Franchise technology consolidation is a must for businesses today. With the challenges of combining corporate and regional communication, increasing retention, and fostering a unified, engaging culture, franchisors need streamlined solutions. This article shares why it’s critical, and the best ways for franchises to consolidate their technology.

For franchise organizations, technology consolidation is critical. It’s challenging to operate efficiently with the differing needs of corporate and regional staff, the cultural and communication issues that stem from having many dispersed locations, and the high percentage of deskless employees. Technology overload can exacerbate these factors and must be addressed if franchise businesses want to remain competitive.

The sheer number of technology solutions has gotten out of hand across sectors, and franchisors are struggling with an excessive amount of applications, platforms, and software solutions. Now is the right time to consolidate and make the switch to a streamlined solution that offers many functions rolled into one. That’s where the employee experience platform comes in.  

Read on to discover why tech overload can be so detrimental to franchises, the unique considerations franchisors must make when consolidating technology, and how an employee experience platform can help.

Your roadmap to digital workplace consolidation

Is your organization overwhelmed by too much tech? Our essential guide will help you leverage a unified platform to streamline workflows, boost productivity, and improve the employee experience.

The state of tech overload in franchise organizations 

There’s no question that franchisors need technology to run their businesses. The right solutions can make things a whole lot easier, whether they facilitate collaborating within corporate headquarters, disseminating information to franchise owners, or keeping frontline staff informed, connected, and productive.

But technology needs to be added thoughtfully – and this is especially true for franchise organizations, which face unique challenges when transmitting information, constructing a digital workplace that serves all employees, and aligning regional staff with corporate values. 

Larger enterprises have an average of 211 apps in their digital workplaces
Source: Okta

Typically, as an organization’s needs change, whether due to growth, innovation, responses to industry and workforce challenges, or efforts to increase competitiveness, it tends to accumulate more and more technology. These apps and platforms often serve singular purposes, leaving companies with a burgeoning tech stack that is cumbersome and inefficient. Common single-use platforms for franchise organizations can include: 

  • Digital signage to dispatch messaging to deskless workers 
  • Collaboration platforms (e.g., Slack or Microsoft Teams) for corporate employees 
  • Email newsletter solutions to communicate company-wide information to franchise locations 
  • Idea management software to collect ideas from franchises that can be implemented organization-wide 
  • Onboarding and offboarding software to serve a high-turnover workforce 
  • Enterprise social networking to foster a unified culture across franchise locations 

This list just scratches the surface – research shows that larger enterprises can have over 200 apps in their digital estates. While many of these apps are necessary and useful, the sheer number of solutions in place is detrimental to their utility.

The impact of technology overload on franchises 

Technology bloat has widespread implications for an entire franchise organization, from frontline staff and franchise owners to corporate teams and executives. 

When employees are faced with too many technology solutions to facilitate their work, they suffer from digital overload and confusion. This is true for both deskless workers at regional franchises and those reporting to the company’s corporate headquarters. Regardless of the type of work they’re doing, employees grow frustrated when they forget which platform to use for which task, leading to frustration and fatigue when they’re expected to bookmark a new website or download yet another app onto their devices. This is especially true for deskless workers who are often expected to use their own mobile phones for work-related applications.  

Deskless worker using franchise technology on mobile

Employees at franchise organizations may also find that an excess of technology makes it difficult to get the information they need to do their jobs. If they’re not routinely using all the platforms in the company’s digital workplace, they may miss key messaging, policy updates, and more. Franchise technology consolidation is essential to ensuring employees can easily find what they need to stay informed and up to date. 

For IT teams, having too much tech in the digital workplace means more vendors to vet and maintain, and more platforms on which to support employees who are having issues. It also increases cybersecurity risk – the more solutions a business utilizes, the more attack surfaces there are for security breaches. 

Internal comms and HR teams at franchise organizations feel the impact of too much technology especially acutely. It’s already challenging to communicate with a workforce that spans so many distinct locations and functions, but an excessive number of platforms and channels makes it even more of an uphill battle. The lack of a unified comms and knowledge-sharing platform increases the workload needed to send and track employee communications. It also increases the number of employee inquiries because workers aren’t aware of where to find things and complete tasks, especially if recent changes have occurred. It’s clear that to boost efficiency for these teams in charge of people and communication, something needs to change. 

Your roadmap to digital workplace consolidation

Is your organization overwhelmed by too much tech? Our essential guide will help you leverage a unified platform to streamline workflows, boost productivity, and improve the employee experience.

A shift toward consolidation 

Tech-related issues for employees and teams, operational inefficiencies, financial pressure, and calls to increase or maintain a competitive edge have all made technology consolidation an essential goal for today’s franchise enterprises. 

For such a relatively new workplace issue, tech consolidation is drawing a great deal of attention and landing high on organizations’ priority lists in every sector, from construction to finance to healthcare. Just look at what IT execs have planned – according to a recent survey of CIOs, 95% of organizations are planning to consolidate IT vendors within the next 12 months. A separate survey found that 90% of businesses are currently seeking a unified IT platform.  

