Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Slice of Supply Chain Visibility

Super Bowl XLVII - 2013 happened. Being from the West Coast I've only know football mid-day with a barbeques. So along with the change in timezone came a change in climate and the need to order food. And as a Super Bowl favorite - pizza was on the menu. I compared experiences with a friend who ordered Dominos and one who order Papa Johns and couldn't help but wonder how supply chain management could impact wait time.

Store             Wait Time
Dominos          90min
Papa Johns      45min

Even though I had to do little planning, companies like Papa Johns have been preparing for this single day with great expectations. Super Bowl weekend is one of the most significant sales days of all year and they don't want any customers to stay home empty handed or be inconvenienced out of a sale. Just like BestBuy stocks their inventory prior to the big day, pizza joints prepare adequate supplies and staff to meet the expected demand.

To improve supply chain efficiency it helps to see what's going on and when. Not just limited by customer trackers that tell you when you're order is being baked or boxed this idea of visibility goes to the beginning of the line like the cheese manufacturer. So we're going to talk a little about visibility in the supply chain.

Supply chain visibility (SCV) is the ability to track products in transit: This includes parts, components or inputs from the manufacturer to final destination. With this information stakeholders can make quick reactions to changes in demand and supply.[1]

For example, Dominos has a cool thing for bored and hungry customers. You can see what your pizza is up to. This link talks a little about that. And this link asks why large manufacturers cannot  how that visibility implementation could make a huge impact in the supply chain world.

Dominos didn't have much information on-line about the unseen part of their supply chain and even had some events inviting bloggers to write about supply chain stuff. Of what was found, I saw they process large batches of dough but I did not find anything about their system of getting dough out the door.

Papa Johns on the other hand has one-uped Dominos in the pizza tracking arms race. More about their GPS system and TrackMyPizza can be found here. And Papa Johns had a lot more information about real time tracking of raw materials to stores. The article here discusses a little about the data they track and how it gets implemented. 

While the absence of supply chain info online doesn't mean Dominos' supply chain is less effective, the supply chain might be why my pizza came sooner from Papa Johns during high demand.

So to leave with a question: I wonder how do franchises design supply chains to meet the needs of multiple owners with varying skills, track records and variability?

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.