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Designing a Comprehensive Franchise Company Computer System

One of the most important management tools a franchised company needs is a great computer system. The system must integrate with all the franchised outlets and also be able to interface with the Corporate HQ computer system. There are many companies which have already set up specialty IT systems for franchisors, but much of an off the shelf system will need modification. Be sure when talking with software vendors that you make sure that you get what you want and do not simply fall for the sales approach of them telling you what you need? After all, how on earth would they know that? Designing and/or securing a computer system will require some pre planning thought on your part.

Below is pre-planning exercise I went thru in an outline form to help you determine your own needs. Each company is different and you need to determine what you want, what you may want in the future and make your system scalable and able to handle feature creep as it grows. You should probably print this outline and modify it to fit your needs and then take a large sketch pad and draw out the your future system. This will assist you when taking to software consultants. Be careful not to take much advice from software consultants on what you will need, but listen very closely to their confidence and ability to make what you envision possible. Think on this, it is one of the most important decisions a new franchisor founder must make.

FRANCHISOR'S COMPUTER SYSTEM

I. COMPUTER PAGING SYSTEM

A. Central Answering Service

B. Alphanumeric Dispatching

C. Customer Data Bases

D. Sky Pagers (Cost)

II. QUALITY CONTROL

A. Outside Vendor

B. Post Cards

III. FRANCHISEE CONTROL

A. Egos

1. Press Releases

2. Cash Flow

3. Toys

4. Life Style

B. Name

1. Trademarks

2. Copyrights

3. Fictitious Name

4. Artwork

5. Logos

6. Programs

C. Money

1. Wells Fargo Bank

2. Royalty

3. Credit Cards

4. Applications

D. Customer

1. Data Bases

2. Faxing

3. Etc.

E. Business Model

1. Spare Trucks

2. Radio Ads

3. Training

4. Bonzai And Blitz

5. Etc.

IV. ANSWERING SYSTEM

A. Press One

B. Press Two

C. Press Three, Four, Five, Six

D. Fax On Demand

E. Credit Card Processing

V. ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE

A. Objectives

B. Reasons And Goals

C. Cost Re-Coup

D. Calculate Exponential Growth

E. Net Worth

F. Royalty Verification

G. Leasing Companies

H. Better Coverage

VI. PROGRAM DIAGRAMS

A. Program Menu

B. Accounts Receivable

C. P & L Statement

D. Balance Sheet

E. Customer Payment History

F. Faxing Data

G. Customer Profile

H. Customer List/Schedule

I. Statements

J. Depreciation

K. Tax Records

VII. FAX MARKETING

A. Fleets

B. Rainy Days

C. Data Bases

D. Corporate Car Washing

E. Rideshares

F. Etc.

G. Timing

VIII. CREDIT CARD DATA BASE SYSTEMS

A. Future Catalog Sales

B. Internet Sales

C. AAA

IX. ON LINE SERVICES

A. Corporate Employee Program

B. Work Stations

C. Network Interface

X. PAYMENT METHODS (OTHER)

A. Automatic Debit

B. Payroll Withholding

C. Customer Rewards Cards

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

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