At Dunkin’ Brands, we’re big on innovation and leverage cutting edge technologies to deliver a seamless, convenient, and best-in-class restaurant experience for our guests through our Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins mobile apps and websites.
One of the teams behind our digital platforms is our Information Technology (IT) department. Our IT team members regularly work with cross-functional partners to solve new and interesting challenges and deliver against our digital goals in a highly competitive space.
A key contributor to the success of this cross-functional work is our IT Product Management team. This team utilizes its technical knowledge of our digital platforms to bring new ideas and features to life through execution and delivery.
We recently chatted (virtually over a cup of coffee, of course) with Andy, Senior Manager of Web & Mobile Applications – Product Management, to hear more about his #dunkinbrandslife experience and his role on the IT team.
Q: First, congratulations on your recent promotion to Senior Product Manager. Can you tell us a little bit about how you started with Dunkin’ Brands and what you do?
Thank you! I’ve officially been with Dunkin’ Brands for about almost two years. Prior to that, I was actually working as a contractor for Dunkin’ Brands for about two years. So, overall, I’ve been with the company for about four years.
With my recent promotion, I am broadening my focus from just the Dunkin’ app to all of our digital products, including the Baskin-Robbins app, the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins websites, and a few smaller websites for the brands.
Q: Tell us about your day-to-day. What does a day in the life of Andy look like?
Fast-paced and a lot of meetings, but it’s all fun! My day-to-day is about aligning with cross-functional partners and building a process to be as efficient as possible in delivering our technology products.
My team focuses on understanding what requirements our cross-functional partners have and what new features we want to add to our sites and apps. We ensure we clearly understand these requirements and features so we can figure out how to make them possible from a technical standpoint. From there, my team and I work on aligning all the different teams on the IT side to make sure that we can actually execute on whatever new feature or improvement we’re working on.
My team and I work very closely with Heera’s team. My work of distinguishing the new features and requirements we want to add to our digital components is the first phase of any app or site upgrades, whereas Heera and her team are part of the final step in the process.
Q: Looking back over the past few months, what is something that you’re most proud of?
For us in Tech, the last few months have been very exciting, especially for Dunkin’ mobile. Dunkin’ mobile was my main project for the last three years since I joined Dunkin’ Brands as a contractor, and it has been my focus to bring the mobile development in-house. My boss and I would constantly talk about how much we looked forward to reaching our end goal and bring our development in-house. It was very exciting to see that project through.
Q: Looking ahead a bit, what are some things that you’re really excited about in your role?
Our brands recognize the importance of digital. What we’re trying to do on the app is to further expand our analytics capabilities and better understand how our users are using the app and what they may or may not like about it.
I’m excited about all the great things to come for the app. We are making improvements and investing in key technologies that will really help us improve the overall guest experience with the mobile app.
I consider the Dunkin’ mobile app our North Star, and I’m excited to bring similar process improvements to our other products like the Baskin-Robbins app.
Q: How often does your team collaborate with other teams outside of the IT department?
My team and I work closely with the Dunkin’ Marketing team. We have plenty of chats and calls with them throughout the day to understand what the broader business initiative is. We look at competitors, start brainstorming together, and try to understand other markets. Collectively, we work to determine what people like about mobile apps, what they like about ordering, etc. At the same time for IT, we try to figure out how to make the plan work and how to solve any technical limitations.
Q: What would you tell someone who is interested in a career at Dunkin' Brands?
First, the culture at Dunkin’ Brands is amazing. Second, and a big one for me, the people you work with and meet are incredible, nice, and passionate about the brands.
I also think being able to see your work in the wild and being able to relate and talk about the work you do is amazing and very powerful. In IT, we joke about my family being “Dunkin’ testers.” I have friends and family who text me about issues they are having with the app. It’s cool that what you’re working on is seen by and relevant to friends and family.
Lastly, so many people can relate to our brands. You can see this when you walk around or drive around, especially with Dunkin’ in the Northeast. It’s a very cool feeling.
Q: What does #dunkinbrandslife mean to you?
It’s a community. For my team, we try to do things outside of work together, like happy hour (nowadays it’s a virtual happy hour). When you’re with your colleagues 40 hours a week, you start to get personal and ask them about their lives and families. The #dunkinbrandslife makes it easier for us to connect, relate, and build relationships with each other.