Groenewout helps Domino's Pizza with realisation of new head office

29 January 2021 6 min. read

In order to support its continued growth, Domino’s Pizza recently moved into a brand-new distribution and production centre in Nieuwegein, the Netherlands. Once again, the world’s biggest quick service restaurant chain enlisted the help and expertise of logistics consultancy firm Groenewout for the design and realisation of the new facility.

“Our existing distribution and production centre in Gorinchem had simply become too small,” explains André ten Wolde. However, Domino’s couldn’t expand the 2,500m2 building, so as the company grew it had to rent additional space at a number of external facilities. “We managed to keep the operation running thanks to a heavy dose of creativity and inventiveness. But in hindsight we should have moved out two or three years earlier,” says the CEO.

In the summer of 2020, Domino’s finally moved into its new premises. At approximately 12,000m2, the newly constructed facility in Nieuwegein – the firm’s European headquarters – is almost five times the size of the previous building.

André ten Wolde, CEO Europe at Domino’s Pizza Enterprises

Fast growth

Founded in 1960, Domino’s enjoyed has over the past five decades become the world’s biggest and fastest growing quick service restaurant chain. It currently has around 17,000 stores worldwide and that number increases by about 10% every year. Approximately 2,700 Domino’s stores are based in Europe, more than 400 of which are in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. “And that’s not even a quarter of our potential,” states Ten Wolde. 

According to him, the chain’s success is largely due to the company’s ‘fresh food fast’ approach: fresh dough and fresh ingredients in combination with fast delivery. In addition, Domino’s focuses on optimal control, both inside and outside the stores. “We want to keep the entire chain transparent and manageable. That was getting increasingly difficult in our old building. The new facility enables us to continue to grow and to supply all our stores in line with our high standards,” he adds.

External expertise

At the end of 2018, Domino’s enlisted Groenewout to help it develop and design the new distribution and production centre. “We are pizza experts. We don’t know much about the construction and layout of a logistics facility. After all, it’s not part of our daily work. And, a project of this magnitude and complexity requires full and undivided attention in order to get the most out of it,” says Ten Wolde. 

Ten years ago, Groenewout supported Domino’s with the realisation of its logistics centre in Gorinchem. Ten Wolde: “That was a very positive experience, so we approached them again this time around. We of course contacted other potential consulting firms as well, but we were once again convinced that Groenewout would be the best choice for us.”

He adds: “The production of dough is quite specialised and complex; it is a fresh product that has to be made in a controlled environment. That calls for the right expertise. At Groenewout they have all the knowledge and experience we were looking for. They understand the market and our company, plus they are pleasant to work with. So it really wasn’t a difficult choice.”

Minimising the burden

One of the things Groenewout did was a logistics study into the optimal layout of the new distribution and production centre. The consultants also performed a feasibility study and supervised the tender process. In addition, Groenewout took care of the project management and oversaw the work of the various third-party companies involved in the construction process.

Distribution center - Domino's Pizza

“And there were a lot of them,” says Ten Wolde. “From crate suppliers and the conveyor installation company to suppliers of the refrigeration system, the crate washing system and the dough production machines. Every link in the chain counts, and good coordination and collaboration are essential. Groenewout supervised the entire process perfectly. They minimised the burden on us.”

The Domino’s project team met up once every two weeks in order to discuss any changes in the customer’s requirements and to make the necessary decisions quickly. “This meant that we could continue to focus on our core business and keep all our stores running smoothly, even during the construction period and the subsequent move,” adds Ten Wolde.

Performance improvements

The new facility in Nieuwegein produces fresh dough daily for the 400-plus Domino’s stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, and replenishes them with fresh ingredients and other supplies too. “We’ve made a conscious strategic decision to manage the entire supply chain ourselves, partly because dough is a pretty critical product,” says Ten Wolde. 

“We can only live up to the high standards we set ourselves by controlling and managing the whole chain. That includes running our own fleet for store replenishment and employing our own people for home deliveries.” 

Compared with the existing building, the new production and distribution centre has more loading docks, offers significantly more storage space and, above all, is designed for growth. Single production lines have been installed initially, for instance, but the design accounts for a doubling of the capacity. 

The move to Nieuwegein has also facilitated optimisation improvements and further increases in the process efficiency. In close consultation and partnership with Groenewout, several process steps have been automated or robotised. “For example, we’re now using robots to transfer the dough balls into crates. The robots carry out their tasks faultlessly, with maximum efficiency and no interruptions. They are very dependable and hard-working,” says Ten Wolde. 

Sustainable and responsible

In addition, the project paid extra attention to sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), both in the construction of the new building and in the logistics set-up. Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the distribution centre, and the company expects to achieve substantial water and energy savings in its production processes. 

“The heat generated by our refrigeration system is now reused to heat the offices and for our crate washing system, for example, and the washing process itself consumes significantly less water. So we’ve really optimised our sustainability footprint too,” he continues.

Thanks in part to the resolute approach to the project, the new building was delivered on schedule and within budget – despite the short preparation time, tight deadline and the coronavirus pandemic. “The Groenewout team were very flexible and once again exceeded our expectations,” concludes Ten Wolde.

Want to find out more about the new distribution and production centre? Watch the below video: