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How franchising can benefit from B2B Commerce 

Supply Chain
min read

published on

June 28, 2023

In the early stages of your franchise, legacy systems may well be a suitable option. But as your franchise grows, it won’t take long before they start to slow you down. A lot. 

Persisting with these systems in the face of rapid expansion brings a number of complex challenges, all of which have the power to be fatal for your franchise. 

Challenges for franchising 

Manual tasks

Every second someone in your franchise spends on an unnecessarily manual task is a second wasted. Such inefficiencies will grind your franchise to a halt. Instead, automating repetitive tasks and other day-to-day activities will give every member of your franchise more time to focus on what matters — growing your business.

The result? Reduced productivity and stunted growth.

Archaic, analogue processes

Traditional B2B buyers may have preferred to place their orders over the phone, but the new generation of younger buyers expect to complete all their procurement tasks online. Investing in digital processes and solutions is therefore crucial if you want to meet the demands of your customers, as well as your own procurement teams. 

The result? Unhappy customers, unhappy franchisees and a limited digital footprint.

Poor data management

Without effective digital solutions in place, your franchise will be less able to track important metrics such as customer retention, seasonal trends and inventory health. Introducing dedicated reporting and analytics capabilities will help you uncover previously unseen insights across your entire franchise network.

The result? Poor decision making due to reduced visibility and inaccurate insights.

Zero centralization of orders

Failing to run all your orders through one central system can lead to an overly complex and underperforming supply chain, where each franchisee orders solely for themselves. Centralizing your orders means you can manage them in one place, improving visibility and reducing procurement/ delivery costs. 

The result? A bloated supply chain and cost inefficiencies.

Decentralized control

The more franchisees you add to your network, the harder it is to manage them all, and the more likely it is that they’ll each start doing things differently. While this may give your franchisees more autonomy, it reduces oversight, leading to discrepancies across your network of businesses.

The result? Inconsistent quality, branding and customer experiences.

Customization challenges

Another downside of poor data management is that it limits your ability to customize your offering for different buyers, therefore making it harder to ‘sweeten the deal’ when making a sale. With better customer insights, you can provide targeted product lists, as well as time-sensitive price promotions and bulk orders.

The result? Generic, non-personalized products, offers and experiences.

Ineffective customer support

If you can’t effectively communicate with your customers via their preferred digital channels, then you aren’t going to be able to provide adequate support when they need it most. All of your franchisees should have the tools and the training to provide quality customer service as standard.

The result? Underwhelming experiences and a reduction in customer loyalty.

How franchising can benefit from B2B Commerce

While legacy systems will hold your franchise back, the right B2B eCommerce and eProcurement platform can streamline every aspect of your franchise, from procurement to fulfillment. 

  1. Streamlined Supply Chain Management: The right B2B commerce platform can enable franchisors and franchisees to streamline their supply chain management. Franchisors can establish centralized purchasing and distribution systems, ensuring consistency and quality across multiple franchise locations. Franchisees can easily order products, equipment, and supplies through the platform, reducing administrative burdens and ensuring timely deliveries.
  1. Consistent Branding and Product Offerings: Consistent branding and product offerings across your franchise network is important for your business and your customers to feel trust. Easily, franchisors and franchisees can create digital catalogs, pricing structures, and marketing materials that align with the brand guidelines. Franchisees can access these resources, ensuring uniformity in product selection and customer experience.
  1. Franchisee Onboarding and Training: Onboarding new franchisees is a comprehensive task but this can be significantly more efficient with a B2B commerce platform.Franchisors can provide comprehensive training materials, product guides, and operational resources through the platform. This helps new franchisees quickly understand and comply with brand standards, product offerings, and ordering processes.
  1. Enhanced Communication and Collaboration: Franchisors and franchisees need to communicate effectively together to share information, announcements, promotions, and best practices. Franchisees can also communicate with each other, fostering a sense of community and knowledge sharing. All on a digital platform that centralizes all orders, history, training and communications. 
  1. Efficient Reporting and Analytics: Insights make better insights and performance. This is not always easy with siloed systems or non-existent insights into franchise networks. In a modern B2B commerce, you can track sales, inventory levels, product performance, and customer behavior across multiple locations. This data-driven approach helps identify trends, make informed decisions, and drive operational improvements.
  1. Pricing and Promotional Management: Franchisors can set pricing agreements, volume discounts, and promotional offers specific to each franchise location or group of franchisees. Franchisees can access and utilize these pricing structures, ensuring consistency and maximizing profitability.
  1. Efficient Order Processing and Fulfillment: Any existing processes can be automated in B2B commerce to facilitate order processing and fulfillment for franchisees. Franchisees can place orders directly through the platform, reducing manual errors and delays. This streamlines the entire order-to-delivery process, ensuring efficient inventory management and customer satisfaction.
  1. Scalability and Growth: By offering a robust ordering and supply chain management system, franchisors can attract potential franchisees and confidently scale their operations. B2B commerce facilitates growth by providing the infrastructure to support a larger network of franchisees.

By embracing B2B commerce solutions, franchising can achieve streamlined supply chain management, consistent branding, efficient communication, data-driven decision-making, pricing control, and scalable growth. B2B commerce platforms help optimize operations and foster collaboration between franchisors and franchisees, resulting in a more efficient and successful franchise system.

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About the author
Sixtine Millot
Head of Operations @ DJUST

Expert in topics on B2B operations, supply chain, logistics, and HR.

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