• New Ordering System (online, in-store, Call Centre)


Our client, a Canadian chain of 500+ pizza stores handling 50 Million orders/yr, wanted to revamp the various means of ordering food to tie them into one consolidated system with multiple ordering methods.  They also wanted to make the system easier to use to reduce training time for store staff and call centre agents, while simplifying and enhancing the online ordering process for customers to increase sales rates.

The Challenge

Each ordering channel (call centre, online, Point of Sale) used its own system, leading to the following problems:

  • it was very time-consuming to update each system separately
  • it was difficult to keep them synchronized
  • it took a long elapsed time to update the catalog and price table for each store, as they were done individually
  • it was difficult to implement special promotions, due to the effort and elapsed time required
  • The Solution

    There are three components to the new system:

    • Replace the existing online ordering system on the client’s website
    • Replace the in-store Point of Sale (POS) application used by store staff
    • Replace the in-house ordering system used by 400 Call Centre agents who take over 30 million pizza orders/yr 
    • To ensure consistency in how food is ordered and priced, the entire ordering application and all business rules are centrally controlled and managed through the VisionEngine. This makes it easy to implement new promotions (change the business rule, not the underlying software code), and ensures that the same rules are applied, irrespective of what ordering channel is used to place the order.

      The tasks required for implementation included the following:

      • Replace the entire website with a new secure web-ordering system, involving VisionMAX graphical artists creating a new graphical look and feel.
      • Replace the touch-screen Point of Sale application in all stores with a solution written in Flash/Flex that connects online over VPN to the VisionEngine running at the client’s central computer.
      • Replace the entire order taking system (based on Oracle Forms) used by the 400 Call Centre agents with the VisionEngine web-based system.
      • The Results

        The first component (the new online ordering system) went live Dec/08, with the other components implemented in stages up to July/09. The percentage of orders placed online doubled, thereby significantly reducing call centre costs. The new system offers convenience and options unmatched in the Canadian pizza segment. Features include:

        • users are able to create profiles based on eating occasions, such as "My Poker Night Order" or "My Hockey Team Order"
        • users can retrieve past orders, browse the menu, or customize their own pizzas choosing from a variety of crust options, sauces and over 30 toppings
        • orders can be placed up to several days in advance
        • the system automatically takes into account different time zones
        • estimated delivery time is calculated based on effort to prepare food and backlog at the store, and is accessible by the customer
        • store clerks can hit a button to toggle the POS screen between Left Hand mode and Right Hand mode for ease-of-use
        • the system supports multiple languages, including displaying one language on the staff POS screen and a different language on the customer-facing screen
        • the POS layout can be easily customized per store (change placement, colour, and size of ordering buttons)
        • Other benefits of the multi-channel system included:

          • we reduced training time for store personnel using the new POS system and new Call Centre agents from six weeks to one week for new agents, and down to 20 minutes for existing agents
          • we centralized control over the menus and incorporated automatic update to the stores, thereby slashing the effort to maintain the store menus
          • we permitted input of future-dated promotions that take effect and stop on pre-scheduled dates, making it easier to schedule them
          • we re-architected the application to have one central database, thereby halving the overall software licensing costs
          • we removed the use of Oracle forms, which saved the client hundreds of thousands of dollars in ongoing Oracle software license costs
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