Shopping around for franchise software?
Make sure you’re only paying for what you actually need. The following two features are worth skipping out for most franchisors.
1- Restaurant-style inventory management
Restaurant inventory management software has made great strides, giving owners the ability to:
- Set up menus
- Track sales and tax on purchases
- Manage in-store orders and purchases
- Automatically update inventory in accordance with menu item purchases (i.e. when one steak is ordered, one steak cut is removed from inventory)
- Configure customer loyalty reward programs
Admittedly, these features are all pretty handy if you’re running a restaurant, but if you’re not, most of this module is just going to sit somewhere collecting digital dust. Moreover, this software is too narrow in scope to accommodate the corporate-level inventory control that franchisors need.
And worst of all, you’ll be paying for it!
As you can imagine, software like this doesn’t just design itself. The cost of man-hours and expertise required to set this up is always going to be reflected in the price of the franchise software. So if you aren’t a restaurant with specific needs like those outlined above, make sure you skip this feature when shopping around for your franchise software.
A better alternative: Customizable inventory management software
Quality franchise software comes with Enterprise Resource Planning tools, which give franchisors the right level of control – place purchase orders based on min/max inventory levels; connect directly to the suppliers; and deploy our automatic stock replenishment tool across the entire the automatic stock replenishment tool deploys across the entire chain.
Like all of our franchise software modules, it’s fully customizable, so you’ll get the full value of your purchase no matter what industry you’re in.
2- Marketing automation
Automation is a popular buzzword that comes up all the time in talks of franchise software features. And rightfully so; automation eliminates redundant data entry and onboarding tasks, and generally makes your back-office obligations faster and more efficient.
But automated marketing in the form of blasting out generic email templates and auto-generating leads from different portals can actually come back to bite you.
Sure, these processes save time that would otherwise be spent crafting authentic emails and making real connections with leads. But some franchise software’s marketing automation ends up doing more harm than good.
Common problems with marketing automation include:
- Flooding your audience’s inbox. Most franchise software’s automated marketing schedule takes the “more the merrier” approach, sending regular newsletter-style updates in addition to template emails triggered by a user’s browsing activity, purchase behaviours, or interactions with certain ads and sites. But bombarding your prospects with messages like this is a bad move, no matter how relevant they may be. It starts to come across as spam, and too much behavioural targeting feels creepy. This won’t necessarily drive brand-loyal customers away, but it will teach your audience to pay less attention to emails, which makes them more likely to miss the offers that really matter.
- Stilted email copy. Modern audiences are savvy enough to spot email templates, especially when they’re being send on a fixed schedule. Email templates aren’t all bad, but they need to be precisely targeted, well-researched, and written in a way that is an authentic representation of your voice – none of which is possible with prepackaged, out-of-the-box templates included with your franchise software.
A better alternative: Robust marketing control
Quality franchise software will allow franchisees to conduct individual limited marketing and fully integrate with existing tools. It will also automate reporting and intra-franchise data sharing to a few clicks. Plus it’ll consolidate all your SMS, email, and lead communications in a single app. But it won’t hitch your company’s web marketing and online reputation to default settings made by someone with no idea about your business.
For a breakdown of what your franchise software should offer you in terms of marketing capabilities, visit https://franchisesoft.com/franchise-solutions/marketing/.