Takeaway Insights: Best Practices for Data-Driven Franchises

Franchise operations such as restaurant groups have no shortage of data. In fact, for many franchisors, the sheer volume of data is one of their main challenges. The solution, of course, is not less data. The solution lies in using applications that bring that data together for analysis so you can make proactive, strategic management decisions based on the most current information available. Cloud-based franchise ERP applications like Sage Intacct are designed to help you turn data into actionable insights. Sage Intacct published an e-book on the subject of franchise ERP recently, and here we thought we’d highlight some of the key takeaways. You can read the entire e-book here: Best Practices for Data-Driven Restaurants.

 

Using Data to Control Prime Costs

Razor-thin margins are the norm in the restaurant franchise industry, making staying on top of prime costs an imperative. Prime costs — calculated as cost-of-goods sold combined with labour costs — can be over 60% of sales. Managing both requires a level of granular visibility that entry-level applications like QuickBooks cannot provide. 

Franchise ERP applications like Sage Intacct use a dimensional general ledger that allows you to slice and dice your inventory data for maximum visibility — even drilling down to see the COGS of individual items or broad categories like Food and Beverages. As a result, slow-moving and high-cost items can be easily identified allowing you to make strategic decisions such as adjusting prices or eliminating certain items. 

Dimensions work in a similar way to provide visibility into labour costs. By assigning staff categories to reporting dimensions you can see what is driving your costs. Labour reports using that data can help you determine optimal staffing levels for each location and each time of day so that you can optimize your human capital. In the e-book, you’ll read how one Sage Intacct restaurant group reduced annual overhead costs by 20%.

 

Managing Multi-Entity Data 

In our experience working with restaurant franchise groups, one of the most pressing struggles is managing multiple entities or locations. In QuickBooks, this means signing in and out of different companies throughout the day, duplicating transactions across entities, and hours of data manipulation between spreadsheets to roll up financial results. 

Sage Intacct is a franchise ERP application designed to handle multiple entities elegantly and efficiently. The application automates inter-entity transactions and allows you the view the current financials of each of your locations, brands, and entities — with continuous consolidations. One Sage Intacct customer you’ll read about in the e-book is saving 18,000 hours annually by eliminating manual data entry. 

 

Real-Time Visibility Across Systems

Restaurant franchise operations rely on multiple business applications, from payroll to point-of-sale, reservations and scheduling, to core financials and inventory control. This best-of-breed approach ensures that you’ve got the right tool for every job. However, without integration between the applications, you end up with opaque data siloes and no cross-enterprise visibility. 

Modern, cloud-based franchise ERP applications are built with integration in mind. Using Sage Intacct, for example, you can integrate all your restaurant systems, effortlessly maintaining a current, holistic financial view all in one place. And with the broad functionality that’s part of the application, you may even be able to eliminate the need for some third-party applications. One Sage Intacct customer you’ll read about in the e-book was able to do just that and is saving $20,000 annually.

 

Harness Data for Actionable Insights

Restaurant franchise groups are awash invaluable data, but without the right technology, its value is lost. Franchise ERP applications harness your data turn that data into actionable insights through powerful reporting and predictive analysis tools. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a data-driven organization in the e-book Best Practices for Data-Driven Restaurants.

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