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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Walmart: Check It Out

Walmart: Check It Out

May 17, 2018

Consumers can check out Walmart’s “Check out with me” technology to pay for their Lawn & Garden Center purchases at 350 stores across the country.

Walmart associates, toting cellular devices and Bluetooth printers, scan heavy items like bags of mulch while it’s still on the shelf, saving customers the hassle of loading it into carts and pushing it back into the store to fixed checkout stations.  The technology will also assist customers outdoors in the live plant and potting soil areas.

The system is being tested in Lawn & Garden Centers, because that is where it is most needed to improve the customer check out experience.  However, eventually it could be used elsewhere in the store as well.  If successful, the system could be implemented at Walmart’s 4700 U.S. locations.

Walmart may also have checkout-free technology in the works to battle Amazon’s Whole Foods or the new Amazon Go stores, where customers can just pick up their items and leave while cameras, sensors, and AI technology track and charge them for their purchases.

This post is based on the Retail Leader article, Walmart makes more digital moves, by Gina Acosta, April 23, 2018; and on the 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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