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CASE 1: THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS WIN BIG WITH INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY

The San Francisco Giants are one of the oldest U.S. baseball teams and one of the most
successful as well. They have own the most games of any team in the history of American
baseball and any North American professional sports team. The Giants have captured 23
National League pennants and appeared in 20 World Series competitions both records in the
National League. Their most recent triumph was winning the 2014 World Series. The Giants
have outstanding players (with the most Hall of Fame players in all of professional baseball) and
coaches, but some of their success, both as team and as a business, can be attributed to their use
of information technology.

Baseball is very much a game of statistics, and all the major teams are constantly analyzing their
data on player performance and optimal positioning on the field. But the Giants are doing more.
They have started to use a video system from Sports vision called FIELDf/x which digitally
records the position of all players and hit balls in real time. The system generates defensive
statistics such as the difficulty of a catch and the probability of a particular fielder making that
catch. Information produced by the system on player speed and response time, such as how
quickly an outfielder comes in for a ball or reacts to line drives, will enable the Giants to make
player data analysis much more precise. In some cases, it will provide information that didnt
exist before on players defensive skills and other skills. FIELDf/x generates a million records
per game. That amounts to 5 billion records in three years, the amount of the time required to
provide a high level of confidence in the data. in addition to player and team statistics, the Giants
are starting to collect data about fans, including ticket purchases and social media activity.
Under the leadership of chief information officer (CIO) Bill Schlough, the San Francisco Giants
have pioneered dynamic ticket pricing, based on software from Qcue, in which the price of a
ticket fluctuates according to the level of demand for a particular ball game. Its similar to
dynamic ticket pricing used in the airline industry. If a game is part of a crucial series, the Giants
are playing an in-division rival, or the game appears to be selling out especially fast, ticket prices
will raise. It the game isnt a big draw, ticket prices fall. The Giants have sold out 100 percent of
their home games since October 2010, and have increased season ticket sales from 21,000 in
2010 to 29,000 in 2012.

Season ticket-holders dont normally attend every game, and this can lose revenue for a team.
Every time a fan with a season ticket decides to stay home form a game, the sports franchise
loses an average of $20 I concession and merchandise sales. To make sure stadium seats are
always filled, the Giants created a secondary online ticket market where season ticket holders
can resell ticket they are not using over the internet. The Giants information technology
specialists found a way to activate and deactivate the bar codes on tickets so that they can be
resold. The system is also a way for the Giants to provide additional service to customers.
The Giants have also taken advantages of wireless technology to enhance their fans experience.
A network extends from the seats to the concession stands to areas outside the stadium, and is
one of the largest public wireless networks in the world. The stadium, AT&T Park has a giant
high-speed wireless network, which fans can use to check scores and video highlights, update
their social networks, and do e-mail.
CASE 2: EMPLOYEE PICK-UPS AND DROP OFFS AT CONVERGYS

Convergys is a leading provider of customer management solutions for organizations across


India. It started business in 2009, when the BPO industry was still in the infancy. But owing to
the sky rocketing prices of real estate in Delhi, it decided to build its center outside the city. The
Delhi national capital region (NCR) was still developing at that time and property prices were
significantly more economical in Gurgaon as compared to Delhi. So, the firm decided to setup its
main Indian headquarters in Gurgaon. But limited connectivity to this new place, coupled with
poor residential facilities, proved to be challenge for employees of Convergys, who had to
commute from Delhi to work. This led the management to announce pick-up and drop-off
facilities for all its workers.

Coordinating the logistics of the pick-ups and drop-offs went well initially. But over a decade of
aggressive expansions in operations, staff (now over 10,000 strong), as well as centers (with
three facilities in Gurgaon, and one each in Bangalore, Thane, and Pune), Convergys had to
arrange around 200 pick-ups and drops-offs every day.

In addition to the cost burden of this activity, Convergys had to deal with the challenges of
managing the pick-ups and drop-offs. The transport desk manually decided on the shortest route
for every ride so that employees could reach the office in time for work. But with over 1000 cabs
sourced from 40 vendors, managing 44 different shift timings was a herculean task. Ipinder
Singh, the technical director at Convergys, tried looking into some off-the-shelf software to see if
they could meet his companys requirements. But even with the deployment of this software,
Singh found that a lot of the tasks would have to be done manually. He finally decided to design
a solution in-house.

In order to automate tasks, the processes involved with running the existing system needed to be
understood. Every week, supervisors (over 100 in number) would send complete information
about their teams shift timing, addresses, contact numbers, and leave status for the following
week to the transport department. The team at this department sorted through the sheets they
received and made a plan for the coming week. The whole process was time consuming. Once
the plan was frozen, no changes could be made unless the whole plan was overhauled. This
meant that in case an employee took unexpected leave, there was a problem. Moreover, if there
was a change in the employees address or phone number, or if and employee quit in a middle of
a week, the pick-up vans would keep waiting for that employee, adding to the companys
transportation expenses.

