23 Nov How to reduce OPEX through AI and the newest technologies in franchise networks?
Among the most popular pain points of franchisors are the ever-growing OPEX, lack of full overview of the franchisee, and the fact that some processes are still conducted manually. Franchisees on the other hand might feel that recruitment processes take too long, equipment malfunctions are not addressed accordingly, or that ordering goods to the store could be more efficient and the tools used for it – more user-friendly.
New technologies from the Salesforce ecosystem are here to help both owners of franchise networks and franchisees. Read on, to find out which areas the Retail Management System technologies address – see how many processes can be automated thanks to innovative solutions, and how much time will be saved!
New technologies for the Franchisee
Ordering goods – can this process be streamlined?
Normally, the process of ordering goods is lengthy and time-consuming. The franchisees waste a lot of time because of many manual processes: first, they need to check if the goods are available in the warehouse; then manually choose products or select them from the order list. Often there are hundreds of goods to pick from. Due to regularly organized promotions or the introduction of new products, franchisees have even more things on their minds. Fortunately, placing orders using the newest technologies is very easy and intuitive.
Adaptive vision enables the assessment of stock level at the store shelves simply by taking a picture. Additionally, predictive intelligence is able to calculate optimal order value, taking into account the order history and historical demand for the products. So, based on the current stock level and the predicted demand, the orders are generated automatically – all it takes to finish the process is the franchisee’s acceptance.
When equipment fails
Wherever there are electric appliances, there is a chance they will malfunction. So if a fridge or air conditioning breaks, franchisees have several options.
Members of the chain can use a franchise portal configured especially for them to try to solve the problem themselves. They can look for answers in a vast knowledge base or ask fellow franchisees for assistance. Franchisees can also contact the dedicated support team via chatter or other channels. As a result, sometimes the malfunction can be fixed without even involving maintenance crews!
If a service visit is necessary after all, franchisees can easily submit a case via the portal. Quickly address your issue by typing in what happened and where the malfunction occurred, and enclosing the model of the faulty appliance.
Would you like to know more about managing crash reports? Watch this video.
Technology does the maintenance for you
It might be hard to imagine but new technologies can independently report appliance failures long before you witness there is something wrong. Thanks to IoT (the Internet of Things) sensors placed in devices detect specific parameters/abnormalities in the functioning of given assets (such as a fridge or air conditioning) and autonomously create a case called “Automatic registration of malfunctions”.
Artificial Intelligence plays a major role in resolving cases, which are prioritized depending on POS’s value and potential. Moreover, with Einstein Article Recommendations (that works on advanced algorithms to improve search capacity and accuracy), franchisees can easily find articles that will help them resolve problems they’re facing, without having to contact the back-office. Although, if the latter is necessary, they can contact the chatbot that will guide them through the problem and provide solutions. In both cases, there is no need to put humans in the equation!
Audit planning made easy
As a franchisor, you want to make sure that the product range (including special products) or discounts are up to date in every store of your chain, customer service is at the highest level and each store is crystal clear – literally. With Salesforce, it is very easy to organize an audit.
With Salesforce, you can plan field visits based on historical data, so that franchisees with the highest scores are audited less often than the ones who have joined your network recently or score lower than the top performers.
Once you have defined the types and frequency of visits to each store, you can distribute them among your audit consultants. and you want them to use the time properly. The key phrase here is the optimization of time and resources. Prioritize the visits by consultant availability, urgency, and the distance they have to cover to get to a given PoS based on advanced field planning algorithms.
Your auditors can score a given PoS and the results will be put on the franchisee’s profile, so you can see their overall score at a glimpse or view the history of all conducted audits. Then you can personalize the communication, adjust the score, calculate churn risk, or plan more frequent audits if necessary.
How to apply these solutions to your franchise network?
Once you’ve decided to introduce tools from the Salesforce ecosystem, there are a few steps you need to take. First of all, there is Needs Analysis: you should know which of the latest technologies will bring you benefits. It is also important to introduce new solutions in proper order. It is advisable to first optimize your business processes. Then comes the time for your IT ecosystem integration within cloud systems, so you have all the data in one place. Next step – the introduction of AI-based solutions, which will help you use the collected data eg. to predict demand for products and plan future orders accordingly, or automating your marketing activities. Finally, once everything else is in place, comes the time for IoT (the internet of things) and Adaptive Vision technology, used for additional optimization of processes that are already running in Salesforce.
Of course, you don’t have to do everything we’ve listed above to benefit from what Salesforce has to offer. For best results, however, consider all the steps mentioned above.
We understand that it might sound difficult at first. But remember that you don’t have to do it all alone! We are here to help you choose and introduce technologies that will work best in your franchise network!
Streamline your franchise operations with Cloudity
At Cloudity, we have extensive experience when it comes to the implementation of modern technologies in franchising companies. We work out digital strategies for our clients, so they can push their franchising business forward, regardless of the size of their franchise. If you’d like to familiarize yourself with our offer and get to know our dedicated solutions better, be sure to visit our website!
Let’s talk about franchising and how Salesforce solutions will help you scale your business and attract franchisees – contact us!
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