Domino’s Pizza and the Engineering-Design Process

Domino is a game of skill and chance. Like a deck of cards, dominoes are rectangular tiles bearing identifying marks on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. Each domino has a unique combination of ends and is distinguished by the number of dots on each end, which are usually arranged in an inverted “S” shape (although some sets use more conventional Arabic numerals). In a positional game, each player plays a tile edge to edge against another until all exposed ends match—one’s touch one’s, two’s touch two’s, etc. The exposed ends must then form some specified total to score points. Most popularly, players win by achieving a specified point total first (usually a multiple of five).

In the early 1990s, Domino’s Pizza CEO Bob Doyle was determined to turn around the company. He focused on improving the culture, and he was adamant that managers listen to their employees. He was also adamant that Domino’s do everything in their power to improve service. This included offering new delivery options, reducing the lunch rush, and experimenting with driverless vehicles and drone delivery.

Domino’s employees responded to the changes with enthusiasm, and the company quickly turned around its fortunes. Doyle also reaffirmed Domino’s values and reinforced the importance of listening to customers. This was a key factor in the company’s success.

A well-designed system for risk analysis can be compared to a chain of dominoes. Each accident has a direct impact on the equipment and may result in a chain of accidents that extends to other units. The risk of a domino accident can be reduced by ranking each piece of equipment according to its accident probability.

Hevesh creates some mind-blowing domino installations, and she follows a version of the engineering-design process to get the job done. She starts by considering the theme or purpose of the installation. Then she brainstorms images or words that may relate to the theme. She then considers how the pieces will be arranged, and she calculates how many dominoes are needed to create the desired effect.

The process of arranging dominoes for play resembles the way an engineer designs chemical processes. The goal is to ensure that all of the safety systems will operate as designed in case of an emergency. This is accomplished by using risk-assessment tools to determine the likelihood of accidents.

A domino accident risk assessment involves a complex calculation and can be difficult to understand, especially when several factors are at play. Uncertainties in the data and model are common, so a systematic approach to handling these uncertainties is critical to successful outcome of the analysis. Bayesian network technology and Monte Carlo simulation are commonly used methodologies. These methods can reduce the time and cost of an accident risk assessment. They are also effective in evaluating the effectiveness of mitigation measures. In addition, they can help managers make more informed decisions about the safety systems of their plants.