Building a better pizza company: How a digital transformation saved Domino’s

In Cleveland, we take our pizza very seriously. I live a few blocks from arguably the best pizza joint in the Cleveland area, and I can walk to no fewer than a dozen places that serve up some serious pie. None of them, though, have nationwide reach like Domino’s Pizza.

Say what you will about the neighborhood joint, but Domino’s has turned the corner to be the leading pizza chain in the country, overtaking Pizza Hut.

Let’s take a step back to 2008, when Domino’s had essentially hit rock bottom at $3 per share and widespread bad PR. But Domino’s did what few companies do. The company accepted who it was, admitted it fell short, and built a plan to put it all behind.

Domino’s launched a comeback effort, complete with its own website, and used consumer feedback to move forward. And it worked.

Ditching old habits, embracing a digital transformation

Part of the new approach was changing what was its nearly 50-year-old way of making pizza. Domino’s expanded its menu, introduced some new pricing concepts, and saw numbers climb up to 17 percent of the quick-serve pizza market.

It also saw a new stock price of $223.

It wasn’t just changing up the pizza itself. Domino’s embraced modern technology and the way consumers are utilizing it. A whopping 60 percent of Domino’s sales come through digital channels, not over the phone. All these digital orders go through a centralized operating system designed to limit the cost for franchisees and provide visibility across the entire company on sales information.

Domino’s even found ways to use social media and text messaging as ways to drive sales, sparking a memorable movie-inspired ad highlighting some of the new ways Domino’s embraced technology as a cornerstone of its turnaround.

So what does any of this have to do with Hyland and OnBase? We don’t make pizza and we certainly aren’t going to make any catchy television ads. … Or maybe we will.

What we definitely can do is help organizations win with technology the way Domino’s has. If it were as simple as just making better pizza, Domino’s wouldn’t have jumped its stock price the way it did. Running a successful organization is more than “building a better mousetrap.” In fact, it’s perfecting all the pieces and parts of building that mousetrap, or in this case, the pizza delivered to your door.

Disrupt, or be disrupted

We recently compiled a series on statistics about what digital disruption is going to look like in the near future. For example, a family of four will own up to 100 connected devices by 2025. That might be why there were also 20 million (yes, MILLION) tweets that helped insurers track damage from Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. And that was almost six years ago.

Consumers have already gone digital. Organizations must adapt to meet their natively digital natures, or be left behind.

The same is true in the operations of the organization as well. Surprisingly, we’ve found that half of all invoices still arrive in paper form. That runs counter to the problem that 69 percent of controllers say that improving visibility to cash flow and cash management is a priority. If invoices are arriving in paper, which increases the risk of data entry errors and misplaced documents, then the lack of visibility costs real dollars – no matter how good your product is.

And volumes are only going up, with 39 percent of AP professionals surveyed saying that volumes are increasing as much as 10 percent.

Now add that 50 percent of approvers are remote workers and approvers outside of AP outnumber those inside by 25:1. It proves that the old way of doing business just isn’t going to work anymore.

The flipside to all of this is the fact that the other half of invoices arrive in some sort of digital fashion. Accounts payable automation software can transform your AP department from a back office necessity into a cost-saving strategic partner, supporting business agility and driving future growth.

This all begs the questions:

  • Do you automatically capture and extract invoice data?
  • Do you electronically deliver that data to your ERP?
  • Do you automatically route invoices for approval?

The proof is in the pie

The changes Domino’s made to its processes and the embrace of radically different approaches to its business are what fueled the turnaround from fledgling pizza company to market leader. From innovative digital ordering to centralizing the order system for franchise operators, its proof that the companies winning in 2018 and beyond are those that embrace technological solutions and admit “the way we’ve always done it” is no longer viable.

Transformation isn’t a destination, but a journey. This is especially true of digital transformation. From small steps to large leaps; from cloud technology to mobile access to analytics; every decision you make helps propel you further toward your goal of becoming a more digital business. Even if you make pizza.

* This post was originally published on Pulse.

Joe Russo is a strategic account manager at Hyland. Currently, Joe also writes for Factory of Sadness, a Cleveland sports website operated by Fansided, and The OnBase and Hyland Blogs. His work has also appeared on and The Fraternity Advisor.
Joe Russo

Joe Russo

Joe Russo is a strategic account manager at Hyland. Currently, Joe also writes for Factory of Sadness, a Cleveland sports website operated by Fansided, and The OnBase and Hyland Blogs.... read more about: Joe Russo