Facing Covid-19 With Franchise Systems: 5-part Plan For Business Continuity

Facing Covid-19 With Franchise Systems: 5-part Plan For Business Continuity

Apr 01,2020 By

Today’s post discusses how big brands cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak using franchise systems. We share a 5-part plan for business continuity and how it’s made easier with FranchiseSoft.

1. Prioritize Workforce Protection

Practice safety first. Workforce protection breaks down into 5 distinct work streams:

  • Policy and management–Update your existing Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery (DR) plan to include anti-pandemic protocols recommended by your local health officials. The finished portfolio should contain policies and actions for prevention and incident response. Once completed, you can upload these documents to your private Intranet server, or forward them to select franchise owners with a few clicks without leaving home.
  • Increase two-way communications–Franchise owners will undoubtedly have questions and concerns during this uncertain time. Set up multichannel communications and confidential reporting mechanisms as soon as possible. FranchiseSoft users already have these systems in place, but it’s not too late–setup is easy and completely “contactless.”
  • Personnel and contractors–Can your team work from home? If your business model allows for it, you’ll need to complete infrastructure setup (e.g. VPN, laptops, cloud-based communication and collaboration software) at this stage. FranchiseSoft users can skip this task–our system is designed to allow franchisors to run their entire operation from a mobile device if they desire, so the remote work infrastructure is already in place and easily scalable.
  • Facility and on-site norms–We recommend staggering work shifts, following social distancing guidelines, and increasing the availability of on-site cleaning supplies.

2. Stabilize The Supply-Chain

For many franchisors, the most pressing concerns in the early stages of this pandemic were the effects that the COVID-19 outbreak would have on supply chains that begin or go through China. But as the number of infected countries continues to climb, affecting supply chains globally, the following work streams will be needed for all businesses:

  • Supplier engagement–Franchisors must acknowledge cross-tier risk transparency, assess order management protocols, and review new supplier qualifications to keep your company safe.
  • Inventory management–Identify critical parts and begin rationing, while also optimizing location.
  • Production and operations–Complete operational-impact assessment and production-capacity optimizations.
  • Logistics–Route optimization will be critical for avoiding at-risk areas.

3. Customer Engagement

To retain customers both in the short and long-term, it’s imperative that you increase customer engagement to explain any changes, service disruptions, and safety protocols during these uncertain times. Implement the following work streams:

  • B2B transparency–Communications to B2B customers (e.g. by microsite) and scenario-based risk communications.
  • Customer protection–Implement spread-prevention interventions.
  • Customer outreach–Stay in communication with customers on COVID-19 practices, share fact-based reports on issues, and explain all you’re doing to keep them safe.

4. Stress Testing

Too few franchisors invest time in understanding what it takes to plan for disruptions until it’s too late. This is where roundtables, scenario definition, and simulations are invaluable. Use these roundtable simulations to assess your protocols for different phases of responses, clarify decision owners and team roles, identify hitches in the plan, and ensure everything is in order.

Complete the following work streams:

  • Scenario definition–Simulating relevant scenarios, based on latest epidemiological and economic outlooks
  • Financial stress tests–Financials, especially working-capital requirements, in different scenarios

5. Nerve-center integration

To fully integrate the nerve-center, complete these 3 work streams:

  • Issue map and management–Consolidate “source of truth” for issue resolution, establishing authoritative channels
  • Portfolio of actions–Trigger-based portfolio of actions (across all work streams)
  • Leadership alignment–Align all leaders on scenarios; continue roundtable exercises

Book A Free Franchisesoft Consultation

Call 888-302-3676 or visit the FranchiseSoft website to learn about how our franchise management system can be used to effortlessly implement this 5-part, 18-step business continuity plan. All demos, installations, support, and updates are 100% “contactless.”