Friday, January 21, 2011

Scale testing Jimmy John's

Jimmy John's is a sandwich chain with a shop in town.  They pride themselves on fast delivery which you are often reminded of with ads like "Subs so fast you'll freak" on local buses.  The fact is though that they deserve it, and honestly I don't know how they do it.  I order from them for lunch at work a few times per month and they ALWAYS deliver within 15 minutes.  That's a pretty remarkable feat given that they're a 10 minute drive away if they don't hit lights, etc.  So basically, they receive the order, process it and get it out the door in 5 minutes reliably.  Plus it's a retail business so they're often dealing with customers in the shop too.  Oh, and by the way I customize my sandwich so it's not just that they pre-make the subs.

Today's lunch arrived in about 13 minutes so I started wondering how many sandwich makers they hire and how many drivers they have when I had a devious thought....  In software we will do scale testing of new services (what kind of request traffic can your service handle).  I want to scale test Jimmy John's.  Get a bunch of friends together distributed around the town and place an order simultaneously and watch what happens to the delivery speed.  Are they strategic about delivering orders?  Do they have back-up drivers they can call on in a pinch?  Are they able to drop all things and have the sandwich makes do deliveries?  They've either got some tricks up their sleeve or they've become pretty masterful at managing demand.

No comments:

Post a Comment