Field audits must be on the list of tasks of each franchisee. They are essential because they contribute to the respect of the concept and the regulations, the improvement of operations and the promotion of a homogeneous and safe store experience.
Each franchisee is an ambassador of the brand
Each franchise operator is a brand ambassador who speaks for the entire network. A customer does not know, and does not care about, the name written on the franchise contract: a disappointed customer is a lost customer. The inability to execute and meet brand standards in one store is not only detrimental to the sales and reputation of this store, but hurts all others in the network.
Check compliance: regulatory but not only …
You can publish standards and form stores, but many franchisees only report compliance if they have a commitment to these standards. Compliance with merchandising, service, and security standards (among others) is best achieved when everyone knows that it will be checked and processed.
Training is necessary but not sufficient
Store staff can be trained, answer the quiz and take the test, but do they know how to apply their learned skills? Training franchisees on the one hand, auditing on the other, and treating auditing as a continuous learning exercise is the opportunity to coach each store to achieve the success it deserves.
Each franchisee operates differently
Assuming your banner is made up of more than a handful of stores, you may not know how the stores actually run unless you have processes and auditing software to help you with that. Franchisees may have different inclinations and priorities based on their own experience and sensitivities. There is nothing wrong with that, but you have to make sure that the basic standards and programs that are the backbone of the brand strategy are actually implemented fully, everywhere and every time. Audits align the franchisor’s vision and expectations with the reality on the ground.
Audits engage franchisees
Audits engage franchisees by continually strengthening organizational standards and best practices. An audit is not a passive activity. It actively engages the franchisee to continuously improve the store according to the evolution of the concept, the regulation of best practices.
Good franchisees attract more good franchisees
A brand of execution spirit not only attracts customers, it also attracts potential franchisees. Multi-unit retailers often spend considerable resources – dedicated websites and trade shows – attracting new franchisees. The franchise candidates are more likely to invest their life savings with an operationally strong brand than with a perceived inconsistent and deficient.
What role do technologies play in audit support?
The traditional administration of audits (inspection forms or Excel tables) requires time without added value, as well as resources. The goal for any business is to focus on value-added processes. The centralization of franchised information makes it possible to simplify the planning of audits and to follow at a glance the progress of audit campaigns. Online filling automates the implementation of corrective actions, automatically generates action plans and useful reports to the benchmark. The regional advisers can thus concentrate on the work of analysis of best practices and the accompaniment of the franchisees having difficulties.