Monthly Archives

January 2019

Meet the Team: Patrice Boulet, Product Influencer

By | Team
Patrice Boulet, Product Manager at FranchiseBlast

We love hearing from our customers about the usability of our product. Patrice Boulet, Product Influencer at FranchiseBlast is a big part of making usability a big part of the franchise field audit and performance apps. He has been with FranchiseBlast for almost 5 years, and works as the Product Manager.

In that role, he ensures that the FranchiseBlast development team builds the right thing at the right time and provides an outstanding experience to customers.
Here is a special Q&A with Patrice.

What do you do from day to day?
“As a customer-centric organization, we try to gather as much feedback as possible from our users everyday to understand their needs. I ensure that we take into consideration their feedback in prioritizing features we’re going to roll out within our products roadmap. I translate my passion for into human-machine interaction into designing engaging user experiences to help people accomplish more with less while having fun.”

How did you get involved at FranchiseBlast?
Patrice: “I joined the company as a software engineer in 2014 based on a recommendation from an awesome research supervisor that also happened to be the supervisor of Jason Kealey, the President of FranchiseBlast.”

How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
Patrice: “A good listener and a dynamic individual who brings people together to solve problems..”

Patrice Boulet, Product Manager at FranchiseBlast

What are some causes that you care about?
Patrice:  “As a surf enthusiast, I care about cleaning our oceans and making the planet a better place to live.  While traveling around the world, I have personally experienced a few natural disasters in South East Asia. As a result, I try my best to help the people affected through disaster relief funds.”

What are you happiest doing when you are not working?
Patrice: “Surfing a shallow reef break in tropical waters on big swell makes my day. I have a passion for traveling and learning about new cultures which also translated into learning Muay Thai. I really enjoy practicing that sport.”

If we went to happy hour, what would you order?
Patrice: “I really appreciate well brewed triple IPA craft beer.”

If you could be anywhere in the world other than here, where would it be?
Patrice: “Follow the surf seasons in tropical weather and move from one coast to the other chasing the best surf breaks in the world.”

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4 Reasons Why Usability Is the Most Important Factor in Franchise Technology

By | Franchise Technology
Why usability is important in franchise technology

Franchises across many verticals have made significant investments in franchise technology from point-of-sale systems to cloud computing. However, many times these investments fall short of their potential because franchisees, or even head office, do not use them. Franchisors then are on the hook for expensive annual agreements while the technology sits unused. One of the top reasons the investment is wasted? The lack of usability.

What is Usability?

According to Simple Usability A satisfied user…
• Achieves their goal
• Enjoys their experience
• Tells others
• Comes back again

Basically, if the franchisee were to use the franchise technology provided and actually return to it and use it again – multiple times, they are a satisfied user.

A usability expert would say that the ultimate application would not even need a manual. It would be a matter of pressing the start button, and the rest would be intuitive. Kind of like how simple it is to order your Friday night pizza online.

Unfortunately, many users blame themselves for not being able to use the franchise technology easily. But the truth is, it’s the software engineers and developers themselves who have it wrong if it is not intuitive for people to use.

So why is usability so important? Let’s find out more below.

1) We are All Multitasking

In a busy franchising environment such as a restaurant, health club or doggy daycare everyone is multitasking. Tasks need to remain simple so that when you are, for example, checking in a client and accepting payment, you can still be 100% with your customer. Being distracted and fiddling with technology when you should be engaging your client can have a negative impact on your business.

This is so important that some of your best franchisees will choose their customers over technology – after all, their customers are why their business is successful!

2) Mobile Rules

Have you ever gotten annoyed while trying to select that tiny type in a menu while using your mobile device to navigate a website?

It’s frustrating!

It’s enough to make many people exit and not return and is the reason why Google rates usability so highly in their Search Engine algorithm.

With so many things from audits to taking customer payments happening on mobile devices from the size of an iPad to phone screen, having a simplified, mobile responsive design to reduce “big thumb” syndrome is crucial to ensuring a satisfactory experience.

3) Not Usable = Lost Users

With the expansion of mobile devices and the online marketplace, the number of competitors for just about everything has exploded.

There are so many apps on the market that can solve your problem in one way or another. If your franchise technology isn’t simple to use, your franchisees (or their staff) will turn to something else. You then, as the Franchisor, will lose control of important data.

Losing control of data can not only slow the growth of your business by restricting what the information you have to make important decisions, you also will be unable to take advantage of big data applications since everything is not all in one place.

4) We Have No Time to Waste

It’s like Mario Karts out here – it’s an increasingly competitive world. You slip on a banana peel just in time to have to avoid a Koopa shell. You don’t have time to waste with software your franchisees will not use.

Wasting time on double-data entry or using a workflow that does not make sense is a waste of time, time that could be spent adding to the bottom line. And as we all know, time is money. Time is value.

Lawyers talk about “billable hours”. How many hours are actually adding to your bottom line, and how much of it is simply “busy work”?

Looking for something more usable?

FranchiseBlast is widely recognized as the most usable audit app available to Franchisees. Our workflows match those of the Franchise Business Consultant.

With a mobile-first design your franchisees will be able to easily use the application from whichever device they prefer. And with our simple design, they can give easily multitask between using the franchise technology and giving their customers and employees the attention they need.

IFA: 5 Ways to Make Your Franchise Field Audits More Effective

By | Audits / Brand Consistency, Events

Date: Monday, February 25th, 2019
Time: 3:15
Location: International Franchise Association Convention, Las Vegas, NV

Moderator: Steve White, President & COO, PuroClean, Inc
Panelists: Jason Kealey, CFE, President, FranchiseBlast; Amy Perkins, CFE, Senior Business Consultant, Ben & Jerry’s; Melinda Thrasher, Manager, Client Services and Operations, IFX
Register: IFA Convention Registration

Whether you are performing self-audits or sending inspectors out into the field, conducting effective audits can make all the difference. Panelists will draw on insights gleaned from working with thousands of units across more than one hundred systems, and will do a deep dive on 5 key ways field consultants can boost the impact of their audits. Combining both technical and operational expertise, this session will provide a well-rounded, statistics-filled presentation relevant to both restaurant and service concepts alike.

CFA: 5 Ways to Boost Your Franchise Field Audit

By | Audits / Brand Consistency, Events, Franchise Relationships

Date: January 30, 2019
Time: 12:00-1:00 EST
Price: Free
Register: CFA Website

Traditional field audits and performance reviews can be outdated, onerous and ineffective, leaving the franchisees and franchisors frustrated with little in the way of improvement. Yet, when done the right way, these evaluations are optimal for franchisees’ development and can help highlight needed improvements to your business.

Learning takeaways:

  • How to make visits more efficient and maximize the time allotted to coaches
  • How to automate mundane parts of the performance review and increase productivity
  • How to expand franchisee coaching outside of the visit via self-improvement processes