The Difference Between Scheduling and Routing in Franchise Territory Management
When it comes to the world of franchising, it’s much about territory. You see, franchisors obviously sell franchised outlets with specific territories, and then try to fill up the entire country as quickly as possible to dominate the market and their competition. As they continue to extend their brand name, they build a synergy, and it is imperative that they don’t leave any holes on their expansion map, or leave too many overlaps which can cause cannibalization of their own sales.
Now then, once those territories are created, franchisors and franchisees alike must deal with their missions at hand. The franchisor will have territorial managers which will go from territory to territory to monitor the franchisees, and that involves a lot of traveling, and crisis management. It also involves training and monitoring the terms and conditions of the confidential operations manual and operating procedures.
Generally these territorial managers will go from territory to territory on some sort of schedule, but since “events occur” and crisis are “bound to happen” they must also jockey around their schedule in their visiting rounds. And there is a big difference between scheduling and routing. Having a route and going from place to place can be difficult due to the hours of operation, the traffic involved, and the resting points in between the travels. Having a route in a day planner, or the electronic version, iPad, with a schedule on it is great, but things never generally go as planned.
Luckily, many franchisors have purchased scheduling and routing software for franchise territory management, which works quite well. And interestingly enough much of the same type of software can be used also by the franchisee if it is a business that does deliveries, or if it is a mobile service franchise. Consider if you will that the franchisee’s customers also need to be serviced, and many of them are on schedules, or routes. And there are also call-in orders, special jobs, add-on services, which can cause disruptions in the efficiency of the routes, and throw off the schedules.
Additionally, in this day and age of instant service, and customers using instant messaging, calling on the cell phone, and sending in e-mails, whichever software system is used to maintain the routing, and or scheduling, must all be integrated in real time. We live in a mobile world, and consumers expect things right now. Further, those that have been put on schedules or appointments, or on a route demand there is adherence to that as well. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this.