Singhs team of developers built an automated application that had all the parameters and metrics
preloaded in the system, so that it could generate costs by department and employee. Singh
integrated the transport application with the human resource information system. This helped
him get updated information regarding change in address, phone number, leave, or resignation
status of employees. Further, Convergys automated a lot of transport departments manual tasks.
For example, earlier, cab drivers were required to fill out a sheet after every trip, stating the
distance covered. The transport department would then enter this information into excel sheets to
compute the costs for the different types of vehicles. This function is now handled almost
entirely by the new application.

In spite of all these developments, one pressing issue still remained. How to find the most
optimal route for each of the cabs so that the staff can reach the office on time? There are two
aspects to this question. First, considering that the vendors charge on the basis of the kilometers
covered by their cars, going a longer route significantly increases the costs to company. Second,
late arrival of employees to work translates to losses for the firm. Os, it was imperative that
Singh finds a solution to the optimal rou t challenge as quickly as possible.

Singh decide to buy a generic routing solution with 10-12 built-in algorithms, and layered it with
a digital version of the Eicher world maps. The software was further customized by feeding in
additional information about the cab capabilities, average speed on various roads, locations of
employees, and so on. With all this done, the software could now select the optimum route, as
well as reschedule the ride in case and employee fell sick. In doing so, Convergys was able to
save 30 to 40 percent of its transportation costs.
Convergys now also allows employees to change or cancel the status of their pick-up or drop-off
through a self service portal. This has reduced dependency on the transport helpdesk. Using this
portal, employee can also get information about their routes and pick-up time without any delay
or difficulty.
CASE 3: THE DOMINOS SYSTEM: READING THE PULSE OF
CUSTOMER

Dominos is an international pizza-delivery franchise, headquartered in Ann Arbor in the United


States. Founded in 1960, Dominos Pizza has more than 10000 corporate and franchise stored in
70 countries across the world. Dominos was sold to Bain capital in 1998 and went public in
2004. The company started operations in India in 1996. It subsequently changed its name to
Jubilant Food Works Limited in 2009 Due to the sluggish growth of the U.S. economy; the
company started spreading Its operations aggressively to other nation. More than half of the
dominos revenue comes from its overseas businesses. It sells more pizzas in India than
anywhere else outside the U.S. with four lakhs pizzas every day, and more than 12 crores pizzas
every, Dominos sells nearly twice the number of burgers McDonalds sells in India.

Owing to an aggressive expansion of operations and growing order counts from customers, the
information system employed by Dominos plays an important role in increasing the operating
efficiencies of the pizza chain. It provides the management with accurate information at any
given point of time. Right from the time a customer places an order to when the management
wants to track sales; the information system supplies the data in real time.

Dominos PULSE point-of-sale (poS) system is a graphical user-interface and touch-screen


based computerized information system that manages ordering, inventory, and reporting at
Dominos pizza. It has been implemented in over 50% of the international stores. More than one-
third of the stores orders originate from online sources; so to efficiently manage orders, the firm
decided to roll out its new PoS system at all its domestic stores.

The PULSE user-interface is kept simple: it gives information about menu, functions, and
customers. A dominos employee selects a menu item (based on the customers choice) from a
list of available items appearing as tabs on the screen. When a customer orders of calls Dominos
for a pizza, the representative enquires about some basic information of the customer (such as
their name and contact number and the address they are calling from), which serves as a primary
input for processing the order. For returning callers, the contact number is used to identify the
customer and retrieve their account details. Whenever Dominos receives a call, the customers
number flashes on the screen. Since all previous orders are saved in PULSE , the representative
knows whether the call is from a new or existing customer. The employee makes suggestion to
the customer based on their order history.

Once an order is placed, be it via phone, online, or at the counter, it automatically gets
transferred into a centralized computer and the main servers. This enables the management to
plan their operations effectively. When a manager sees that a particular customer has not ordered
for some time, he or she personally calls the customer with a special offer to encourage them to
come back.

Dominos has also successfully deployed voice over IP (VoIP). Using this facility the pizza
chain has been able to allocate a particular number to a special region or geographical are. When
a customer calls the pizza chain, VoIP automatically detects the location of the caller and
intelligently routes the call to their nearest store location. This way, the customer does not need
to memorize more than one number for different store locations. For the firm too, this system
eliminates the need to maintain multiple analog lines for each number, thereby saving costs.
Since VoIP transmits voice over the internet by converting voice into pocket data, there is a
significant reduction in telecommunication expenses for the company.

