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Top IT can help you keep your cutting edge

Top IT can help you keep your cutting edge

"When it comes to technology, franchisors deserve better," say Theo Millward, co-founder and CEO of FranScape and managing director of Swimtime

If I hear another person tell me I need to innovate to survive in the ‘new normal’, pivoting post-COVID or any other vomit inducing term for this current economic black hole, I’m going to scream. Sound familiar?

For most, knowing change is needed is not news. The challenge is how. The hardest step to answer that question is to look at your franchise brand and accept the cold, hard truth: it isn’t unique.

Yes, you read that right. I might as well have just told you your child is ugly, but sadly it’s what franchisors need to hear. Trust me, I am one.

Similar process

To illustrate my point, let’s take a fast food brand:

1. A hungry customer arrives.
2. They choose something from a menu.
3. They receive the food.
4. They leave.

It doesn’t matter whether you have golden arches above your door, were founded by a colonel from Kentucky or you sell foot-long sandwiches, the process is basically the same.

Look at it another way. We all use either a Mac or PC, while our smartphones are virtually either Apple or Android. Most companies use one of a handful of accounting platforms because successful businesses don’t reinvent the wheel when they don’t have to.

When considering technology in franchising, this is one of the key challenges a franchisor must overcome. By accepting that what you do isn’t unique means you can free yourself from the concept that you need some expensive bespoke platform cut just for you like a Savile Row suit.

There are, of course, certain companies that do, but it’s an expensive, complex path fraught with risks. Chief among those is the speed of innovation in technology; no sooner is something commissioned, it’s out of date. It may have security flaws and become a never-ending money drain.

Award winning automation

When Swimtime, one of the UK’s largest learn to swim providers, was purchased from the founders in 2016, the system in place was holding it back.

At that time, what was available on the market was not fit for purpose, so the leadership team, which had previous experience at blue-chip firms such as IBM, London Life and Grant Thornton, built their own by utilising their decades of experience. This brought the kind of cutting this is one of the key challenges a franchisor must overcome. By accepting that what you do isn’t unique means you can free yourself from the concept that you need some expensive bespoke platform cut just for you like a Savile Row suit.

There are, of course, certain companies that do, but it’s an expensive, complex path fraught with risks. Chief among those is the speed of innovation in technology; no sooner is something commissioned, it’s out of date. It may have security flaws and become a never-ending money drain.

Award winning automation

When Swimtime, one of the UK’s largest learn to swim providers, was purchased from the founders in 2016, the system in place was holding it back.

At that time, what was available on the market was not fit for purpose, so the leadership team, which had previous experience at blue-chip firms such as IBM, London Life and Grant Thornton, built their own by utilising their decades of experience. This brought the kind of cutting edge automation to the brand that is often associated with corporate giants. The strategy worked and resulted in no less than six major award nominations.

Some key achievements included:

  • Allowing clients to book online in 60 seconds, 24/7.
  • Taking management service fees at source.
  • Full visibility of the entire network.

Fast forward to 2020 and this groundbreaking franchisor technology, called FranScape, is now available for brands big and small.

With clients in the children’s activity, education and pet care sectors already signed up, FranScape delivers some of the latest capabilities for just £35 per franchisee per month (with no fees for onboarding or support), allowing networks to take advantage off the shelf right now, knowing they have a technology partner that will continue to evolve.

So to answer the question of how: contact my team. At the very least, we can give you some inspiration about what is possible, no matter what route you chose.

At a glance Franscape

Established:

2020 (in use since 2018)

Contact:

hello@franscape.io franscape.io

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