How might we...
nform long-term business technology decisions while navigating the volatility of emerging technologies in a global QSR’s supply chain?

What does future-proofing look like for a global quick service restaurant (QSR) chain that has existed for 60 years? Technology is advancing at a rate that can feel difficult to keep up — particularly for a company that leans heavily on relationships, where trust is in the people you know but not in the data and systems you use, can make this even more challenging.

We hear terms like blockchain and RFID thrown around, but how can we understand what they mean, let alone how they could apply to a business (or whether they even should be)? That’s what our client wanted to figure out. Listening to a demo about the latest blockchain solution felt like a foreign language. 

That’s where we come in. We don’t have an allegiance to any particular vendor. We have no stake in a solution. So we could simply provide our expertise and help empower the folks at the global QSR to make the best decision for their business. 

How We Did It

It all started with a whiteboard. We spent time understanding the needs of the business before jumping into making decisions around the technology. Only after we understood the business requirements did we draw up a handful of blockchain-related topics and went through them one by one to see where the chain was in terms of their understanding. “Tell me what this term means to you based on what you know so far,” we asked.

Together we developed a blockchain roadmap, exploring how the technology could fit in with the chain’s long-term goals and understanding what steps would be necessary to implement. Then we created a decision matrix, which is essentially a rubric to help them make informed decisions about who the best partner might be for a given need. While we used the matrix to score existing offerings, it is inherently reusable, so it won’t become obsolete when the tools we scored feel as old as a VHS. This is one way we designed for a farther-out future despite the rapid changes in technology.

The results
Building technology fluency.

Now, the folks at the global QSR understand their business needs, the technology principles, and the technology landscape. This lets them quickly see value or see through the offerings that vendors are putting in front of them. That understanding has already helped them to disarm some of the more hype-fueled vendors who don’t have answers to some of the business critical requirements. This also sets them up for better negotiations and ensures that they will only buy what they need—not what someone else tells them they need. 

It might sound like a small thing but having this knowledge means they can’t be waylaid, and they’re empowered to make their own tech decisions. 

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