• Lorri

Lessons in Innovation and Pizza: A Tale of Radical Transformation (and Success).

Disclaimer: Domino's doesn't deliver to the International Space Station (yet).

My newest work hero is Dennis Maloney. He's the Chief Digital Officer that transformed his company and helped achieve over 2000% stock value growth since 2010. What traditional industry has he changed forever, making his company a leader and left competitors high-stepping to catch up? The pizza industry. That's right, pizza - specifically, Domino’s Pizza.

If you ever doubted that technology and innovation could change a business, read on.

Maloney’s strategy has a simple but eloquent purpose: to make the pizza delivery process a fantastic customer experience. With this goal in view, Domino's has fearlessly adopted and experimented with new technologies to make ordering pizza an effortless exercise. In fact, when questioned whether Domino's is a pizza company that utilizes technology or a technology company that delivers pizza, Maloney replied that either statement could be true.

Domino's agility and willingness to incorporate technology into their pizza delivery system stems back to the early days of the Internet (in 1996, they were the first pizza delivery company to launch a website). Eleven years later, they were the first to introduce online ordering. But Domino's big transformation began in 2008 with the debut of the Domino's Tracker. Ahead of its time, the revolutionary Domino’s Tracker was the first piece of technology of its kind that allowed customers to follow the progress of their online order from the time they clicked “place order” until the pizza arrived at their home. No more customer phone calls bemoaning "Where's my pizza?"!

Bold moves, a willingness to embrace new technology and stepping outside their comfort zone seems to have become SOP for the company that started out as a little pizza joint in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Domino's pattern of fearless forging into new territory has included:

-Posting good, neutral and bad customer comments on an electric billboard in New York's Times Square.

-Teaming with Ford Motor Company to develop Domino's DXP, a self-driving car delivery system that includes warming ovens and storage for 80 pizzas. By 2016, 155 DXPs were on the road and further experimentation of this system has continued into 2018.

-In 2015, Domino's introduced AnyWare Ordering, allowing customers to order pizza via text, tweet, Samsung Smart TV, Ford SYNC AppLink System, the Android Wear smartwatch app, Pebble smartwatch app, or voice ordering with Dom. AnyWare Ordering now also includes Amazon Echo and Alexa, Apple Watch, Facebook Messenger and Google Home. Ordering pizza has become literally almost as simple as thinking "Gee, I'd like pizza tonight!"

-In 2018, Domino's introduced HotSpots, adding 150,000 delivery locations such as beaches, public parks and museums, allowing customers to order without having a physical delivery address.

-In 2016, Domino's New Zealand became the first pizza company to deliver pizza by unmanned aerial drone.

-In June of 2018, Domino's launched it's 'Paving for Pizza' initiative, repairing potholes in the US to prevent damage to pizza during the delivery process.

Not bad for a pizza company who once struggled with its reputation for having the worst tasting pizza on the market (they completely revamped their recipe in 2009, another risky but highly-rewarding move).

Here’s the punch line: even though some of these innovations are either temporary or experimental and not all of them are fully implemented, look at the results of their stock price and their market share. Fully embracing new methods and technologies has catapulted Domino's to the top of their industry. They learn with every test run, every new technology tried and incorporated, causing them to level up faster than their competition.

I think sometimes we view new technologies as not relevant to us in corporate real estate, but I beg to differ. Dominos should be an example to all of us that technology will leave no industry untouched. Not even pizza.

27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All