Hockey & The On-Demand Revolution


I recently went to a tech-innovation conference in Cincinnati and one of the keynote speakers left us all with a very compelling statement: “Today is the slowest day you will EVER live. Technology is shaped like a hockey stick and right now we’re at a point of rapid increase.” This was one of the coolest quotes I’d ever heard.

Along the same lines as my prior post on the food-tech revolution (make no mistake, it is here), I started researching operational frameworks of several on-demand companies that happen to play hard in the food space. All roads seem to lead back to DoorDash climbing to the top of this mountain.

Doordash is as vertically integrated as it gets and commandeers almost the entire supply chain (except the actual food being produced). They have taken a similar approach to others in the “service logistics” industry and have connected technology to a community of willing “deliverers.” The net is extremely efficient cycle time in an on-demand service. Their guarantee is reduced wait time for on-demand food. The end result is a happy customer with hot food, who likely didn’t even have to miss one commercial from whatever program they’re engaged in, from a restaurant that doesn’t typically deliver.

What appears to be the largest win of this whole situation is within the workforce. Think about the term “willing” that for a second. If this business model is enticing enough for a deliverer to voluntarily join and serve as a courier to pick up some extra cash AND for a restaurant to sign up for to sell their product, something has to be going right.

Upon further review, I learned that DoorDash’s competitive advantage appears to lie within their technology, a program that sits at each vendor (the restaurant) and receives the DoorDash order from any iPhone user. This then pushes notifications to the available fleet of driver(s) for pickups & eventual deliveries to customers. One can only guess that there is an extremely precise (regression-based) algorithm programmed into the technology that calculates the most efficient driver to ping with an order, based on several independent variables (e.g. restaurant inventory, weather, traffic, known demand, etc.). One can also only guess that the guys at the helm of this operations are extremely smart dudes who know a thing or two about coding.

As an Ops Manager, I am thinking long and hard on how I can apply these types of principles to my daily routine and how I can apply the hockey stick mentality. How can I make my team’s work a win-win? How can I reinvent a routine that has been stagnant for years?

Check out DoorDash’s blog site, which explains the aforementioned model in great detail.

Also – check out a podcast I found that mentions the merits of vertical integration and a few other competitors in the food logistics industry: Connecting Buyer to Seller

Lastly – give this a read. Highlights other companies innovating the restaurant scene.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s