Why investing in new tech can give your franchise business a competitive edge

investing tech competitive edge
New technology can deliver a valuable point of difference in economic uncertainty. (Source: Supplied)

According to Bloomberg’s December 2022 survey of economists, the likelihood of a recession in 2023 stands at 70 per cent. While some companies may choose defensive, cost-cutting measures to weather the downturn, investing in process improvements — or choosing to go on the offensive — can not only realise efficiencies, but it can give franchise businesses a competitive edge too. Further, with many technology companies operating on a SaaS model, there is little upfront investment required to implement new technology. Keep reading to learn why investing in new systems can give your franchise business the right tools to succeed into the future. 

Data capture and sharing is transformed with new tech

Data is more valuable than oil. And like oil, it is only valuable when it’s processed properly. Setting up the right systems to gather, share and analyse data across a franchise business will provide the insights needed for stronger commercial decision-making. And with 90 per cent of supply chain professionals stating they plan to implement new supply chain planning systems within the next five years, it’s clear that digital transformation is hitting mass adoption levels. 

Franchise businesses that invest in new technology now will not only have an early adopter advantage, but they’ll also benefit from the insights gathered through ongoing data capture and analysis. This analysis will provide valuable insights, such as:

  • what’s performing well
  • what needs improvement
  • what should be changed, removed or replaced (for example, locations, products and services, and internal team structures).

Optimising processes and improving the customer experience

According to a recent McKinsey survey, 75 per cent of supply chain professionals said they rely on spreadsheets for planning. While companies may be able to implement a single tool that improves order management, for example, it misses the opportunity for widespread digital transformation. Franchise businesses should look for platforms that allow for integrated warehouse and sales order management along with real-time data analytics. Each of these processes should not only make internal processes more efficient but should improve the customer experience too. For example, if your franchise business involves in-person delivery of products and services, choose a platform that provides real-time delivery tracking. It may seem like a small feature but having the ability to plan better and be available to attend an appointment or receive a delivery only when necessary is highly valued by customers.

Boost cash flow with flexible and fast payment processes

One of the fastest ways to boost your cash flow is by implementing tools that help you get paid faster. Not only does this give you the cash you need to cover your expenses but having greater control and certainty over your cash flow means you can plan for investments in business growth too. Solutions such as integrated payment platforms that provide multiple payment options to customers and allow you to take and make payments in the office, out in the field, or online will help you speed up your payment times and optimise the credit-to-cash process

Key areas of digital transformation that will help your franchise business get paid faster are:

Introducing flexible payment options

If your business doesn’t have the technology required to offer multiple payment methods, it could be the catalyst for delayed payments or even worse, your business could lose customers to the competition. As part of your franchise business’s digitisation, make sure you invest in technology that makes payments seamless. Your customers should be able to pick from multiple payment options such as credit and debit card payments, bank account transfers, pay-by instalments, pay-by-link, and access to other buyer financing options.

Master your cash flow and get a tech-driven edge with Spenda

The prospect of economic uncertainty can prompt sweeping cost-cutting measures for business but investing in technology that improves processes and boosts cash flow is a stronger long-term move for business survival and growth. From providing a better customer experience to getting paid faster and using data to continually improve your franchise business, an integrated platform that takes care of everything in one place is a smart investment and protects against siloed system and processes. 

Whether you’re looking to get paid faster, improve customer retention, or understand what to focus on to weather economic uncertainty, Spenda’s solutions can help. Our Business Survival Guide:  How to manage cash flow in uncertain times, outlines everything that franchise businesses need to do to optimise their cash flow and grow. Click here to download your free copy.