As a franchisor, one of your most important priorities is to ensure that your franchisees are happy and generating lots of revenue. As a franchisee, you agree of course–but it can sometimes feel like you’re not getting the support need to make this a reality. It can be a struggle to balance both of your needs, but one way to do it is to tap the right software platform. Let’s dig in.
Building the Bridges Between Both Parties
The right franchise software platform can not only manage every site location more effectively, but it can help grow every business location at max capacity. It provides a centralized system for managing all the aspects of a franchise business but also serve the key needs of both teams.
For “Zors”, the right platform provides the tools for monitoring franchisee performance, one global centralized customer database, and a consistent standardized product catalogue across locations, provides training and support, and ensures consistency in brand messaging and operations across all locations.
For “Zees”, it’s about access–to resources such as marketing materials, inventory management tools, and operational procedures. It can also offer a streamlined approach to tasks such as payroll, invoicing, and scheduling, freeing up time to focus on other areas of the business.
Today’s Franchise Platforms Are More Powerful Than Ever
Beyond the usual check boxes above, we at All Point Retail are seeing some bonus features that your current software platform may not be able to support. Here’s the shortlist of features to screen for.
Does the software platform meet the needs of the franchisor while giving the insight and flexibility to the franchisees to grow and expand? It’s essential for the “Zors” to have control of a standardized mix of products in the catalogue, a global customer database to facilitate customer experience, and accurate, real time sales data across the entire network. The challenges that are often encountered happen because all the “Zees” need features and the flexibility to update administrative and operational features to run their location or group of locations without having to contact corporate. Finally, and most important for both Zors and Zees (and where almost all software platforms fail in the franchising space), is that Zors need the ability to ‘see globally’, but the platform must also be able to restrict access so that the Zees can only see their set of stores–and no one else’s. Critical. We’ve solved this for a few platforms.
Another critical factor to consider is scalability. Can the software platform work for five locations as effectively as it can for 500? The right one can grow with your organization and accommodate the needs of every type of Zor. This includes multi-unit operators, warehouses, differing ERP/accounting systems, and web Ecomm strategies. Trust us, considering the financial and functional impact it will have on your organization from the get go will pay off in the long run. The front end may look sexy on many platforms, but the magic is hidden in the capability and scalability in the back end. Read that again.
The next thing to consider is the program. How can technology be packaged into your Franchise Development System (FDS)? This includes hardware, software, implementation, support, and integrations. You need to choose a platform that offers comprehensive support and training to your franchisees. This ensures that they can effectively use the platform and maximize its benefits. They can only take advantage of what they’re comfortable using, and when it comes to Zees, time is their most precious asset. Make it easy for them!
Functionality is another crucial factor to consider when selecting a software platform for your franchise network. You need to ensure that the platform can serve the core tenets needed for your brand and operations. This includes inventory management, sales tracking, reporting, and marketing automation. Most important is to look at the strengths of the back end office systems AND the platform’s ability to easily integrate from all data points with outside platforms such as ecommerce, ERP, WMS, loyalty and marketing.
Lastly, you need to consider the support network for the software platform. Does the platform offer back-of-house support for the Zor and every ownership group within the Zees? Is there a service provider for level 1 and 2 support, software or escalations to the franchisor? Is the support network centralized, de-centralized, or franchisees left on their own? You need to select one that offers comprehensive support to your Zees and if they don’t, choose a resource like ours that can make it happen proactively versus reactively.
Choosing the right software platform can be a game changer for your franchise network
Overall, the right software platform can improve efficiency, communication, and profitability for both franchisers and franchisees, leading to a more successful and sustainable franchise business model. It can help make your franchisees happier, use the intelligence to generate more revenue or save on process and expense–and most importantly, give them the tools to grow and scale. This is the ultimate win-win for everyone!
Overwhelmed with the choices?
We are a solutions-neutral retail technology resource and happy to carve out 30 minutes to talk to you about your options. Contact us here!