Navigating the Complex World of Franchisee Back Office Implementations
An integrated back office is vital, but the challenges are complex: Franchisees come in all shapes and sizes. There are those with under 5 locations, over 25 locations, perhaps even hundreds of locations of different concepts in their portfolio. At the same time, they all have different levels of technology sophistication, and different levels of operational / financial sophistication, as well. They may be geographically dispersed, too.
So, How do you approach a BOH technology implementation with franchisees? First, remember:
- Franchisees come in all shapes and sizes
- Regulatory environment is onerous
- Competition is unforgiving
Responsibilities of the Franchisor are clear:
- It’s Your Brand. Grow it. Protect it.
- Deliver value to your shareholders
- Create value for your Franchise community
What to do:
- Create a program that includes a playbook on what your franchisees need to do to be successful
- Provide a platform that learns from the common experiences of the community
Hit a Moving Target:
You have got to get smarter and learn from the challenges of regulation, competition, and other changes to the economic environment.
How do you achieve the proper balance between Central Control and Local Autonomy?
Simplicity is the Key:
- Ideally you should just sign them up, turn them on, and everything just works.
- Your Back Office should be tightly integrated with your tech ecosystem.
- Reporting and analysis would provide a single version of the truth.
- Information would be available on demand, anywhere, and on any device.
These are not aspirational goals. This is possible, but it requires a great deal of planning, discipline, and hard work.
Remember, there is no right or wrong.
Central Control vs. Local Autonomy:
- Turn it on and everything just works
Go Central, Go Local, or Both?!
Here’s what a quality integrated BOH system will give you…
|Products / Categories||Statutory Labor Rules|
|Reporting Hierarchies||Vendor Bids / Who can you buy from and at what price|
|Users / User Group Access||Chart of Accounts|
|Exports to Accounting / Payroll||Posting Calendar / Payroll Cycle|
|Business Rules||Location Profile|
|Vendors / Markets||Staffing Standards|
- Segregated tables in the DB schema to isolate franchisee data from corporate data.
- All user access is centrally defined and auditable.
- Leverage Enterprise setup across the franchise community. Data gets entered once and data flows where it needs to flow.
- Tight Integration with your Tech Ecosystem
- POS (Local/Cloud and Frequency)
- Accounting (Common GL Structure)
- Payroll / HR / On Boarding
- Core Setup / Vendors Integration
- Employee Portal, Food Safety, BI, etc.
- Single Version of the Truth
- Definitions must be consistent with a repository of flash reports, KPIs, and ad hoc reports.
- Product standards must be accessible, consistent and enforceable.
- Operating processes should be enforceable and auditable through your BOH platform.
- Reinforcing the Standards
COGS is COGS is COGS and must be calculated the same way at all locations and the same in all reports. Historical Data? How Frequent?
Standards (recipes, products, labor templates, etc.) should be set up once and accessible as needed.
User Experience common across the enterprise. Everything accessible from a single screen!
E-learning (reinforce, reinforce, reinforce!)
- On Demand, Anywhere on Any Device
- Browser and Device Agnostic
- No footprint in the restaurant
- Native apps with seamless integration available across platforms
No one has time to sit in their back office.
SIMPLIFY THE STACK. You cannot responsible for the PCs and External devices across 10, 100’s, 1000’s of locations/users.
The bottom line:
Your back office platform should simplify your ecosystem and enable you to protect your brand!