The Role of Technology in Franchise Operations
How Technology Can Be Used to Streamline and Optimize Franchise Operations
It’s no secret that technology is constantly evolving, with new technological advancements continuing to revolutionize the way we live, work, and even run a franchise business every single day. From inventory management to human resources, analytics, and reporting, technology plays a vital role in the success of businesses across all industries, and franchises are no exception.
In this article, we have outlined some of the best examples of how technology can be used to improve efficiency, customer satisfaction, and so much more when running a franchise business.
Keep reading to find out how you can implement these recommendations into the day-to-day operations of your franchise business.
Use Inventory Management Software
Inventory management software is one of the most important technological tools for franchises and should be utilized by all retail-based franchisees.
Inventory management tools help streamline and optimize the management of inventory across several different franchise locations. They also enable franchisees to seamlessly track, control, and oversee inventory levels, stock movements, and purchasing processes, all from one single platform. Without this type of tool, staff would have to manually count units and monitor scheduled deliveries and order fulfilment, leaving the door open for errors and inefficiencies.
Data Analytics and Reporting
Data analytic tools and reporting systems are invaluable business resources. They help franchisees analyze sales data, customer feedback, and other relevant metrics so they can gain crucial insights into performance, market trends, and customer behaviour.
These insights are so crucial for businesses because they give franchisees the power to make important data-driven decisions, identify areas for improvement, optimize their operations, and improve profitability.
Boost Customer Engagement Through Social Media
Social media is one of the best tools for business owners to connect with their customers outside of their brick-and-mortar business. It enables you to reach new customers, share information about your business, like hours of operation and pricing, and engage with customers on a whole new level.
To further drive home the importance of using social media as a franchise business, here are a few stats to consider:
- Two in five consumers regularly engage with brands on social media
- 78% of consumers are more willing to buy from companies they have positive experiences with on social media
- 55% of consumers discover new businesses on social media
Some of the best ways to engage with your customers on social media are to set up business profiles across multiple platforms, post content at least every week, and respond to comments.
Here are some examples of types of content you can share:
- Exclusive promotions to followers
- Posts highlighting your staff
- Fun, behind-the-scenes posts
As a part of your Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy, also be sure to take advantage of tools that will help you streamline your marketing efforts, schedule posts, track engagement, and measure campaign performance.
Implement Automation Tools to Improve Efficiency
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a type of software that uses bots to carry out repetitive, time-consuming, mundane processes that would traditionally be performed by humans.
In a franchise business, it is an incredible tool that can be used to automate and streamline so many different types of processes, including:
- Order processing
- Data entry
- Inventory management
- Franchisee onboarding
- Data analytics
- Accounts Payable and Receivable
- Customer support via chatbot
This means franchisees can redirect staff away from these tasks so they can focus on more important things. This helps to improve overall efficiency and productivity and reduce errors.
Improve Customer Experience With Online Ordering and Delivery
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s absolutely essential for businesses to embrace smartphone applications and/or online systems that enable customers to place online orders, request delivery, or make reservations.
Using this type of platform not only enhances the overall customer experience but also helps to streamline operations for your franchise by reducing errors in order management and optimizing delivery logistics – it’s a win-win!
Install Integrated Point of Sale (POS) Systems
An integrated POS system can be implemented across several franchise locations to help franchisees:
- Streamline sales
- Track inventory in real-time
- Access sales data and performance metrics
- And more
Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
CRM systems are a great way for franchisees to manage customer interactions, improve customer service, and improve customer retention. CRM software can also be used to track customer data, preferences, and purchase history. This enables franchisees to personalize marketing efforts, loyalty programs, and promotions, enhancing the overall customer experience.
Access Virtual Training and Support from the Franchisor
While in-person training and franchise support from a franchisor will always be preferred, having access to virtual communication and training tools is also vital so that these resources can be accessed at any time.
Platforms such as intranets, online portals, or communication apps provide franchisees and franchisors with a place to come together to communicate in real-time and share:
- Operational guidelines
- Marketing materials
- Training resources
- New product offerings or services
- And more
Streamline HR Functions
For franchises without a dedicated human resources professional, approving time off requests and managing employees can be a major headache. With an online HR platform in place, you can easily manage the following HR tasks:
- Review, approve, and submit time off requests
- Post information regarding benefits and rules regarding employee conduct
- Manage payroll
- Schedule meetings
- Post employees’ schedules
- And more
Looking to start a franchise but haven’t yet found the right franchisor to partner with? Consider investing with Gorilla Bins.
Gorilla Bins is Ontario’s leading waste management franchisor with several locations across the Greater Toronto Area.
Gorilla Bins offers its franchisees lots of training and support to help them be successful. We also have a track record of producing successful franchisees and have tripled our revenue over the past five years.
Get in touch with our team today to learn more about Gorilla Bins and how we can help set your franchise up for success.