Adoption of the franchise model has grown rapidly over the last 20 years. Well over 750,000 business locations have opened as a franchise operation. More than 4,500 registered franchises exist across the country, with over eight million people working in a franchise.
While demand for franchises has increased, the tools to manage multiple business locations have unfortunately lagged behind. There is no centralized resource for managing resources, so managers have their work cut out to avoid inefficient management practices. Here are just a few of the results from our 2 year research study.
1. Managing operations with email. Some managers heavily rely on email as their main communication tool for managing remote locations. Email is good for general dialogue, but it is not an effective solution for managing customer service, sales, repairs, maintenance and other business tasks. Managing all this through email will waste a lot of time searching for the right email threads and topics.
2. Continuous follow-ups. Managers have to often get updates repeatedly from remote locations, to resolve different issues. Keeping track of all the previous communications is a big hassle and slows down the entire process.
3. Finding the right information. The inability to quickly search for and locate information and documents, means efficiency is greatly reduced in an organization.
4. Lack of inspections. With multiple locations, some places are left with little or no direct inspections from the manager. This results in operational failings and quality control issues. An out of touch manager won’t have enough knowledge about the level of service and this will quickly affect sales.
5. Inability to keep everyone in the loop. Making sure every employee is updated and on the same page is a difficult task. With no efficient system, managers are forced to use a combination of email, phone and fax. Though emails can easily be missed, faxes thrown away and phones call left unanswered.
6. Redundant conversations. A centralized system is required for managing and publishing information. Without this kind of setup, valuable time will be wasted repeating the same common questions and answers.
7. off-topic conversations. Communicating directly to remote locations can become inefficient when too much time is spent talking about non-work issues. Chatting about unrelated topics wastes precious time in an organization.
8. Transferring Knowledge. When new managers and staff are hired, efficiency and productivity drops because of difficulties in getting the right information. Inefficient knowledge transfer leads to brain drain in the organization, while everyone tries to catch up. This costs a lot of time and money.
9. Weak team building.
Without supervision staff members, a trusting relationship is not built between managers and staff. Expectations are not clearly set and the whole team suffers as a result. Conference calls can only do so much in getting your point across without lots of follow-up calls. While centralized gatherings are usually too costly.
10. Lack of follow-up training.
The training procedure for new employees is very costly and ineffective in many companies. A corporate trainer has travel to each location at a great cost, and even worse the impact of the training is reduced due to no follow-ups.
These were some of the main issues that crop up when managing multiple locations. All these points serve to show that an online, scaleable and centralized solution is required to minimize lost productivity in a company.
To see the full report, please click here.
Article by Jason Duncan, CEO/Founder of ManagerComplete.com. ManagerComplete is an online software application that helps multi-unit franchises manage operations effectively. Follow him on Twitter for latest updates.