The Franchise Business Internet Enhanced Relationships

Many franchised businesses now use the​ internet to​ communicate with the​ franchisor. This communication is​ mainly by way of​ an​ Intranet which is​ a​ private computer network. This can be done via the​ internet or​ via cables interconnecting the​ franchise network and serve to​ enhance the​ whole franchise network if​ done correctly.

The franchisees can place orders online and check delivery dates. Some of​ the​ largest fast food franchises operate "just in​ time" daily deliveries to​ their franchise network. This has really enhanced the​ process and meant that the​ franchisee can afford to​ carry lower stock at​ his premises and dedicate more space to​ marketing the​ products.

The more advanced systems even allow one franchisee to​ order goods from another franchisee if​ the​ franchisor is​ out of​ stock!

The tills can now be connected to​ the​ franchisors network and all sales relayed instantly to​ the​ franchisor. This means that in​ some cases most of​ the​ ordering functions can be removed entirely from the​ franchisee!

For the​ franchisor this is​ tremendous and means that they no longer need to​ rely on​ the​ franchisees keeping adequate stock. the​ franchisees benefits because their work load is​ reduced even further and allows them to​ spend even more time on​ marketing and customer relations.

The franchisee can now make online payments both to​ the​ franchisor and other suppliers without the​ need for cheque books,​ envelopes and postage. Online payment solutions have many advantages over the​ traditional method. They can help improve cash flow and reduce the​ risk of​ fraud.

Some advanced systems now allow view only access to​ their accountants and make their job of​ record keeping and analysis very easy. the​ accountant is​ able to​ see every transaction in​ real time and no longer has to​ rely on​ the​ franchisee to​ provide him data.

The franchisee can download the​ latest brochures,​ watch the​ latest video advertisement and even help the​ franchisor by giving feedback on​ how their marketing material could be improved further. They can also keep their operators manual updated regularly.

Prior to​ high speed internet access the​ franchisees were usually running the​ business on​ their own computer. This then meant that they were in​ charge of​ backups,​ firewalls and security. This meant that the​ franchisee had to​ be trained in​ the​ operation and maintenance of​ their computers.

Franchisors use the​ web for marketing their franchises and building a​ brand image. They can also help their franchisee network by generating leads and providing them to​ their franchisees in​ real time. People are now just as​ likely to​ search for a​ franchise or​ business opportunity on​ the​ internet as​ they are to​ buy franchise magazines and attend franchise exhibitions.

The dangers of​ using the​ internet (or intranet) are many. if​ the​ main server of​ the​ franchisors crashes and they do not have adequate back up facilities and use of​ other servers,​ the​ whole franchisee network could be affected.

Can you​ imagine how a​ franchise network of​ over two hundred franchisees could be affected if​ the​ franchisors servers were attacked by an​ internet worm that corrupted all the​ data?

Not all franchise businesses benefit from working of​ central servers. the​ main criterion in​ evaluating if​ setting up an​ intranet would benefit your franchise network is​ the​ amount of​ data that is​ handled by each franchisee.

If the​ amount of​ data handled is​ low and there is​ little need for the​ franchisees to​ communicate daily with the​ franchisor and the​ other franchisees then the​ ideal solution is​ for them to​ operate a​ local computer system.

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