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Why universal POS technology makes all the difference in franchising

Traditionally, franchisors received self-reported metrics from franchisees, making inventory management and sales analysis an unnecessarily lengthy process. To free up valuable time and receive a more accurate understanding of overarching operations, franchisors should consider technology solutions that streamline measurement.

Why universal POS technology makes all the difference in franchising


By Sean Barkulis,Director of Business Development & Franchise SalesShopKeep

The modern-day franchisor is a jack-of-all-trades. From overseeing training and providing ongoing business support to expanding operations and spearheading reputation management, franchisors have no shortage of tasks lining their to-do list. Such responsibilities are even more overwhelming when dealing with multiple franchisees and having to deal with manual reporting.

Traditionally, franchisors received self-reported metrics from franchisees, making inventory management and sales analysis an unnecessarily lengthy process. To free up valuable time and receive a more accurate understanding of overarching operations, franchisors should consider technology solutions that streamline measurement. Investing in a universal point-of-sale system, for example, makes it easier to standardize operations and offer franchisors real-time access to hourly reports and inventory.

This type of standardization, especially when utilizing cloud-based technology, can drive increased sales across all franchises. Franchisors collect more royalties when a franchisee functions more efficiently. While franchisees have some operational liberties, franchisors should encourage the usage of cloud-based POS solutions and management technology.

Here are some key ways these systems benefit both parties.

Inventory management

Whether QSR or fast casual, pizzeria or taqueria, franchisees typically purchase the bulk of ingredients directly from franchisors. Through a cloud-based POS system, franchisors can keep tabs on inventory in real time to ensure franchisees never run out of product, managing thousands of goods in bulk, giving managers the flexibility to pinpoint top-selling items and set alerts to buy needed ingredients.

Space constraints, shelf-life for perishable goods and the popularity of offerings both regionally and on a national level are easily communicated between franchisor and franchisees. This is invaluable not only for a brand-consumer relationship but franchisor-franchisee relationships as well through the elimination of anxiety surrounding replenishment.

Transparency & clearer tracking

Knowing how a business is performing at all times is crucial for any owner. Many POS solutions offer hourly reporting and analytics features, which allow both franchisors and franchisees to tap into key figures including total sales, gross profit, and the number of transactions both at the register and from remote locations via a cloud-based app. These detailed reports allow managers to see historical trends like changes in sales by the hour; plan ahead for busy spells; and schedule flash sales during lulls. With these types of combined solutions, franchisors are also enabled to track inventory against which items are selling best, as well as when employees are clocking in and out, keeping them informed on how franchisees are performing and what additional resources may be needed.

While a robust system can seem intimidating, especially to new franchisees, a universal solution can actually streamline the onboarding process. To learn how to input transactions, run reports and utilize management tools, new managers can train with POS technology at existing franchise locations. By shadowing veteran managers and seeing the system at work, newer locations can feel empowered to take full advantage of technology once their own storefront is up and running.

Uniformity & bolstering loyalty

In addition to streamlining everyday operations, many POS systems also offer loyalty initiatives. CRM features offers franchisees a chance to improve external communication by curating consumers’ email addresses. To bolster brand loyalty and spur repeat visits, franchisors can send email newsletters on both local and national levels, personalizing them based on customers’ specific purchase history. POS solutions also promote loyalty among franchisees; systems equipped with 24/7 customer care can quickly address any problems that arise, allowing restauranteurs to focus on the most important aspect – the kitchen.

Franchisors should strengthen their digital affiliate presence, ensuring all franchisee hours, websites and locations are shared across Google and Yelp in a consistent, uniform manner. Doing so fosters positive SEO, which is vital in a world where 75% of people use mobile search.

Implementing solutions

The sooner a franchisor implements a universal system that combines POS and management technologies, the quicker they’ll be able to improve the accuracy of reports and free up time for other tasks. Having a universal system allows franchisors to calculate royalties in real time and pinpoint discrepancies as they emerge. For example, if 90% of franchisees are averaging 1000 transactions a week, but 10% are averaging 500, franchisors can step in and help improve operations.

When considering a system upgrade, franchisors may foster some concerns, often stemming from budget challenges. However, the upfront cost of integration is negligible -- funds spent will be quickly earned back through reduced training costs, increased sales and improved royalties. While it’s common to face some opposition from veteran partners due to a reluctance to embrace technology or the fear of under reporting, franchisors can remedy these fears by investing in these types of systems across their franchises and focusing on the benefits.

Ultimately, universal technology can drastically transform a franchise into an operational powerhouse, create transparency, improve franchisor-franchisee relations and provide a seamless experience for consumers near and far.



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