How do businesses maintain success and keep several steps ahead of their competition? Excluding exceptional execution and good fortune, one of the more common ways franchises stay ahead of the game is by attending industry conferences—learning about new trends, issues and networking with fellow industry insiders and franchisors.
The International Franchise Association’s (IFA) FranTech 2016 conference will set the stage as one of the year’s prominent events for franchisors to gain a competitive advantage via technology. Taking place in Austin, Texas at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center from October 26-27, this year’s event will “bring together leading experts in cloud computing, security, mobile marketing, lead generation and much more,” according to the IFA.
With FranTech just around the corner and as a way to prepare for this year’s event, we thought we’d share insight on how some franchises are utilizing technology to push their businesses forward—ahead of their competition.
3 Ways To Use Tech As A Competitive Advantage
As a way to save money and expedite service, several quick service restaurant (QSR) franchises are using automation to push their businesses forward. As a recent FranTimes article mentions the ingenuity of automation, saying:
Restaurateurs are just starting to adopt smart automation in the back of the house, and with a wave of new equipment, burgers don’t need to be flipped, neither does chicken and nor do light switches. New automatic grills can form burger patties (no smashing required). Chipotle and Pizzeria Locale hired a team of engineers to create a two-minute pizza oven. Chick-fil-A spent $50 million to create a grill that adjusts pressure during the cooking process to churn out 10 pieces of chicken in minutes.
The article goes on to mention that automation can also help save energy, track inventory and employee working hours as well.
A growing number of franchises are beginning to use technology to help improve their hiring processes to employ more qualified candidates. If you’re unsure of whether or not your hiring process is up to speed with current trends, here’s a quick checklist from Franchising.com and Hireology’s Adam Robinson:
Technology is making it easier to find employees, but your process may actually slow down recruitment efforts. Consider the following checklist of questions from Hireology co-founder Adam Robinson to determine if your hiring process is up to snuff:
- Does the career site reflect my brand, and will it attract the people I need to attract?
- Do I respond to applicants within 24 hours of resume submittal?
- Is an interview scheduled with a candidate within a week of the applicant's resume submittal?
- Have I established criteria to evaluate the recruit's suitability for the job, or am I just winging it?
Several franchises are beginning to implement mobile applications for employee training. According to recent Entrepreneur article, Tariq Farid, Owner and CEO of Edible Arrangements, is one of the few franchisors now utilizing apps to train his franchisees:
He (Farid) points out that since most people communicate and essentially manage their lives through their mobile devices, it makes sense to run their businesses from them, too. His tech company, Netsolace, which he founded after Edible, has kept the franchise as forward-looking as possible, developing mobile apps such as FranSupport Mobile, which lets Edible communicate and deliver training modules to franchisees; Franview, which lets field managers audit stores with the home office and franchisees in real time; and Pulse, a real-time communications system that lets franchisees and corporate stay in touch. Netsolace is also promoting nXstep, which broadcasts training tips, best practices, efficiencies and company news.
It’s time to get a head start on these tech trends, because before you know it, most of your competitors will have already started using most of these technologies for their advantage.
Discover how Hireology helped one franchise see better results from a unified hiring framework by downloading the free case study below!