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5 Tips to Help Franchises Succeed in the Post-COVID Environment

Alex Brown, Content Lead
Wed, Jul 29, 2020

Quick and accurate data collection has always been a top priority for franchise businesses. Data from the front lines fuels your decision-making and helps you ensure you’re ahead of ever-changing standards. Most importantly, it tells you what’s going on in your business so that you and your staff can respond to trending issues easily and appropriately

During the present pandemic, data collection tools such as mobile forms are more crucial than ever. They can support you in answering the challenges COVID-19 poses, such as shifting regulations, staff turnover, and unprecedented brand scrutiny. Franchisors, in particular, are pressed to make smart, lean changes to accommodate for protocols including individual health screenings, minimal-touch operations, capacity limits, and social distancing.

Because of the present uncertainty caused by fluctuations in lockdown measures, it’s impossible to prescribe a "one-size-fits-all" approach. That's why franchisees and franchisors must work together to stay nimble, monitor their risk, abide by locally-prescribed guidelines, and get ahead of trending issues. Below, we’ve gathered some key challenges and described how mobile data collection can help franchise businesses overcome them.

The Challenge: Regulations and guidelines rapidly shift, often based on geographical location, making it difficult for franchises to keep up. Sending out forms with the latest instructions and touchpoints can be a logistical nightmare.

The Solution: Deploy easy-to-modify mobile forms on smart devices. Automatically sync new data, tasks, and forms with workers in the field, keeping them constantly in the loop.

Franchisors must be primed to pivot quickly and ensure compliance whenever regulations change. Likewise, franchisees must be ready to comply with the new requirements to avoid negative impacts. Because so many regulatory changes are happening at the state and local levels, the requirements for one location may be vastly different from those at another.

Mobile forms automatically detect from which region a user is working and select the right form and questions for them. They’re simple to modify and distribute, making change management a breeze. A mobile data collection solution makes it easy to change and deploy new forms to all your users at once —even for workers in the field.

The Challenge: Standards and procedures are often unclear, leaving employees confused about their duties. Follow-up steps aren’t always immediately obvious.

The Solution: Use logic-based forms and on-demand reference info to reinforce employee knowledge by guiding them through appropriate actions. Automate follow-up tasks with workflows to take the guesswork out of next steps.

Many franchises are used to “trickle-down” communication in which a framework is constructed at the top, and it ebbs its way throughout the organization. Communication now needs to be faster, clearer, and more concrete in order for a franchise to succeed. Streamlining the rollout of operational changes will require companies to have fast and easy ways to share up-to-date guidelines.

Dynamic, logic-based forms ensure that data collection efforts are nearly foolproof. Workers are closely guided through forms, automatically skipping irrelevant questions and highlighting the most viable answers. Meanwhile, workflows operate in the background to initiate follow-up steps and keep management in the loop.

The Challenge: Operational efficiency suffers due to reduced staffing. With fewer workers and reduced capacity, businesses are forced to make smart choices and operate leaner than ever.

The Solution: Double down on actionable data and put it to good use. Optimize manual processes with workflows and automate inspections using mobile forms.

Franchise operations need to do more with less. Digitization will be a critical tool in maximizing efficiency, especially when capacity is reduced, and team sizes are smaller. Focus on optimizing your processes to be flexible and adaptable to the environment.

Emphasize gathering actionable data from daily checks, automate manual processes with mobile forms, and streamline workflows. The less time you spend organizing and communicating critical data, the more you can spend making informed decisions. Analyzing reliable and accurate data provides deeper insights for better decision-making. For example, shedding light on compliance trends organized by region will help your team focus onthe areas that need to revisit staff training.

The Challenge: While customer confidence is at an all-time low, many customers are eager to get back to enjoying the brands they love. Brand compliance is of utmost importance and can easily suffer from the uncertainty that the pandemic brings. While brands may shift some of their offerings or experience out of necessity, they need to provide an experience that will keep customers loyal while maintaining (or even improving) brand standards to acquire new customers.

The Solution: Digitize internal brand audits. Build new brand evaluations with customer confidence in mind.

During this shaky and uncertain time of reopening, protecting the brand is paramount. Franchisors should exercise their ability to modify internal brand standards, which will help them stay flexible and maintain control. Employees should be encouraged to display their understanding of and adherence to stringent protocols, which will instill confidence in customers.

The digitization of internal brand audits can help reinforce a franchise’s new standards. Digital forms with adaptable, clear scoring will help both franchisors and franchisees stay on the same page. Complex custom scoring can be completely automated with self-calculating formulas, ensuring that even the most detailed evaluations are accurate.

The Challenge: Daily evaluations, such as QSC audits, have become de-emphasized in the midst of the pandemic because attention has shifted toward health and safety. It’s now more difficult to keep your finger on the pulse of the enterprise.

The Solution: Ensure data is actionable with dynamic visualizations like dashboards and reports. Leverage daily analytics to quickly grasp immediate burdens and trends.

Actionable, real-time data creates opportunities to assess situations and make decisions with confidence. Digital data collection paired with visualization tools make for a clear understanding of daily operations, whether they are daily dashboards or broader, deeper insights.

Top franchisors will deploy teams to engage in analytical conversations that evaluate changing conditions in the marketplace. The outcomes of these discussions will require quick reactions, so the best franchises will make flexible plans that are easy to modify down the road. Meanwhile, daily dashboards can provide a clear, unobstructed picture of what’s going on throughout the enterprise in real time.

How Form.com can help

Form.com specializes in helping large organizations and franchises mobilize dynamic, intelligent forms and automate existing process perfectly. Learn more about how we can jumpstart your digital transformation by getting in touch with a solutions expert. Or, request access to our COVID-19 templates now.

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