Online ordering delivers more for Dominos

By mid next year all Dominos customers can order their pizzas online

Dominos Pizza is nearing completion of an Australian-first online ordering system which has helped the company move away from dial-a-pizza pranks and towards growing sales and streamlining business processes.

The online ordering system was built from the ground up by JSA Digital, a web design company that specialises in franchise communication services.

After completing a successful trial in Queensland last year, JSA was tasked with developing an online ordering system that could synchronize with Dominos' in-store IT systems and present orders online in real time so customers could track the progress.

Using Flash 8, JSA created both back and front end systems to integrate with Dominos' existing point-of-sale system PULSE, which according to Dominos Pizza Australia's CIO Barry Wiech, has reduced the need for new and costly add-on systems.

"This new online ordering system addresses the changing needs of our customers," he said. "It streamlines our sales as it bypasses the front counter and goes directly to the kitchen."

Before the online upgrade, the Dominos Web site operated as a basic information and promotion portal.

"It was a very traditional business site where customers could come and sign up for mailouts," Wiech said. "The new site is a major improvement though and lets us reach customers who are regular online users."

So far, the online ordering system has been made available in 65 percent of Dominos' 600 stores across Australia and New Zealand.

Weich said the Victorian market had been completely converted since commencing the rollout in January this year and expected the remaining Australian stores to be fitted out by June 2007.

In implementing the new system, the only obstacle Dominos faced was the unavailability of broadband in some regions, but alternative solutions such as wireless were being looked into, he said.

"There has been some fine tuning but overall we've encountered no major problems at all," Wiech said. "Our only adjustments have been in making the system even more intuitive."

Alternatively, for JSA the biggest challenge was integrating the new online ordering system with PULSE, according to managing director, Karen Scully.

She said working with and around Dominos' point of sale system was problematic at times because the existing system could not be redeveloped.

"PULSE is integral to all of Dominos' operations so we couldn't change it," Scully said. "So we designed an e-commerce solution from the ground up that could 'speak to' Dominos' existing point-of-sale system."

Scully said the two companies were continuing to work together to forge new solutions and additions to the current system. In June of this year, JSA developed an "anticipation clock" for Dominos that lets customers track the progress of their orders online from conception to delivery in real time.

"It's the first in an evolution for dominos in how we're using technology to get to our customers and to give them more access to us," Dominos' Weich said. "It's a new market for us but we want to leverage all media to reach our customers and give them more choice and opportunity to order in different technologies."

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