franchising aspects May, 03 2010

Upgrading franchise business with advanced technology

Technological advancement has uplifted the Indian trade and commerce industry from an unorganised to an organised status. The use of advance technology has aided the growth of Indian franchising industry. Find out the impact of advance technology in fran

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Upgrading franchise business with advanced technology

The use of advance technology in franchising offers huge benefits. From managing franchisees to maintaining franchise relationship, technological advancement renders all sorts of assistance. Few decades ago, assisting franchisees and aiding help to the franchisees was a difficult task as the franchisor and franchisees used to be located at different places. Regular communication was considered difficult. Nevertheless, with the use of internet and other scientific tools in franchising, administering, and retaining a franchise business is just a click away.

Technological up gradation in franchising

In the recent years, technological up gradation has added to the benefits of franchisors and franchisees. A brief review about a few of them has been given below:

Internet and web world: In today’s era, more and more people are becoming internet savvy.  Moreover, internet is becoming the most adequate way of spreading awareness about franchising to the aspiring entrepreneurs. Besides, it is the best and easiest way for franchisors to recruit franchisees and vice-versa. It also offers lucrative franchise opportunities to prospective franchisees.  In addition, internet helps franchisors and franchisees to be in continuous contact with each other.

Advanced e-mail and management software: Use of internet facilitates franchisors and franchisees to avail advanced e-mail and customer relations management (CRM) software for promotional campaigns and special offers. They can send their customers reminders about scheduled service times and dates. This saves time in making tedious phone calls and also cuts down the cost of printing and mailing.

Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP): It is a general term for items of transmission technologies for voice communications over IP networks such as the internet. This system allows franchisees/ franchise managers/ personnel to listen live on a sales call. They can then provide information and suggestions to the salesperson that only he can hear. With the help of VOIP, a number of issues can be resolved and alternative solutions can be provided for problems faced by the franchisee in his outlet.

Digital video surveillance systemsThe wave of the future in video surveillance is in digital video surveillance systems. These are the ideal security solution for franchised outlets as in a few cases the franchisee may not be able to spend all his time in his outlet. Everything is recorded and stored digitally so that the franchisee can view the customers visiting the outlet, employees working hours, and flow of cash etc, at his own suitable time. The franchised outlets of apparel, footwear etc, brands are more susceptible to theft and other crimes than other outlets. A well-installed video surveillance system can help keep the customers, employees and building safe. These cameras are fast and sophisticated and are also used to monitor employees for not only misbehaviour and theft, but also to gauge their customer service skills.

Global positioning system (GPS): GPS is a space based global navigation satellite system that transmits precise signals, allowing GPS receivers to calculate and display accurate location, speed, and time information. This technology has been a blessing to franchise businesses which require delivering items to the customers. It allows franchisees travelling to different locations for customer service to minimise the distance, reducing fuel, and maintenance costs. These concepts, primarily in the service sector, include deliveries (flowers, food, and other supplies), computer repair, home healthcare etc.

Computer based training (CBT): The process of franchising requires intensive training and support to the franchisees by the franchisors. Therefore, the CBT technology is the perfect way of providing training at reduced rates of travelling while ensuring the quality. These classes, whether online or on DVDs, guarantee that franchisees, their managers and employees stay up-to-date on training, techniques, promotions, operations, news, and other developments related to the growth of the business. Webinars, a specific type of web conference has also gained importance with more and more franchisors and franchisees adopting the technique.

The main motto of all franchisees as well as franchisors is to save money but expand their business. These technological developments undoubtedly are the best possible way to lessen expenditure and to increase the profitability of a franchised store. Installing such technology requires huge investment, but at the same time, it offers abundant benefits to the franchising business. To conclude it can be aptly said that use of advance technology and franchise expansion can go hand-in-hand!

Related: Securing Success in Refranchising

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