How to drive growth across your franchise network

drive growth franchise network
Automation helps drive growth, points out Spenda. (Source: Supplied)

Your franchise network likely has strong systems and processes to ensure that your franchisees have everything they need to succeed. But if you’ve had these systems in place for a number of years, particularly if they are manual or disjointed, it could be hampering growth across the network. Updating your systems and processes with automated and integrated solutions is the best place to start. Many companies are using automation to drive efficiencies and growth, with 66 per cent of them currently implementing or interested in automation. Franchise head offices that act now will gain a competitive edge and this article outlines how optimising processes, payments and cash flow can drive growth across your franchise network. Keep reading to learn more. 

Processes: Embrace automation to save time and money

Effective procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes are key to delivering efficiency across your franchise network. And by implementing automated processes, you can deliver cost savings of up to 75 per cent. For those networks that have a B2C storefront, integrating the business’s point of sale and warehouse management systems ensures stock levels are optimised. This reduces the risk of ageing stock or running out of popular lines. Further, it increases supply chain visibility which is critical given persistent supply chain disruptions and the impact this can have on growth. It’s estimated that only 6 per cent of companies have full visibility of their supply chain. Increasing visibility through integrating and improving systems will allow for better resource planning and ensures working capital isn’t locked up in ageing stock.

Payments and invoicing are another resource-intensive part of running a franchise network. Whether it’s processing payments from your franchisees or working with suppliers to acquire goods for distribution across the network, these tasks often require double data entry and manual reconciliation and reporting when it comes time to send and pay invoices. By automating invoicing and payment processes, businesses can eliminate 20 hours per week of manual administration. Further, accuracy increases when your integrated payments and invoicing solution is the single point of truth for payments data across the network. With the time savings realised through automating payments and invoicing tasks, this makes more capacity available for strategic long-term initiatives. 

Payments: Implement better invoice management and payment solutions 

Accounts receivable is the lifeblood of cash flow across the network, and accounts payable must be operating smoothly to maintain strong supplier relationships. Implementing an automated accounts receivable solution provides the systems and processes required to boost cash flow, whereby your network can automate invoicing and payments, accept online payments, easily follow up on late payments and perform real-time cash flow forecasting. 

Similarly, digital accounts payable solutions give your network the tools to manage supplier payments, access more payment options, reduce data-entry errors and fraud, and gain better visibility over cash flow. 

By using one integrated platform to automate accounts receivable and accounts payable across your network, cash flow will be aligned between your head office, your franchisees and all other parties linked to the supply chain. This is achieved by connecting the buyer and seller in each transaction while allowing for flexible terms of trade through the ability to access on-demand finance and lending options from a third-party provider. 

Cash flow: Increase payment flexibility and access to funding 

Many of the goods and services that businesses need to operate require an upfront payment, which can reduce working capital and tighten cash flow. By tapping into on-demand lending solutions for your franchise network, all parties within the network can better align their cash inflows and outflows. On-demand, point-of-activity lending allows head office, to get paid on time while your connected franchisees get access to the funds they need to improve their cash flow. In short, head office gets paid sooner and franchise stores gain added flexibility of payments and extended trading terms. And by implementing a system that allows credit card payments, further flexibility is provided by extending payment terms through using the card’s interest-free period. 

Drive faster growth across your franchise network 

Implementing solutions that not only optimise systems and processes at head office level but for your franchisees as well will transform how you trade and operate across the entire network. Further, by offering payment flexibility, cash flow is boosted too. Spenda’s integrated solutions empower franchise networks with the tools they need to get paid faster, streamline their operations, and drive growth.

Download the Franchise Business Survival Guide: How to manage cash flow in uncertain times, which outlines everything that franchise networks need to do to optimise their cash flow and grow. 

Click here to download your free copy.