The use of IT in Franchising

More than 124,000 people are employed in business format franchises in New Zealand

If you’re a Franchise business you probably spend most of your day out meeting with customers. It’s hard to stay connected with the office, work with colleagues and keep up to speed with business and new projects. But with Office 365 you can access email, franchise operating manuals, log jobs or issues, view staff roster, and calendars, and communicate and collaborate with your entire team and extended Franchise network all from any device.

Dozens of NZ Franchises and Franchise business around the world including Vapino, Skyzone and Kiddie Academy already rely on Office 365 to help run their business, here are five ways that Office 365 can improve the way your Franchise business operates:

1. Easy access to email and collaborate with colleagues

Just because you’re out of the office doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected with your team. Office 365 allows you to access all your email messages, calendars and contact information from anywhere you happen to be – whether it’s on a job or at the airport. And with our Office 365 Firstline license, a low cost license for people that don’t work infront of a desk all day, all your staff can have access to not only email but tools to help them work together such as Microsoft Teams for instant chat, sharing and collaboration, as well as Skype, Sharepoint and Office Online. When you subscribe to Office 365 each user can be productive anywhere and stay connected to the head office with their own email address and can share files, calendars and more with Franchisees, and stay up to date with their coworkers.

2. Simplify document management with SharePoint

At the core of Franchise systems is the operating model and the various operating procedures that go with it. How can you keep track of all that information and make sure everyone gets the latest version of these key documents? SharePoint is your company’s intranet and team collaboration site that can be shared with all Franchisees. It allows you to maintain control and access of key documents such as contracts, operating manuals, onboarding guide, setup guides, health and safety and much more, which you can access and collaborate on with others from any supported device. Custom forms/apps can be configured to capture and track specific data or manual processes such as assets registers, product samples, expenditure requests, OHS issues and many more.

3. Skype for Business reduces costs

Need a better way to connect your Franchisees together, find people in realtime with presence indicating their status or whereabouts, or have sales or project meetings on the fly wherever you are? Skype for Business is a feature of Office 365 that lets you connect with colleagues for instant messaging, and work like you are all in one room, even when you are not. From collaborative team sessions to live streaming a meeting or dialing into a conference using your phone, Skype for Business is designed for all your meeting needs. And using Skype can help you to reduce operating costs, travel costs and improve productivity.

4. Plan your shifts and schedules with Staff Hub

How do you manage shifts and staff today, on paper, email to their personal accounts, txt? – why not look at StaffHub – which is included in the previously mentioned Firstline license, which is a cloud-based platform that works across all your devices. It enables frontline workers and their managers to manage time, communicate with their teams, and share content. Staff can request time off, swap shifts, and communicate directly with coworkers, and Managers can send messages to one person – or the entire team. Send schedule info, team news, or company announcements. Imagine being able to coordinate and communicate with all your casual staff, or lock in rosters, send urgent alerts all via mobile.

5. Get access to a suite of key SMB business tools in one service

At the heart of Office 365 is Office itself—the familiar Office applications businesses use everyday—now offered as a cloud service, so it’s always up to date. But Office 365 is also so much more. It’s about bringing enterprise-grade services to businesses of all sizes, from online meetings to sharing documents to business-class email, But with Office 365 you pay a low monthly subscription and you can fine-tune your Office 365 subscriptions to suit your business’s specific needs, for instance some staff may just need email, others Office, and with our Office 365 Business Premium plan we provide the aobve mentioned services as well as a set of applications that are ideal for Small Business and Franchise operations including:

  1. Bookings – Microsoft Bookings provides convenient and flexible online options that make it easier for your customers to schedule appointments with your business.
  2. Customer Manager – Outlook Customer Manager provides a simple, smart customer management solution for your small business—right within Outlook
  3. Planner – Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress.
  4. Coming soon to Office 365 Business Premium are new apps that include:
    a. MileIQ – Mileage and Expense tracking
    b. Microsoft Connections—A simple-to-use email marketing service
    c. Microsoft Listings—An easy way to publish your business information on top sites such as Google, Yelp and more
    d. Microsoft Invoicing—A new way to create professional invoices and get paid fast

If your company wants to remain competitive, cut costs on IT and improve productivity Office 365 is a perfect solution to help. To find out more:

1. Download our “7 ways to work smarter in the cloud” ebook which covers how you can use mobile, social, and cloud technology to make your business more collaborative and effective.

2. Attend an upcoming Office 365 webinar covering how to get the most from Office, new tools to help you be more productive and much more