If you are a franchisor and planning to accelerate franchise growth this year, a digital franchise management system, also referred to as franchise digital solutions, can help you systematically onboard and maintain franchise operations quality efficiently.
COVID-19 has inspired innovative franchisors to accelerate the implementation of franchise digital solutions to overcome challenges in the business environment to remain competitive and maintain franchise growth.
Franchisors today grow their business by focusing on the key foundations of operational efficiency to meet changing customer expectations, reduce product and service costs, optimise supply chain management, and improve product and service quality.
Franchisors looking to scale their operations should focus on improving franchise operations management as it is a key lever for franchise growth. Traditionally, franchise operations were implemented manually by team members from the franchise headquarters. However, in the current age of technology-driven businesses, franchisors can leverage franchise digital solutions to help manage and scale operations more efficiently.
What are Franchise Digital Solutions?
Franchise digital solutions, such as a digital franchise management solution, refer to IT solutions, software, apps, or online platforms that transform legacy business processes of a franchisor and franchisees. They are designed to tackle problems in simple, efficient, innovative, and scalable ways using digital technology. Franchise digital solutions can include lead generation, shared knowledge management systems, process management platforms and intranets among other tools.
Franchise owners can leverage digital solutions to execute their franchise management and know-how. Although piecemeal technology is available to handle the various business needs, it is now possible to have access to a complete digital franchise management system that encompasses all the important franchise management aspects like the standard operations protocols (SOPs), training and assessment programs, Audit System, and franchisee related workflows.
In this article, we will explore the multiple benefits of investing in franchise digital solutions to improve the management and scalability of your franchise operations.
Leveraging Franchise Digital Solutions Help Improve Efficiency and Consistency in Your Franchise System
Whilst many franchisees are provided with an SOP and some training, there are often gaps in the transfer of knowledge in terms of completeness. This often arises because the documentation and execution of the training are either incomplete or requires too much too manual effort to execute.
Real-Time Information on Qualitative Aspects of Franchise Operations
Franchisors who have implemented franchise digital solutions embarked on the digital business transformation journey have been able to access real-time information on how their franchise network is performing. This helps franchise owners make real-time decisions to provide help to their franchisees.
One example is the use of a digital SOP that is stored on a common online server. This SOP can be updated and accessed by all authorised parties in real-time from anywhere in the world, as long as the party is connected to the platform via the Internet.
In turbulent times of external threats like COVID-19, a digital SOP allows franchisors to quickly respond to the threats and seamlessly update franchisees on the changes and coping mechanisms through their SOP.
Being able to anticipate the potential issues that can arise due to customer service failure or non-compliance in safety or health checks on time can also help the franchisor and franchisee correct issues before they happen.
Reduce Costly and Labour-Intensive Workflow and Audit Implementation
A franchise digital solution that allows clear task management streamlines workflows and simplifies processes can save time and reduce human error. A digital solution can eliminate the need for labour-intensive checklists, licensing compliance and food safety tasks, in addition to eliminating the uncertainty of manual methods. That improves the quality of outlet operations and ensures consistency across the franchise network.
Every franchisor knows that the sustainability of their franchise system depends on consistent quality implementation and compliance by the franchisee. That means regular self-checks and audits need to be implemented to keep track of performance. However, the amount of commitment involved in executing these checks can be prohibitive.
Franchisors can now leverage a digital solution that digitises their audits, sets performance benchmarks, and produce reports. For example, with a digital audit solution, franchisors need only focus on executing the scheduled franchises instead of pouring man-hours into disseminating the results and then compiling them into a report, all of which is usually is with a substantial lag in delivery.
Streamline Training Across the Organisation
Well-implemented training programs are critical in the transfer of knowledge from the franchisor to the franchisee. Traditionally, training was executed completely in-person, classroom style and face to face, to ensure effective training. This meant a heavy reliance on on-site trainers, availability of training venues, and scheduled training sessions.
Training can be repetitive and can be just as effectively conveyed via other channels such as videos, pdfs, documents, and when necessary, combined with face-to-face sessions. Modern-day training management systems can serve as a repository of training and facilitate trainers to assign training to specific persons with specific roles, along with relevant assessment methods.
Through digital training solutions, franchise training can be executed through a hybrid method where training can be a combination of virtual and face to face training. This can help the franchisor execute more training, save in terms of trainer and venue rental costs, and offer flexibility to the franchisees in terms of when they consume the training. More importantly, franchisees performance can be tracked across business units and individuals.
“A key goal of our technology modernization initiative is to provide the best franchise digital solutions available throughout all our locations to maximize customer satisfaction and maintain our commitment to provide safe, healthy food to all communities.”
Franchise Digital Solutions Can Attract New Franchisees
With the right franchise digital solutions to support the franchise operations, franchise managers and team members will be able to focus on prospective franchisees instead of focusing on managing compliance reports for management.
When a franchisor brings all the different franchise digital solutions onto one single franchise management system or platform, all the data can be presented as one holistic solution.
Franchise management will be able to receive prompt organization performance of both corporate and franchisee performance reports on one single dashboard. Additionally, the franchisor can save even more on technology subscriptions when all the data from SOP use, training and assessment, audit and workflow management can be presented on one single dashboard.
Today, franchisors even have the option to bring the sales and other financial data to be presented right alongside the franchisee’s quality operations performance data.
Whether a franchisor uses one or many digital business solutions, the benefit of leveraging technology is clear. Franchise digital solutions can help franchisors save a lot on implementation and reporting time, reduce redundancy, reduce human error, and offer franchisors useful data to take pre-emptive action whenever necessary. Most importantly, having access to valuable performance data allows franchisors to improve their engagement with franchisees.
When a franchisor has access to real-time information across key functions of each franchisee and their business units, across territories, the franchisor can respond faster to franchisees’ needs rather than react to complaints. This allows the franchisor to build engaging relationships instead of constantly firefighting. This proactive management approach will firmly put the franchisor in a position of leadership that will inspire and motivate franchisees towards success.
Effectively managing the various key drivers of the franchise business is key to building strong and sustainable franchisee relationships and overall franchise growth.