Instead of expensive Microsoft Projects – Why Chainformation can Be the Smarter Platform Choice for Fast-Growing Multi-Location Brands.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of retail and restaurant industries, multi-location businesses and franchises are constantly seeking efficient and scalable solutions to manage their operations and stay in communication with local operators. 

While enterprise-level systems like Microsoft’s suite for Teams and SharePoint are well-known and widely used, they might not be the best or smartest choice for fast-growing multi-location brands, especially those without internal IT departments or the desire to “own” bespoke software. 

So, if you think this image represents your business – then you can stop reading, this is not for you.

However, if this is more in line with what your core is about, please stay with us for another 5 minutes. 

Let’s share some insights into what options are available. 

The problem that needs solving 

Any self respecting strong franchise brand has a clear vision on how their locations are to be operated, what customers should expect and how local franchise owners and staff should be supported to execute on those visions.

It requires a constant flow of information, communication and sharing of brand standards, procedures and activities. At the core of this you should find a complete Operations Manual and defined Standard Operating Procedures. There might be the need to communicate different information and procedures to different parts of the network, due to local variations and legislative requirements. 

Finally, there is an urgent need to follow up so all procedures, marketing and recurring routines are executed in line with said standards, and that any deviations and problems quickly can be identified and resolved.    

The Challenge with Enterprise-Level Systems

Complexity and Customization

Microsoft Teams and SharePoint are powerful tools designed to handle a wide range of business needs. But they are much geared towards “office-work”, people using the computer as their main tool, and have the subsequent education and mindset. 

For us, with people working “practical” jobs in restaurants, shops and gyms etc, the reality is not always aligned with these software solutions. However versatile they claim to be, it often comes with a steep learning curve and significant complexity, which can be overwhelming for businesses without dedicated IT staff and “corporate users”. 

Setting up, customizing, and maintaining these systems to fit the specific needs of a retail or restaurant franchise requires considerable time, expertise, and resources in time, and surprise – money! 

Because these platforms are, in contrast to popular belief, not “ready-to-use” as they come. Far from…

Cost and Resource Intensive

Implementing and managing enterprise-level software is not just about the initial setup; it involves ongoing costs related to licensing, customization, training, and support. For businesses with limited internal IT capabilities, this often means hiring external consultants or managed IT services, further escalating the costs.

Example Cost Breakdown:

For a brand with 10-20 locations, embarking on a project to build and implement an Operations Support Platform with Microsoft Teams and/or Sharepoint, could look like this.

– Initial Consultation and Planning: 10-20 hours, estimated cost $1,000-$4,000

– System Setup and Configuration: 20-40 hours, estimated cost $2,000-$8,000

– Customization and Integration: 30-60 hours, estimated cost $3,000-$12,000

– Training and Documentation: 20-40 hours, estimated cost $2,000-$8,000

– Testing and Initial Support: 10-30 hours, estimated cost $1,000-$6,000

Total Initial Setup and Rollout: 90-190 hours, estimated cost $9,000-$38,000

Ongoing Support: 5-15 hours per month, estimated cost $500-$3,000 per month

Ongoing Development/changes/updates: 30-60 hours per year, estimated cost $3,000-$12,000

Conclusion: It adds up….fast!

Scalability and Flexibility

While Microsoft’s solutions are scalable, the customization required for each unique location or role within a business can be cumbersome. This becomes especially challenging in fast-growing franchises where operational consistency across locations is crucial. Just managing a simple thing like recurring schedules for daily tasks in Teams across a network of locations can be a nightmare. 

Enter Chainformation: Tailored for Multi-Location Businesses

Specialized for Retail and Restaurants

Chainformation is designed specifically for multi-location businesses, offering tools and features that address the unique challenges of managing such operations. With over 20 years of experience and a customer base that includes hundreds of brands across various industries, Chainformation understands the intricacies of retail and restaurant management.

Fully integrated features like; Digital Operations Manuals, Unified and Role-based communication, Scheduled checklists and Task management, File & Media library and Brand Audit Module, creates a complete eco-system for all aspects of operations, support and Brand compliance. It can easily be fitted to accommodate 3 or 3000 locations, without any consultants or complex projects. 

Simplified Setup and Management

Unlike the complex setup required for enterprise systems, Chainformation offers a streamlined, intuitive interface that minimizes the learning curve. Its flat-rate pricing model ($75 per store per month, NOT per User) includes all features and support, making it a cost-effective solution without hidden fees or additional unseen expenses.

Comprehensive Features

Chainformation provides an all-in-one platform that includes Role-based communications and permission levels, task-list management, digital Operations Manual distribution, and Brand compliance tracking. These features are designed to ensure operational consistency and efficiency across all locations, without the need for extensive customization or technical expertise.

Ease of Use for Frontline Workers

Generation Z employees, who make up a significant portion of the retail and restaurant workforce, expect technology to be user-friendly and mobile-optimized. Chainformation’s platform is designed with these users in mind, ensuring that tasks and communications are easily accessible on their preferred devices. 

Book a demo or free trial – go “Aha!” offers a robust solution that addresses communication, compliance, and execution challenges faced by multi-location businesses. It’s a single unified platform bringing together a set of tools all uniquely designed for these specific organizational structures as franchised networks are.

Don’t let your tech-stack dollars go to waste. Book a guided demo today to see how can help your business achieve seamless communications and support flawless local execution and drive better results. 

We’ll help you get started and no credit card is required!

Summing it all up

For fast-growing multi-location businesses and franchises, the right operational management system can make all the difference. While enterprise-level systems like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint offer robust capabilities, their complexity, cost, and resource demands can be prohibitive for businesses without dedicated IT departments (and budgets!!). End-Users require intuitive apps they can get on-board without thinking twice – and that’s a challenge with Enterprise platforms!

Chainformation provides a tailored, cost-effective solution that’s super easy to use, it simplifies operations, enhances efficiency, and supports growth without the need of adding more overhead people or money, making it the smart choice for today’s dynamic retail, gym and restaurant environments.