Tag: Dunkin Doughnuts
I make a lot of jokes that the iPhone has nothing but apps for making various fart noises so this may seem like a weird place to heap praise. I know a lot of people reading about the new Dunkin Doughnut app for the iPhone are immediately thinking of Police jokes or how funny it is that the iPhone has an app to help you add on the pounds with sugary baked goods (There’s an app for that!). But this is actually one of the first applications to use technology and social networking for a useful, efficient, marketable purpose.
Anybody who has done a food or drink run for their coworkers or friends knows how quickly it becomes a hassle. After deciding you could use a doughnut and will grab some for everybody else you shout over the cubicle walls trying to find others who also wants doughnuts. Then you have to write down orders, deal with people changing their minds, people who don’t know what is available, and people don’t know how much it will cost. Run to the store, makes sure they have what people want, order a long list in front of a line of angry customers who don’t want you taking up their time to order 20 doughnuts, and check prices so you can charge people when you get back. Then you drive back, try to figure out what’s what, decipher your chicken scratch note to figure out who ordered what and try to collect enough money you don’t end up getting shafted.
In the end people just say “fuck it” and grab a dozen doughnuts for everybody else and watch them fight it out for who gets the sprinkles, and who is stuck with glazed.
Dunkin’ Run helps to simplify the process. Not just being a digital notepad, it pings your listed co-workers so they can opt-in for an order. It also gives them a menu to choose items from, lists the output on the runner’s phone for an accurate order when they arrive at the store, and finally has the list of who got what when you get back to work.
Theoretically you could even tie this app into the corporate database so the staff know ahead of time that a large order is coming up and have it ready when the runner arrives, tie the service into the GPS and map features to direct a runner to the nearest store where the order is waiting, even list what items are out of stock and not available. All the while people who remain constantly undecided can update their orders while the runner is enroute.
It seems kind of complex just to go buy some doughnuts but the idea can be adapted for so many uses that it can make a huge difference it speeding up the efficiency of ordering and purchasing products and services. Adding web and email to a phone isn’t really a big deal, by itself at best it’s just a small mobile computer. But applications like this that make use of those services and tie them into larger online databases are where the true convergence happens.
Lets hope we see a trend of more intelligent apps like this for the iPhone and all smartphones.