Domino’s Expands Use of Virtual Ordering

Domino’s Expands Use of Virtual Ordering

Domino’s is trying out an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to take phone orders.

Domino’s ordering assistant, “Dom”, has been available on smartphone apps since 2014, and has been very successful as part of the phone app, allowing customers to place voice orders.  Using voice commands provides a hands-free methods of placing an order.

Dom also exists as a chatbot on Facebook and on Domino’s webpage.  Now, Domino’s is moving this technology to phone orders with a limited test introduction.

This post is based on the Chain Storage article, Pizza chain’s virtual ordering assistant takes on a new task, by Deena M. Amato-McCoy, April 23, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Ljupco Smokovski.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why would Domino’s want to use this technology?

Guidance: The biggest reasons are related to cost.  The workers at the store can now concentrate on filling the orders rather than taking the phone calls, or tracking orders.  This should result in labor savings.

2. What problems might Domino’s encounter with the use of Dom for phone orders.

Guidance: Previous uses of Dom, including voice ordering through the smartphone app, have been well received.  Domino’s use of humor Continue reading

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Reusable Packaging To Reduce Waste

Reusable Packaging To Reduce Waste

With the growth of online ordering from companies such as Amazon, the amount of packaging waste has increased substantially.

Limeloop, a reusable packaging company, has estimated that approximately 165 billion packages are shipped each year in the United States.  This has placed a tremendous strain on waste management and recycling.  Not to mention the amount of materials used to produce the packaging.  For example, this translates to requiring approximately 1 billion trees to produce the cardboard for the packaging.

Limeloop has developed a a durable, lightweight, waterproof pouch that can be returned by the customer, and re-used for shipping as many as 2,000 times.  Limeloop’s initial market is the apparel industry.  But, the plan is to expand to larger packages in other industries.

This post is based on the Fast Company article, Can Online Retail Solve Its Packaging Problem?, by Adele Peters, April 20, 2018. Image source: Ralph125/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the benefits to reusable packaging?

Guidance: The obvious benefit is the reduction in waste that must be recycled or sent to the land fill, but consider other benefits which could accrue in the supply chain, including for logistics Continue reading

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Recalls in the Food Chain

Recalls in the Food Chain

Problems in the delivery of safe food have been an issue this spring.  Over 200 million eggs were recalled in April over salmonella fears, and earlier in May, Kroger recalled over 35,000 pounds of ground beef contaminated with hard pieces of plastic.

But we’d have to say that one item has gone to the head of the list: Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

The CDC has traced the problem to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona area.  The recall includes all kinds of romaine lettuce, whether chopped, whole head, or lettuce included in salad mix.

Basically, check that your romaine wasn’t grown in Yuma until the situation is under control.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, 22 States Now Affected by Dangerous Outbreak of E. Coli Illness From Romaine Lettuce, by Lena H. Sun and Joel Achenbach, April 27, 2018. Image source: (c) George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the characteristics that should drive a recall (especially one involving food)?

Guidance: Timeliness is important as people’s lives might be at stake.  Immediate information is important.  In this case contaminated food is a health risk. Continue reading

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