franchising aspects Jul, 24 2009

Maintaining quality in franchise outlets

The importance of developing a system of maintaining standards of quality in each franchise outlet cannot be overstressed if you own a franchise business and dream of expanding your business nation wide

By Pallavi Majha
Chief Sub Editor
Maintaining quality in franchise outlets

A franchisor needs to maintain uniformity and standards of quality across all his franchise chains. People know the brand and expect same kind of quality, services and ambience at each franchise outlet. Supporting this view, Mr Pawan Gadia, Vice-President, Ferns N Petals, says, “It is very important for the franchisor to maintain the uniformity and standard of quality in the product as well as the ambience as each franchise outlet is like a face for the company. With the fall in quality or difference in ambience or variety in products, this may affect the image of the brand and so it is very important to maintain the standard and uniformity in all the outlets.”

Maintenance of franchisees is the highest priority for the company, it needs to be regularly monitored to ensure the highest standards in product quality, customer service, health and safety and store image are maintained. To maintain the standards of a franchised outlets franchisor should employ an Operational and Evaluation Team, which should monitors and evaluate standards across the entire franchisee network. Such team should be tasked with undertaking independent audits on every store in the network every calendar month. Surprise visits should be made.

In this context Mr Gadia highlights some essential steps to ensure standards of quality.

The interior decoration is done under the supervision of one team, there has to be one centralised place as Ferns N Petal has the handicraft department from where the product is procured by the franchisees. The cost of the entire product is maintained in all franchise outlets to give a better service to the clients. The workforce which is present in any outlet should be trained to serve the customers as per the requirement. Like in Ferns N Petals a proper training is given to the workmen before they are deputed in any outlet.”

Ensuring the quality of products and services is not just a concern for the franchisor. In fact a franchisee can also initiate certain steps for the betterment of the franchise outlet.   When asked about the kind of freedom a franchisee enjoys to make changes in running the franchise set up to relate to the people of the locality Mr Gadia informs, “We are liberal with our franchisees and give them freedom to depute their own Karigars, who can be further trained by the company to maintain uniformity. We also allow them to buy flowers from the centralised place created by the company or from the place of their own choice but the only aspect is that they have to maintain the quality of the product.”

So, this is a wake up call for all those franchisors and franchisees who have not taken any steps to maintain the standards of quality in their franchise outlets. Start thinking about it or you may be the loser.

Related: Should you franchise your business?

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