GETTING A GRIP ON BUSINESS
in this article:
MYOB helps franchises build bigger profits through better information systems
Para Rubber is over 100 years old, but the company knows it needs to stay right up-to-date if it’s to remain competitive. Franchisor Vaughan Moss says that Para was originally set up without all the data collection and analysis tools that are vital for a modern retailer but that’s all changed now, thanks to MYOB.
‘Benchmarking is one of the biggest advantages that franchising offers,’ says Vaughan. ‘It lets franchisees see how they’re doing and identify areas for improvement by comparing their results with others operating exactly the same type of business. Having good data also helps the franchisor provide advice where it’s needed, buy stock more efficiently and create more effective marketing. But until you have some common technology in place, it’s hard to access all these benefits.
‘Installing MYOB online accounting throughout the franchise has made a big difference and proved extremely successful for us. The beauty of it is that you don’t need to have a head for figures so anybody can work it and get the information they need. And MYOB ties in with a package called Fathom which was personalised for us through Franchise Accountants to provide all the benchmarking data we need across 13 financial KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). These provide figures for the group and each outlet individually on revenue, profits, stock turn, financial ratios, earnings and more, and that’s just for starters.
‘One of the most powerful tools of the MYOB/Fathom combination is the What if? processor. This enables us to input marginal changes, such as points of a percent on profit margins or increased customer numbers, and predict the outcome across each of our 10 outlets. It’s unbelievably powerful and means that we can be very targeted when it comes to creating effective promotions – and, of course, it also enables us to measure the actual results and compare them.’
Vaughan says that the biggest challenge for any franchisor is getting franchisees on a common accounting platform. ‘We chose MYOB because we were able to do it cost-effectively, and part-funded it to make it even more affordable for franchisees.
‘It’s an interesting situation, because in financial matters a franchisee often has a stronger relationship with their accountant than with their franchisor. But an accountant looks at an individual business through a telescope rather than having a perspective on the franchise as a whole. Once they have access to benchmarking info, though, they can service their client much better and focus on providing advice rather than just doing the books. MYOB makes it so easy – the franchisee, their accountant and the franchisor can get access to the information they need without interfering with each other. And MYOB is especially powerful with all the add-ons available, especially things like Today point of sale software which feeds sales and stock data through to MYOB without any franchisee input – that meant saying goodbye to a lot of time-consuming data entry.’
One other major factor in Para Rubber’s decision to go with MYOB has been the quality of the support available. ‘MYOB are actively involved in franchising and take the trouble to understand what franchisors and franchisees need,’ says Vaughan. ‘Lauren Taylor, MYOB’s Franchise Business Development Manager, is our go-to person: she attends a lot of franchise events and when it comes to getting a new store up and running Lauren ensures that they get all the benefits right from the start, including a relationship with a local MYOB consultant for any questions they might have.’
Another local franchisor, Stephen James of The Alternative Board, agrees. ‘I’ve just switched over to MYOB because they’re committed to New Zealand and Australia, they’re involved in franchising and you can talk to the key people rather than intermediaries. I had lunch with Lauren just last week – she wanted to check how it was all going and how the new set-up was working. Getting reports with all the information we need helps all our franchisees improve their game.’
Lauren herself has many years’ experience integrating software and reporting systems into businesses both in New Zealand and overseas. She’s loving her specialist franchise role, which she moved into six months ago. ‘I understand the pain points for small business in introducing new technology, and the great thing about MYOB is that it’s so flexible and so adaptable – people often don’t realise just how much it can do once you get your systems talking to each other and sharing information.
‘My job is to connect the right people and find the right add-ons to get the right solution. Franchises may have similarities but every business is unique: by knowing your specific goals and challenges, we can make life easier – and more profitable – for everyone. And once the franchise introduces common systems, we can provide step-by-step training to help franchisees get the best out of them.
‘MYOB online accounting and the available add-ons can automatically do things franchisees are currently struggling with – or paying others to do. They can increase visibility throughout the franchise, improve sales and improve margins for franchisees and franchisor alike.
‘To find out more, give me a call.’
This advertorial is taken from Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 25 Issue 4
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.