matters, and how real-time data and metrics can help you with inventory management, on-time deliveries, and more.

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In 2008, Domino’s Pizza stock was at an all-time low of $2.83 a share.

Yikes. Things were looking bleak.

But there was one bright light during the chaos: the Domino’s Pizza Tracker.

Like a beacon of hot deliciousness, the Pizza Tracker let us follow our pizza through the creation and delivery process so we knew exactly when it would hit our lips.

It was a game-changer.

It also gave us a much-needed sense of control when everything often felt out of control.

Domino’s saved its brand with a hot and fresh visualization of its supply chain management.

The tracker was customer-friendly, attractive, and transparent. It gave customers access to information they didn’t even know they needed or wanted.

In many ways, it was a sign of what was coming.

Today, customers are obsessed with knowing where things are and when they’re coming

A recent study showed a whopping 91 percent of consumers actively track their packages.

While the Pizza Tracker is amazing in its own right, it’s also a lesson in the power of supply chain visibility.

Companies need to see their supply chains clearly to meet customer demands, avoid supply chain disruptions, and improve inventory management.

I’ll walk you through supply chain visibility, explain why it matters, and offer tips for harnessing the power of real-time data to improve your own supply chain.

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What is supply chain visibility?

As anyone who has ever played a game of “telephone” knows, it’s very easy for information to distort as it travels down the line.

The same is true for supply chains.

Companies that can’t see what’s happening at different stages of production can face errors, delays, and dissatisfied customers. These issues are certainly not great for customer retention. 

That’s where supply chain visibility comes into play.

Supply chain visibility is the ability to see what’s happening at every production stage — from raw materials to finished products.

Many companies use third-party logistics providers to manage their supply chains.

Today’s digital supply chain networks make it possible to track individual items as they move through the supply chain.

For example, Walmart uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags on products to see where each item is at all times, track inventory levels, and improve inventory accuracy.

Supply chain visibility (SCV) is usually a part of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

An ERP system is a software platform that helps companies manage different aspects of their business, including inventory, finance, and human resources.

The goal of an ERP system is to give companies a complete overview of their business and offer supply chain data to improve decision-making.

Why does supply chain visibility matter?

So, why is supply chain visibility important?

Do you really need to dig into the metrics of supply chain operations, create digital spreadsheets, or constantly seek new ways to improve business operations and supply chain performance?

The answer is a resounding yes!

Around 70 percent of supply chain leaders said that improving supply chain visibility by understanding spending analytics was a top priority.

And it’s not hard to see why.

Supply chain visibility directly impacts how much money you can make.

Supply chain visibility software gives companies insight into key performance indicators (KPIs), such as cost, delivery time, and quality.

Businesses can use this data to make informed decisions about where to put resources and how to improve efficiency during the different supply chain processes.

The benefits of supply chain visibility are boundless.

Gone are the days of paper logs and endless manual processes.

Now, end-to-end supply chain visibility is possible.

Companies can identify bottlenecks, optimize resources, and improve customer satisfaction using SCV automation.

Building a resilient supply chain means being able to see potential risks and issues before they cause problems.

Supply chain visibility gives you the ability to do just that.

It also allows you to track supplier performance, monitor inventory levels, and even predict customer demand.

You can manage workflows in every ecosystem of your business, from transportation costs and scheduling delivery drivers to risk management and identifying inefficiencies.

In other words, supply chain visibility is a critical tool for any company that wants to stay ahead of the competition. There’s really no downside. 

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Supply chain visibility lessons from Domino’s Pizza

Let’s get back to our hot-and-ready Pizza Tracker — the pinnacle of accessible, simple, and uncomplicated supply chain visibility.

Real talk? Some of the biggest companies don’t even have this level of visibility.

The Pizza Tracker not only walks customers through the pizza-making process and gives order details, but it even gives the delivery person’s name, their exact en-route location, and an accurate delivery time.

Once the delivery is complete, you even get a survey to fill out to give feedback on the experience so the company can learn and improve.

This is an invaluable level of insight.

Let’s take a look at some of the other lessons we can learn from the Domino’s Pizza Tracker.

Give customers detailed order visibility

Take it from someone who has spent a lot of time watching the Tracker bar move from Prep to Bake with eager anticipation.

Consumers love traceability and metrics.

We want to know what’s going on every step of the way.

And this isn’t just true for pizza delivery.

It’s especially true when it comes to high-ticket items.

For example, imagine you have a new sectional couch on the way. You need to know when it’s coming so you can make sure you’re home.

The more accurate the expected delivery time, the better. 

Now, you can carve out a window of time to be home for the delivery instead of an entire day of missed work.

You also have strangers coming into your home.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a phone call in advance with their names and arrival time?

Information is the bridge between the customer and the company.

The Domino’s Pizza Tracker is a great example of this.

Give accurate delivery time estimates

The pandemic completely disrupted supply chains and taught us that we need a

resilient supply chain to meet customer demands and weather unexpected market changes.

By being transparent about the process and giving detailed order visibility, you can build trust with your customers and keep them coming back for more.

But let’s be honest: Full visibility can be a little scary.

What if you find out you have data silos, shortages, or forecasting issues?

What if you discover supply chain resilience is slipping?

Good!

Now you can do something about it. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

The second step is seeking and implementing a solution, like supply chain visibility software.

When done right, supply chain visibility offers the necessary data and insights to make informed decisions that improve business operations and drive tangible results.

The Pizza Tracker gives online customers an exact delivery time.

That’s pretty bold.

What if the pizza is late? What if the delivery person gets lost in transit?

Sure, Domino’s could end up with a few angry customers, but the company can also use the data to make the order and delivery experience better for customers moving forward.

Domino’s can modify its predictive workflow times to be more accurate and use machine learning to improve its delivery times.

Make order info user-friendly

What good are all the analytics in the world if you or your customers can’t understand them?

The Domino’s Pizza Tracker uses simple, straightforward language to explain the process and give updates.

It’s user-friendly, uncomplicated, and engaging.

For supply chain visibility for stakeholders, it’s important to make sure the data is presented in a way that’s simple and actionable.

It doesn’t need to look like the Pizza Tracker, but take a page out of the Domino’s playbook by making sure your data is digestible.

This could be anything from an easy-to-read dashboard to digital spreadsheets that are easy to filter and sort — or even alerts that let you know when something is off track.

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Circuit for Teams gives you detailed driver and route information

Take the guesswork out of last-mile delivery with Circuit for Teams.

The routing software gives detailed driver and route information so you can let your customers know exactly when your courier will be at their door.

Now, your customers can say goodbye to all-day delivery windows and feel the warm embrace of accurate delivery times.

Use Circuit for Teams to send automatic updates to your customers for better supply chain visibility.

You’ll also get real-time driver tracking, so you always know where your deliveries and drivers are and if they’re running on time.

Circuit for Teams takes the guesswork out of last-mile delivery for your business.

Published17 October 2022
Updated21 October 2022
AuthorHeather Reinblatt
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About the author

Heather Reinblatt
Heather ReinblattContributor

Heather Reinblatt is a managing editor currently living in St. Louis, Missouri. She spends her free time reading, trying new recipes, and cuddling her cat Paisley. You can find Heather on LinkedIn.

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