How New Technology is Impacting Franchises

Posted in: Electrical Tips for Business

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Technology has a history of challenging businesses to innovate the way they work. The huge number of ground-breaking innovations during the last 50 years has transformed the way businesses operate and interact with consumers.

Since the development of the microchip in the 1960s, the rise of Microsoft in the 1980s and the explosive growth of the Internet in the 21st century, franchises have been presented with an abundance of new, relatively cost-effective technologies that help to streamline processes, cut costs, improve customer service and increase productivity and profits.

The impact of technology and franchises

New technologies play an important role in ensuring the success of franchises as they can help increase the chances of attracting new franchisees. The more technologically advanced franchise operations are, the more likely it is the franchise will appeal to millenials who are entering the workforce, who will soon constitute the majority of new business operators. In fact 31.4% of Australians say that having access to the latest technology is an important benefit for a modern workplace culture.

How franchises can use cloud-based software

The rise of cloud-based software has greatly improved the ease of operations and seamless integration of franchise businesses. This software has allowed large organisations to go from pigeonholing data in files that are difficult and time-consuming to access, to sharing information across their entire networks on secure, cloud-based platforms that are accessible to any authorised employee on a mobile device.

Cloud-based platforms have also removed the need for organisations to keep expensive onsite servers and equipment, as well as the IT staff required to run and maintain them. Hardware can now be stored off-site, while backups, maintenance, updates and security are taken care of by a cloud provider.

One of the most significant areas of opportunity and improvement that cloud is offering franchises is in compliance automation. From the collection of tax credits, better tracking of working authorisations, and more thorough hiring and onboarding processes, cloud can be leveraged in several innovative and creative ways to remove a lot of pressure around the management of franchise businesses.

The numbers that we’re talking about are significant – cloud-based tax software, for example, can eliminate  90 per cent of paperwork for employers. Organisations that have used cloud technology to automate their hiring processes have returned a 9% greater time to productivity for new hires when compared to organisations that use more traditional hiring methods.

Thanks to the emergence of cloud technology, alongside other innovations, franchising is now an easier and more effective business model than ever before.

Other important technologies

Some other important technologies for franchise businesses include:

  • Cloud-based group customer billing and accounting services. These take care of administrative tasks for franchisees and leave them free to focus on growing their businesses rather than dealing with administrative tasks.
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). VPNs allow franchisees to access franchisor information on recruitment, training, compliance, best practice, efficiency, and company news all in real-time and from any location.
  • Company apps. These allow mobile franchisees, such as tradespeople, to order stock, schedule appointments, and bill customers from their mobile devices while working out in the field.

Cloud also enables better marketing

The strength of Cloud-based technologies extends beyond improving the internal processes of a business. Cloud-based technology can also be significant in helping franchises grow quicker and reach more people.

The secret is in the capacity that technology has to capture big data from customers, social media, and other resources. Franchises can then use the data they’ve collected to create specific and targeted marketing initiatives. For example, once you know where your customers are from, you can use that information to provide customers with highly targeted offers and promotions relevant to their region.

This approach to marketing is almost impossible to achieve without a Cloud-based approach to technology. The data sets are too big and unwieldy to be able to achieve meaningful insights without the processing power and support of Cloud-based infrastructure. And with marketing being a core component of franchising, those organisations that aren’t already investing heavily in Cloud-based technology may find themselves struggling to remain relevant top-of-mind for customers.

Case study – Platinum Electricians

Platinum Electricians was a ‘man in a van’ start-up electrical business that’s now an Australia-wide success story. We use state-of-the-art technologies to provide our franchisees with a distinct business advantage.

Our user-friendly online system gives our franchisees instant access to a large suite of tools, including job management software, operating manuals, vehicle tracking software, and templates for everything from employment agreements to cash flow spreadsheets.

Customers can also use the technology by logging into an online client portal called Platinum Live. This interface allows customers to receive quotes, track job progress, pay their bills securely and access a wide range of other electrical services at any time, from any mobile device.

Case study – Cold Rock Ice Creamery

Cold Rock Ice Creamery provides its franchisees with access to a range of state-of-the-art software including:

  • POS data and back office systems. These can generate online reports of profit and loss, automatic cash and Eftpos deposit balances, automatic end of month postings, automatic stock valuation, and automatic backups.
  • Online ordering and stock management systems. These systems allows franchise owners to order stock, manage multiple accounts, and pay invoices online.
  • Franchised food company training portal. This portal provides online training in every aspect of a franchised food operation, regardless of the brand.

The future for franchises

The attraction of a franchise over a stand-alone business has always been its access to group discounts, advertising, and training and support. New technology is allowing today’s franchise operators to assist their franchisees in more ways than ever before, and those franchisors who are constantly providing faster and more efficient ways of reaching and servicing customers will continue to grow and thrive in the years to come.

At Platinum Electricians we’re one of Australia’s leading electrical providers. We’re committed to providing excellent service and can help you with all your electricity needs for your franchise, so contact us today for more information.