Leave the 1950s behind and join the 21st Century.
The three-ring binder was invented in 1898; the Xerox hit the market in 1958 and today most franchisors still use this technology to communicate within their system. It was an effective approach well into this century. But rising printing and shipping costs are taking their toll. Printing and shipping manuals is time consuming and people misplace and ignore directives from the central office. The impact on the brand becomes noticeable and miscommunication and frustration ensures. Without the ability to communicate rapidly, the system and franchisees suffer. It’s time to leave the 1950s behind. Isn’t it time for franchisors to join the modern age and digitize the manuals.
Developing smart manuals manage the content and training are an increasingly popular and savvy way to lower printing and shipping costs, and be an effective resource that improves profitability. Cloud based, interactive manuals offer franchisors the opportunity to integrate the policies and procedures with training and compliance to be of genuine use to franchisees. Franchise systems manuals, training, field operations and compliance reporting are integrated into a single source of information. The best thing is that it lives on one’s phone.
Responsive website technology allows companies to eliminate computers and employ a bring-your-own-device philosophy. Because it lives online, the manuals can be viewed anywhere, on or off-line. The need for printing and shipping is abolished.
Also eliminated are the time consuming and expensive editing and revision processes. Revising franchise operations manuals can take several weeks. The process requires engaging the subject matter experts, the writer, an editor, and possibly a graphic designer; and the attorneys. Smart manuals give franchisors the ability to make changes on an as-needed basis, instantly. Manual updates can be tracked and user information is reported. By requiring franchisees, or managers, to acknowledge new policies by taking tests, or “clicking the box.” Moving the operations, training and compliance into a comprehensive digital system eliminates the excuse, “You never told me to do X, Y, Z.”
While the investment to digitize one’s franchise operations manuals is not inexpensive, over time, companies save money by eliminating printing, shipping, miscommunication and willful ignorance. Operations, training and compliance systems structured on the cloud empower franchisors to better manage their system, and focus resources to improving individual franchisee profitability on a global scale.