Those beyond IT are feeling the same. For HR professionals and internal communicators, having multiple single-purpose solutions for onboarding, training, communication, employee recognition, and more, leads to inefficiencies and unnecessary use of resources. These teams are no doubt putting franchise technology consolidation proposals or plans into action. 

franchise checkout transaction

It’s clear that any franchise organization – or any organization in any industry, for that matter – that doesn’t prioritize streamlining technology will be left behind. But before consolidation efforts begin, franchisors need to understand the sector-specific considerations for franchise technology consolidation.  

Important factors for franchise technology consolidation 

Franchisors aren’t alone in experiencing tech overload. They do, however, face several challenges that make its effects more pronounced, along with some unique factors that require special attention during tech consolidation planning. 

Aligning a brand across multiple territories, digitizing standard operating procedures, and trying to engage employees who aren’t part of the corporate organization are all issues that franchisors and franchisees understand very well. Specifically, here are some considerations for franchise technology consolidation:  

Striking a balance between corporate and franchise-specific comms 

Balancing global and local communication is critical. While franchisees and their employees want to see content and communications relevant to their own regions, the organization must also make space for consistent brand messaging globally

Information cascades can also be a challenge because each area or region may require different campaign support or messaging, which means corporate teams must work harder to target individual franchise owners before the information reaches frontline employees. A lack of an intuitive centralized platform can lead to information delays, edits, or misinterpretations, impacting the effectiveness of messaging. 

Your roadmap to digital workplace consolidation

Is your organization overwhelmed by too much tech? Our essential guide will help you leverage a unified platform to streamline workflows, boost productivity, and improve the employee experience.

Working toward a cohesive culture 

Each franchise or franchise region may develop its own culture and norms, potentially deviating from the intended brand culture. Fostering a sense of belonging and shared values across geographically dispersed employees can be difficult.

Lack of digital and face-to-face interaction with colleagues from other locations or corporate offices limits opportunities for building personal relationships and trust among employees, potentially impacting engagement and collaboration. To counter this, social enterprise networking and community spaces are essential. 

Guarding against disengagement and turnover 

As with the retail sector, franchise businesses face a mix of challenges stemming from having high levels of frontline, often temporary, employees. As they typically have less access to internal communication channels, they may feel disengaged and alienated by top-down communications. 

High workforce turnover, poor operational efficiency, and a lack of employee buy-in all result from this failure to connect employees to the organization. 

Rather than implementing multiple digital solutions with limited efficacy, consolidating all communication and content in a unified platform with multiple communication channels can build a strategy that reaches a much wider audience without incurring the cost of extra apps.

happy franchise employee with tablet

While it can be challenging to strike a balance between centralized control and local autonomy, employee experience and communication tools with wide-ranging functionality (without the need for multiple platforms) can help. 

Franchise tech consolidation using an employee experience platform 

We’ve covered why technology consolidation is essential for franchises, and how franchise tech consolidation can help solve common issues for franchisors, franchisees, and employees. But once franchisors understand what must be achieved and what types of functionalities they require, they need to figure out how to make consolidation happen. 

Pathways for franchise technology consolidation
Pathways for franchise technology consolidation

A unified employee experience platform can provide the features franchise organizations need in their digital workplaces, giving them the ability to prune their tech stacks. The right solution allows franchisors to: 

  • Improve employee communication by providing both regional and corporate messaging on a single platform, making it easy for workers to stay informed with all essential updates on policies, processes, and company news in one place 
  • Facilitate better communication between corporate teams and franchise owners to reduce fragmented information cascades 
  • Give deskless, frontline franchise employees a single, accessible digital workplace for knowledge sharing and task completion, decreasing the digital overwhelm that stems from too many apps and increasing technology adoption and use 
  • Forward a centralized company culture by providing employees from all franchise locations the opportunity to connect socially through enterprise social networking, community forums, and more 
  • Boost employee engagement – and retention – through identification with the organization’s mission and values, as well as a dedicated space for recognition and employee listening 
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness of HR, internal comms, and IT teams so that they can better serve employees and organizational goals 

An intranet solution that serves as an employee experience platform can accomplish all of the above and more, allowing any franchise organization to consolidate its technology with confidence. But bear in mind that selecting the right solution makes all the difference. 

Finding the right platform for franchise technology consolidation

There’s no question of the pressing need for franchise technology consolidation. Franchises face unique challenges that are exacerbated by the presence of too many apps and platforms in their digital workplaces. These challenges include balancing organizational comms with franchise-specific ones, facilitating connection and collaboration across franchise locations, counteracting higher-than-average turnover rates, and maintaining a cohesive corporate culture among all employees. 

However, tech consolidation can seem like a huge undertaking. It’s a big leap to break ties with many existing vendors in favor of a new, multipurpose solution. But the right employee experience franchise intranet software can make all the difference.  

Look for a solution that goes above and beyond the capabilities of a typical intranet to serve as a single source of truth for frontline staff, franchise owners, and corporate employees, with features that allow for self-service task completion, improved internal comms, and increased employee engagement (think enterprise social networking, employee listening, recognition, and more). The right platform will allow you to replace the individual apps that are cluttering your franchise’s digital workplace with a one-stop shop for employee needs, and an indispensable tool for forwarding organizational goals. 

Your roadmap to digital workplace consolidation

Is your organization overwhelmed by too much tech? Our essential guide will help you leverage a unified platform to streamline workflows, boost productivity, and improve the employee experience.