By Richard Durante, President of Tie National, LLC
Of course, businesses have to standardize to grow their company with more branches or franchises. The products and services sold, the aesthetics, hierarchy structure, and the equipment needed to run the business all must be the same to recreate the same brand image and service from one place to another. Many businesses fail to consider infrastructure and technology into this standardization beyond having the need for the same computers, POS systems, and phone systems. Design standardization in such detail that it even outlines the first installation and setup of the technologies used.
Corporate should consider aspects such as whether all the satellite locations use the same auto attendant greetings, on hold messages, and if the phone systems are set up in the same way at each site to maximize efficiency. Install computers identically according to a plan in place as well. Why? When things inevitably stop working, having standards in place allows for quicker identification of the problem thus resulting in a quicker resolution.
With standardization of these technology details, the IT support group can have pictures of the communication room. They can quickly find connection points when using a common numbering and labeling system in conjunction with color-coded patch cords. Technicians using a detailed scope of work during the installation will install technology according to plan. This can make the difference in getting a computer working again remotely instead of dispatching a technician.
Another benefit to standardization of technology is being able to budget cost from one site to the next across the country, as they will all be using the same services. Having professionals such as Tie National, LLC (TIE) help in designing a technology standard for these locations also takes the pressure off franchise owners. The big mistake that many start-up franchises make is they let the franchise owners fend for themselves when opening a new place when it comes to technology installation. Not only does this approach cause problems down the road but also creates a nightmare for that owner that knows little or nothing about technology. By requiring or strongly recommending a single company to deploy nationally all the technology, you remove all the guesswork and stabilize the cost (not to mention warranty repair when needed down the road).
Start with a company that understands your business model and your technology then work with them to create a detailed scope of work for each piece of the business technology for installation. Make sure that company understand the requirements for PCI compliance, and or HIPAA compliance if this affects your business. You must have a standardize plan in place for each of these requirements.