A leading quick-service restaurant chain gains clarity and the ability to collaborate with a dynamic Order Guide application.
For restaurants, maintaining consistent inventory for each location can be complicated. Factor in location-based variables, distribution center restrictions, and test products, and the complexity increases exponentially. One leading quick-service restaurant (QSR) recognized the need to create a transparent, rules-based system to manage the set of products available for order by each restaurant.
While their previous system was functional, it was rigid and hierarchical, often leading to conflicts within the system and uncertainty of outcomes when inventory planners made changes. The result was that inventory lists were often inaccurate, leading to confusion at the store level. Stores experienced difficulty placing accurate orders because often products that appeared to be available in the system were actually not in stock for their particular geography. To solve this challenge, the QSR invited Artisan Studios to design and develop a flexible, rules-based Order Guide that would take the guesswork out of managing product availability across the chain.
The project began with an in-depth discovery phase to ensure we understood the client's needs and the existing system. This step involved significant research and client interviews that led to a detailed design architecture. Our team needed to understand the decision hierarchy (e.g., what decision trumps what), how market-level vs. geography-level choices are made and how product availability at distribution centers is factored in, among many other details.
Using design-centered principles, we continued to work closely with the QSR's team to ensure the final product met their needs. The discovery phase resulted in a conceptual design prototype that provided the corporate office clarity around which products are available to which stores. The new system delivered accurate information to the stores, which eliminated the potential of placing orders for products that are unavailable.
As a result of this project, the QSR experienced the following results:
Increased clarity & decreased errors: Inventory planners no longer need to assume how a change in the system will play out. The new rules are easy to understand and clear for all users decreasing errors and unintended outcomes.
Improved User Experience: Thoughtful design principles were incorporated into the new application to ensure it is user-friendly and aesthetically appealing.
Collaboration capability: The new system allows users to communicate with one another via notes within the system. Inventory planners use this new feature to add context to specific orders or leave reminders to fellow team members.
Seamless integration: The Order Guide application is integrated with the QSR’s adaptive distribution center assignments system, ensuring only products available at a restaurant’s distribution center can be ordered by that restaurant.