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For an emerging franchisor, numerous questions pop up for implementing effective engagement strategies when working with franchisees. Questions such as what is the optimal frequency of visits? How do you achieve brand consistency between field visits? What should my field consultants be focusing on during a visit? How do I measure the impact of a field visit? The answer to all these questions requires a “franchise aware” solution. This is where FranConnect, the leading franchise management software provider, is ushering in sweeping change. In an interview with CIO Applications, Keith Gerson, President of Franchise Operations and CMO at FranConnect, discusses the impact his company and its one-stop shop solution for the complete franchise lifecycle is having on franchisee engagement.
The Solution of Choice for Franchisors
FranConnect was recently ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine as 2018’s #1 franchise online management solution. It is purpose-built for the franchise management ecosystem and has over 700 brands and 140,000 franchise locations benefiting from its solutions. Our core value proposition is optimizing franchisee performance and engagement. FranConnect has a reputation for enabling the critical processes required to scale a franchise system across the “lifecycle” of growth, from awarding more franchise locations to growing unit revenue and performance.
Our customers have grown at a rate of 44 percent faster and their revenues increase as our solution identifies performance gaps and triggers automated follow-up and recommendations on how to improve performance. Another factor is that our Field Operations solution offers dashboards that enable franchisees to see how they are performing comparatively to their peers across the network. Founded by Amit Pamecha in 2000, the FranConnect platform that was originally built to provide custom franchise solutions has evolved, and now delivers out-of-the-box tailored solutions appropriate for clients’ unique needs. However, after the advent of cloud-based technologies, we transitioned from a customized single-tenant solution to a multi-tenant SaaS-based model of our product—FranConnect Sky, to create more value for our customers. This has allowed us to continue our ongoing enhancements and releases that would further benefit franchisors as we continue to evolve the latest best practices into our solutions.
Franchisee Performance Optimization
In franchising, the primary goal and responsibility of a franchisor is to ensure that every unit is running successfully. To reach this goal, we have to effectively manage the conversations between the franchisor and the franchisee in a way that fosters collaboration between them. By combining the franchise best practices to drive operational excellence, we extract actionable insights from performance reviews and assessments to enable franchisors to make data-driven decisions and fast track unit growth.
Our system was built for franchisors, by franchisors where we are able to address the specific challenges and issues that each industry has or will face
This also helps franchisors identify systemic trends and create programs to address areas for performance improvements. FranConnect Sky is designed to increase franchisee engagement by empowering them to self-assess. Field Ops builds accountability and keeps people focused on achieving their business goals. And we do all this in a more cost-effective way.
FranConnect’s system helps franchisors to create performance plan templates for franchisees to be able to build and improve. It allows the franchise business owners to leverage measurable performance for giving recognition to those performing at the highest levels. Due to the demanding business day-to-day schedule of the franchisees, they don’t have time to delve deep into technology systems and look for data. Our field operations solutions help to identify areas for improvement and notify the field consultants for effectively coaching the franchisees of the gaps in performance or standards for them to take action.
Additional capabilities that we offer include a centralized, integrated system where there is a franchise sales CRM, technology to help with onboarding of new franchisees, and information management where all communications, history and contracts are in one centralized location. There is also a learning management system to train resources, which improves the performance of employees, a communications hub, and marketing technologies. And our Insights business intelligence module allows for reports and cross tabulation across all of our modules with easy to read charts and reports, something that is more challenging when businesses use a myriad of single-point solution providers.
Why Community Matters
We can’t find our success without helping our clients find their success. Creating a sense of community is one of our biggest differentiators. As an organization, we are exclusively purpose-built for franchising, and that provides us with a significant edge over our competitors. We feel it is our responsibility to take the knowledge we’ve acquired from our 18 years of franchising into our technology and to make it widely available. For example, we have been putting on an educational and networking event called “FranConnection” where we have over 50 franchisor speakers and professional FranConnect trainers sharing the best practices of how they are using our technology to grow their franchise systems and to create networking opportunities where franchisors openly share and learn from one another. This is in addition to the webinars, ebooks, presentations, videos and other means of bringing further value to the franchise community through our franchise expertise. We believe that by bringing franchisors together for the purpose of continuous learning, everyone wins.
A nascent company called Mosquito Joe utilized the FranConnect system to automate their business processes and to ensure that they built a scalable and stable foundation to grow upon. They had two locations then and with the help of FranConnect, grew to over 286 franchise locations. Their dramatic success over a short 8 year period allowed them to recently be acquired by the Dwyer Group. Another company called Orangetheory Fitness came to us with 34 locations, and today they have used FranConnect’s technology and expanded to 862 US franchises and 115 outside the country.
Market Leadership and Innovation
We are creating a next-generation franchise operation and field service system that is going to help clients to optimize their operations. We believe that only FranConnect can build this product since it leverages our technology and thought leadership in the franchise industry over the last 18 years. Our customers are facing an unprecedented onslaught of new competitive challenges and disruption and they count on us to help them stay ahead. To that end, look for even greater capabilities for process management, franchisee performance planning, and goal management. In addition, smart segmentation, and performance plan reviews will create greater engagement and actionable insights that we will build into an enhanced operations solution that will be introduced in the first half of 2019.