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Technology is still not in the comfort zone for a lot of franchise brands. A few brands do not realize that with the help of technology, franchisees can focus on growing their business, not running their business.
Franchise businesses are taking advantage more than ever from technology, including cloud computing, digital solutions like audit controls, point-of-sale systems and are doing wonders and are witnessing a great deal from it. Let's learn from the franchisors who are taking the best out of TECHNOLOGY!
Without technology, solely relying on manpower for managing overall store operations is an uphill task for almost every brand. Understanding the challenges faced by franchisors on regular basis, technology solution providers have been roped in to speed up store operations and reducing the hiccups faced by manpower. Recently, Footwear brand Woodland had selected SAP Platform for managing its stores operations. Commenting on adopting the world-class technology, Harkirat Singh, MD, Aero Club says, “To speed-up the process of delivery, cycles and customer satisfaction, we have leveraged the SAP technology internally for our daily operations and reporting technology. In our business, where we have too many sub-systems which needs to be equated and merged to derive at results, complex yet simplifying process such as SAP supports us to put together sales, ledgers, production all in line.” He further adds, “SAP helps us have centralised Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system ensuring accessible extensive information on stores as well as end-customers that is helping us identify and predict trends and requirements.”
Track your franchise sales
Believing the fact that technology solutions help in seamless store operations and franchisees can focus on growing their businesses and not just running it, Sam Chopra, Founder and Chairman, Cybiz Corp agrees that technology helps one to generate precise and detailed data that can be used at all levels. He avers, “In both of my food and beverage (f&b) businessesCybiz BrightStar Restaurants's Carl's Jr. and Cybiz SuperBrands' franchisees like BoomBox Café, Café OTB, The Embassy restaurant, The ChatterHub, The StartUp Café etc, we use cloud based servers through which we can understand and analyse store's performance, track sales (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly sales), store inventory, customer orders, billing etc.” He also believes that with technology, businesses are able to measure not just store-wise overall performance but are able to analyse store specific menu-mix, helping in all verticals like finance, marketing, supply chains etc. Therefore, starting from the sales at a Master Franchise level to sales at individual outlets, each and every bit of information can be computed, shared, analysed and provide direction to the overall business.
Improvise overall franchise performance
Advanced technology helps brands to save on operations expenditure. Harkirat Singh positively adds, “SAP technologyEnterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and CRM system helps us bridge the gaps of planning, process that might slow down the delivery process across franchisees, countries/ cities we operate in. It helps us stocking, predicting bottlenecks and improving cycles; thereby improving performances.” He also confirmed that SAP platform is already up and running across its production units, sales (stores) and other relevant departments and proving to be an excellent source of MIS for the management for a quick as well as detailed review.
Grow franchise network with the help of technology
Technology not only helps franchisors to save money but also facilitates in growing their network as well. It also helps the franchisor to manage the business from anywhere in the world. “In my real estate verticalRE/MAX, our technological platform provides a perfect blend of our FIT principles fulfillment, inventory and technology; wherein our franchisees offer real estate expertise, and our portals and mobile apps provide premium technological support to reach out to maximum potential property buyers and sellers. In addition to this, this technology also provides admin support services to all our associates, which helps them in listing their properties, searching for buyer matches, maintaining and marketing of their inventory, in referral management, listings and contact management, and finally, it is also a one-click connect into our national and global network etc.As the Master Franchisee, we can remotely access, review and monitor operations through this technology,” informs Sam Chopra.
To sum it up, brick & mortar stores must bank on new technology processes to be successful in business.
Public cloud services revenue in India is expected to reach US$ 838 million in 2015, growing by 33% year-on-year (y-o-y), as per a report by Gartner Inc. It also reported that the public cloud market alone in the country was estimated to treble to US$ 1.9 billion by 2018.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is expected to make up $650 million of that revenue, with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions making up the rest.
India is the fourth largest base for new businesses in the world and home to over 3,100 tech start-ups, is set to increase its base to 11,500 tech start-ups by 2020, as per a report by NASSCOM and Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt Ltd.