Franchisors sell the use of their trademark, and supply their products and services along with a system of operation that’s replicated across all their partner locations. In return, the franchisee bears the major part of the investment risk, but gets to avoid the burdens of advertising and inventory.
The cornerstone of this marriage of interest is fidelity to the brand, based on the promise that all customers will have the same experience in any franchise location — across a city, a country, or even a continent. Easy to say, but hard to achieve, without attention to detail combined with intensive and repeated training.
This is were eLearning comes in, as a way to deliver standardized, flexible and cost-effective training across a scattered workforce without incurring the costs and logistical nightmares of scheduling physical training sessions.
First, of course, you’ll need the right eLearning platform (or LMS software, as we call it in the business). For this, you need not look any further than the industry leading eFront LMS, available in self-hosting and private Cloud editions.
Designed to accommodate thousands of users and able to run on as powerful a server as you wish, either in your data center or in a managed private cloud to which you have direct access, eFront scales with your business.
It will crunch on, whether you run it for a local franchisee chain with a few partner locations or some international brand with hundreds of franchisees and thousands of employees to train.
Unlike traditional classroom based training, in eLearning there are no time or space limitations, other than the ones you set, that is. Trainees can manage their training schedule as they wish, eliminating the friction that would arise due to conflicting patterns among them and minimizing business disruption (e.g. from having courses scheduled during working hours).
Running eFront as a single point deployment not only ensures easier management and backups, but also means that any updates to the training material will be disseminated instantly to every single trainee. This can be of critical importance in a place like the USA where a franchisor has been ruled to be a “joint employer”. While this decision might be overturned or your business might operate in a different jurisdiction, keeping your employees informed on the latest changes of the regulatory and safety laws works to your advantage.
You also don’t need anything fancy, equipment wise, to start benefiting from eLearning. Any device with access to the web, ranging from a smartphone to a desktop computer (including the employees’ own machine at home), is enough for online training with eFront. After all, nobody expects a retail store or a fast food restaurant to have an IT department.
With eLearning you don’t need to wait for some final exam or grading to happen either. With eFront’s reporting capabilities, franchisees can have a clear and accurate image of each employee’s progress, paired with statistics of their group’s performance at any point in time, while franchise operators get the flexibility to focus on the big picture or to zoom-in and examine the training performance of specific franchise locations.
eFront’s scalability and flexible mechanism for reusing lessons and course contents, combined with features such as groups and branches, enable a franchise chain to easily deploy the same standardized material across its whole partner network, and manage everything from a simple, web based user interface.
With eFront your content creators have access to a range of tools that allow for the fine manipulation of text and the inclusion of images, audio, video, presentations, tests and more, with automatic conversion to web-friendly formats and easy re-use.
And when you need to break your training material’s uniformity to handle some region-specific concerns or cultural differences, from adjusting to local business laws to changing your fast food chain’s menu to accommodate Indian’s predominantly non-beef eating population, eFront allows you to edit your base course to create a version that is more suitable for a specific audience.
An eLearning platform like eFront couples its training function with that of an archival tool. If your rock star employees leave for greener pastures or maybe transfer to a new branch of your franchise, they won’t take with them all the investment you’ve made on their training.
This, which management types will recognize as “knowledge retention”, is an important aspect of building a successful and future proof organization. You could of course put the same knowledge in a content management system (CMS), but having it inside your LMS means it is not merely passive content, but always available for training new hires in your company’s workflows.
With eFront you can build an always-accessible storage of digital documents, describing best practices, lessons learned and operational patterns. This not only safeguards you against personnel changes, but also enriches the training courses with real life scenarios.
Just as franchising has in some way made opening your own business more of a commodity by minimizing risks and costs, eLearning technology has commodified education. Heck, even Stanford and MIT run eLearning programs these days.
And, we saved the best for last, all this power and flexibility comes at a fraction of the cost of classroom based training, as there’s no need to book the right venue(s) or budget for the reimbursement of the trainees’ travel and accommodation expenses. With eFront an instructor, or even a couple of them, are more than enough to serve hundreds or thousands of trainees across multiple facilitates.
Take eFront for a test drive today, and see for yourself how eLearning can take your franchise business to the next level.
Improve your employee, partner and customer training with our enterprise-ready learning management system. Book a demo now and see why our diverse portfolio of customers consistently give us 5 stars (out of 5!)