There are over 1,100 franchise brands in Australia, representing over 70,000 individual franchisee units, employing more than 470,000 people. That's a lot of brands, business and people working together.
What makes franchising a successful business model is, in part, the ability to take the good aspects of one store and replicate them again and again as the franchise grows. However, simply copying and pasting individual parts of a business, without considering how they're connected, leaves many franchises vulnerable to weakness, especially when it comes to technology, says LOOKUP.COM's senior franchise account manager, Ray Gonzalez.
So what are the consequences of disconnected technology, and how can managed IT solutions change this?
Different iterations of technology across multiple stores can negatively impact franchises.
Why disconnection is a constraining factor
Having different iterations of technology across multiple stores can negatively impact franchises in two areas: productivity and brand reputation.
In terms of productivity, the impact of technical failure is compounded across disconnected franchises. Whitebox systems, otherwise known as do-it-yourself, is risky business for franchisees. While personal servers, computers and other technical capacity might work for single stores, it doesn't work for franchises. If something were to go wrong that affected all stores, getting everyone up and running becomes much more difficult, requiring multiple solutions to a single problem, hurting productivity further.
Technology failures also hurt brand reputation. Three areas that are particularly vulnerable are:
- Ordering system.
- POS technology.
If each store has their own POS system, for example, it makes head office's job that much harder to ensure each is performing to an acceptable level of quality.
What can franchises do to provide a connected solution?
Having a robust, coherent IT solution across a franchise is the number one way to counter disconnected tech, says Ray. Franchises that don't have their own in-house solution might want to consider managed IT services to give them a single point of contact for all their IT, rather than chasing multiple people should something go wrong.
Franchises considering managed IT need to be asking questions such as:
- As a franchise store owner, who can I contact if my technology fails on me?
- Who is responsible for ensuring my tech stays up and running?
- How many people do I have to chase if something goes wrong?
- What are the costs of downtime to my business if technology such as POS were to go down?
Having an answer to these questions can help ensure your franchise stores are up and running as quickly as possible if something were to happen.
To find out more, get in touch today.