Additionally Dominos maintains hosting agents or virtual call center along with its VoIP
services. When the incoming load at the store is at its peak, such as during weekdays or holidays,
the calls are routed to these agents who professionally take orders and transmit them to the
nearest pizza chain, where they are processed and delivered.

Dominos PULSE even manages the refund process in case a customer is not satisfied with
the product, the wrong order is delivered, or the delivery is not made within the stipulated time.
Considering the volume of orders received by Dominos, a back-up severs has been installed at
each store to increase the speed of processing of the orders. The operating system has also been
upgraded from Windows XP to Windows server 2008 R2, which has a Hyper-V virtualization
technology built into it. This has not only increased the performance of the PoS system, but also
lowered the IT costs.

To provide additional comfort to its online customers, Dominos pizza launched a new initiative:
a mobile phone application for both Android and IOS devices. This application allows the user to
browse through all the products on the menu and also access their promotional coupons. Besides
this, the app lets the customer design their own pizza. The interface of the app Is user-friendly
it displays the order at the top of the screen while the user is navigating through other content.
The payment and delivery options can also be selected by the user. The app fetches the account
details whenever the user logs into the application. The success of this app is also due to the fact
that Dominos focuses strongly on SMS marketing. The user who receives a lucrative offer via
SMS now does not have to call or visit the Dominos website to redeem it. The user can redeem
the offer by ordering using the mobile app.

Due its large presence over multiple geographical areas, internal communication among the
employees within the chain was a key challenge for Dominos. The solution to this was provided
by eConnect, a sub-system withinPULSE . Through eConnect, a branch or even the
headquarters. For evaluating the performance of the stores, managers can generate reports
fromPULSE . Each store prepares the monthly report using this system, which helps determine
the consolidated performance of the store. Some of the items which the report contains are:

Net sales of the present month, net sales for this month last year, net sales of the last
month, and expected sales.
Growth rate and achievement over budget for the month
Orders delivered

These reports help compare the past sales for different months with the current month. This can
be used to make future projections and check the growth or decline in sales for each branch.
These reports are then forwarded to the senior management with the help of the push facility
within PULSE . In a similar manner, any data can be accessed from the information system
using the pull feature. Reports of daily services, inventory, and even the guidelines from
supervisors are issued via the push-pull feature.

No firm can run without having an efficient evaluation and tracking system in place. In order to
keep an eye on the sales of Dominos store, its manager analyzes the store sales every week. The
manager assesses the order frequencies and also identifies the area from where the new orders
are coming. On the basis of the data collected, the manager divides the areas into three main
sectors discussed below:

1. Yellow: The localities from where new customers have started ordering pizzas are
categorized as yellow. These are 5 to 10% of total orders. In order to encourage these customers
to order more frequently, the manager initiates distribution of pamphlets in these localities that
contain a few of the basic, inexpensive pizzas from Dominos.

2. Green: The localities from where the orders are coming at a steady rate are categorized
as green. These are 10% to 30% of the total orders. In order to increase the orders in this
segment, the manager orders distribution of pamphlets containing medium-range pizzas.

3. Red: The localities from where the store receives the maximum orders are categorized as
red. These are 60% of the total orders. The order frequency in this segment is higher than that of
any other area, and so the manager orders distribution of pamphlets containing the stores
specialized range of pizzas. The most costly items are promoted in these areas.
PULSE Also aids in inventory management the details of the inventory at each branch are
regularly prepared in a worksheet. Each item of raw material which is used to make the finished
products in described in this sheet. The used quantity of each item is compared against available
quantity and ideal usage. Then variance is calculated to identify whether the product are being
optimally utilized. This helps conduct wastage analysis at each branch, and the reports are the
collected at different branches.
These are some of the ways in which the information system at Dominos pizza has been able to
provide a competitive edge to the chain. It has ensured real-time data processing, efficient
communication, consistent reporting for decision making, and effective management of store
operations. In a nutshell, it has guaranteed customer satisfaction.

CASE STUDY QUESTIONS


1-10 How does Dominos PULSE system help manage customers orders? Is there a system in
place to identify the new customers?

1-11 How does PULSE help the manager to segregate the areas of customer orders and use
appropriate targeting strategies?

1-12 As a senior manager, discuss how you could conduct wastage analysis in Dominos stores
throughPULSE .

1-13 Discuss the eConnect and reporting feature of the Dominos PULSE system.

1-14 How does VoIP help Dominos serve its customers in an efficient manner?

1-15 Share your experiences of unique customer service at Dominos and try to link that service
with the feature of the PULSE system.