Leverage Cloud-Computing, Saas, and Better Business Processes to Drive Change in Your Industry

Clint Lee

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What is a 360-degree view, anyway?

Exploring the significance of the 360-degree customer view.

Like most companies in most industries, franchisors have plenty of moving parts and pieces in their business. For instance, there are potential franchise candidates to evaluate, real estate to analyze, franchisees to train, and franchisees to support; not to mention all of the franchise contracts, leases, and disclosure requirements to keep tabs on.  Many franchisors tout ” proven systems” as a main selling point or advantage to becoming a franchisee, however a quick look under the hood would reveal that many franchisors don’t have their own internal processes sorted out. This problem is not inherently unique to franchisors, as it’s a commonly recurring issue across most industries, but we’re going to focus on franchising here.

Potential reasons why basic internal processes are not adopted include the following:

  1. Lack of understanding of what the process should be.
  2. Lack of discipline to consistently execute.
  3. An inadequate workforce.
  4. No priority given to developing processes.
  5. Lack of tools to properly manage processes.
  6. Lack of defined KPI’s and ability to measure them.

The first four reasons listed above could each be examined in excruciating detail, but let’s focus on the last two.  Building an effective and profitable system of managing a franchise organization means that the people in the organization need access to a lot of data.  And they need it fast.  You’ve heard the saying, “don’t take a knife to a gunfight”, right?  Well, continuing to operate from Outlook and spreadsheets makes you a knife-wielding fighter (and it’s a rusty pocket-knife, at that).  With the emergence of cloud-computing technologies and sophisticated yet user-friendly CRM solutions, you can now afford that gun.

The 360° View

There’s no doubt that by the time one of your franchisees opens the doors of their business they have been through a great deal of interaction with the people in your organization.  They interacted with your sales department, they spent time with your pre-opening staff, training department, and operations team.  They were also on the admin/legal department’s radar.

A  360° view would give you the ability to look back over the course of this life-cycle and view all interactions with the franchisee from the day they first entered your sales team’s pipeline and extending forward up until the day they exit your system. Having key information available in a single view such as: how and when they entered your pipeline; all communication with the sales team; records of all signed contracts; real estate leases, site developement projects, training records, support issues and communications, unit performance history; and so forth is an invaluable tool in developing a high-performing franchise organization.

Understanding when and where the organization has touch points with prospective franchisees and existing franchisees allows the franchisor’s leadership team to develop measurable goals, objectives, and strategies for each point of contact that you have.  Once these goals are in place an organization can begin to measure, benchmark, and improve.  Continuous improvement is a core philosophical belief of The Flywheel Group, as the silver bullet doesn’t exist.  And without a system, a set of measurable KPI’s, a way to measure them, and a competent team of people to execute, well, then improvement is really just anecdotal.

Learn more about a solution that may be right for your organization:

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Clint is a Principal and Founder of The Flywheel Group, a premier provider of innovative solutions to the franchise industry. The FranchiseFlywheel™ application was developed out of the industry's need for a cutting-edge and affordable franchise management tool for franchisors. Spending several years in the franchise industry directing daily activities related to franchise and business development processes, marketing, lead-generation, and contract administration, and an understanding of the needs of peers and colleagues, led to the development of the application. The Flywheel Group is focused on improving best practices and driving change in the franchise industry by introducing industry-leading solutions and working with its clients to re-engineer business processes that will ultimately enhance revenue and improve bottom line efficiency. Clint actively writes and shares his thoughts on the Flywheel Blog.