Thursday, November 30, 2023

How technology is helping bring agility to franchise business?

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Kieran Mcleod
Kieran Mcleod
Kieran Mcleod was born and raised in Cleveland. As a journalist, Kieran has contributed to many online publications including The Street and The Inquir. In regards to academics, Kieran earned a degree in business and law from St. John's University. Kieran covers business and stories related to law here at Business News Ledger.

It’s fair to state that prior to 2020, no business was truly prepared to face a pandemic – a phenomenon documented in history books, and dramatized through science fiction movies, but never part of a business risk mitigation planning. The current pandemic quickly created a new reality for the world for the entire human population including businesses. And the businesses that took the greatest blow are the ones requiring consumers to come together in a closed vicinity – restaurant, hospitality, travel, brick and mortar retail, movie theaters, concerts and so on. And one lesson that all businesses have learnt is the need for agility in meeting the sudden changes in the business environment.

A good example is grocery business – as consumers stopped going in the store even for the essential groceries, the grocery stores had to rapidly build an online shopping combined with curbside pick-up.  Even the retail giant Walmart had to quickly respond and facilitate this for its consumers. It required integration of online shopping with curbside pick-up notification app that would trigger the appropriate staff to drop off the picked-up merchandise. Such agility helped Walmart report a healthy business result in spite of the pandemic.

On the contrary, businesses that were not able to respond quickly have seen a significant drop in their revenues, and in many cases went out of business. Ability to monitor their performance in real-time in each of the areas of business and respond quickly is a key requirement for agility. Tracking their operational metrics and key performance indicators KPIs, and responding to the changes is key for surviving and thriving in today’s business environment.

technology is helping bring agility to franchise business

Franchise businesses

Franchise business model is dominant in the business to consumer segment, whether it’s the quick service restaurants like the fast-food giant McDonald’s or the nearby pizza place, or whether it’s the place for auto service and repair, or even the senior care facility down the road.

A big challenge for the franchises, especially those that are not huge with a sophisticated tech infrastructure built of their own, that they need a business intelligence platform to connect all of their franchisees and their locations with the operational intelligence in real-time. Whether it’s about the top selling benchmarks, price impact, labor costs, marketing factors, financial KPIs or compliance gaps.

Benefits of a scorecard solution

Scorecards, as the word suggests, help tell the performance on a quantitative scale. Franchise Scorecards comes with a sophisticated backend that includes a powerful visualization platform. The scorecards tell the performance of each location in an interactive and intuitive way. Franchise businesses can expect to start seeing live business insights emerge almost immediately after they implement Franchise Scorecards. “A-ha moments” start to emerge almost immediately. They start to see what they didn’t know. This will have a direct and immediate impact on their business decisions, and start having a strong return on investment ROI.

Franchise scorecards

Franchise Scorecards is a business intelligence solution in a box for franchises. It is an operational performance booster for franchise businesses, whether it is for franchisors or multi-unit franchisees. They can monitor the data from the various systems, point-of-sale, customer loyalty, payroll, HR and bookkeeping systems and see the big picture. This also helps them get better utilization from the investments they have made in getting the various software systems, and put a business intelligence system on top of them all. It is a force multiplier for the franchisors and franchisees to benefit from the big data being generated from various facets of their business. Big data has become a buzz word but often smaller sized franchisors have not been able to take advantage of the emerging trends in big data. Franchise Scorecards makes it affordable for them to leverage big data technologies.

Background on Franchise Scorecards

Franchise Scorecards has been launched in the Spring of 2021 after almost 18 months of research and development. This will be a game changer for any franchisor that is trying to have near real-time insights into all of its franchise locations. Also, the franchisee dashboards will be indispensable for franchisees to guide them with real-time feedback of what is happening within the business. Most importantly, it will give them the much-needed benchmark in all areas of operations – sales, marketing, finance and compliance. Knowing how other franchisee locations are performing and their relative scorecard against others will be an essential guidepost for every franchisee.

Franchise Reporting and dashboards in real-time are indispensable for any franchise that wants to grow rapidly and stay agile to the rapid changes such as what the pandemic brought on to us. When infection rates change dramatically in weeks and shutdown orders get implemented just as quickly, or social distancing norms change, the speed of response makes the difference between surviving and thriving.

Franchise Scorecards includes real-time alerts and franchisee coaching alerts on how to respond in various situations. This addresses a major challenge of ongoing franchisee coaching by the franchisors.


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