What 200 Operations Executives Told Us About Operations Today
Franchise operations are emerging from a tumultuous storm. The phrase “sink or swim” has never been more relevant, with many businesses having to adapt and ride the wave of complex challenges brought on by Covid-19.
Today, we are still grappling with the impacts of the pandemic. There are varied economic indicators and an ongoing labor shortage. It’s safe to say that operations has never been more important – and never more challenging.
Understanding these realities, we hosted a webinar that combined the findings from our own operations data analysis with feedback from our customers to help COOs identify where and how they should deploy precious human capital and their IT resources.
During the presentation, we were curious to hear experiences from the field and polled our audience of 200 franchise operations executives about how the current labor shortage is affecting their business, and whether in-person visits have gone up or stayed the same since vaccine rollouts began. The results were revealing. Take a look.
Key Insight: The results confirmed what we all have been dreading: three quarters of respondents are moderately or severely affected by the labor shortage. We believe the labor shortage won’t last forever, but it certainly won’t change overnight, even with the elimination of the enhanced $300 weekly unemployment insurance benefits and stimulus. In addition to aggressive recruiting tactics and incentives for new hires, brands should look for ways to support their franchisees in making more long-lasting changes to their operating models.
Key Insight: On a related note, we asked the audience if and how their strategy for site visits has changed, based on in-person versus virtual audits. Only 10% of respondents said they shifted to virtual visits and plan to stick with it. This underscores their perceived value of doing site visits in person. With pandemic uncertainties and travel restrictions coming and going and coming again, many franchise businesses were forced to turn to virtual visits. However, the data from our survey indicates that most don’t feel this format is effective enough to continue today. Even if in-person is more costly and time-consuming, it’s worth it for most brands. At the same time, the biggest group of respondents said they would like to have a healthy balance. Presumably, this also means realizing some of the efficiency gains of virtual audits, but not giving them up entirely.
Free on-demand webinar
These survey questions were just one part of our webinar, “The Role of the Franchise Operations Team Today.” It’s available on demand, and well worth a review by COOs and their teams. Topics include:
- Operational excellence through consistency and quality of service, brand compliance, and field execution.
- Improved unit-level performance by centralizing and analyzing operational data and deploying playbooks for remediation and improvement.
- Staff enablement and support through franchisee communication, engagement, onboarding, and on-site staff training support.
- Legal and process compliance using data management and collaboration with legal to ensure a single source of truth.
Takeaways from this webinar can serve as a benchmark to ensure you have the right priorities for your franchise operations in today’s rapidly changing environment.
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