NEW FRANCHISE-TUNING SOFTWARE POSITIONS AMBER TILES FOR ANOTHER 40+ YEARS OF GROWTH
A quiet achiever in Australian franchising explains how upgrading their Business Management Platform fuelled their continued success.
- Leading flooring & walling retailer
- Founded 1973
- 28 stores in NSW, QLD and ACT
- Huge, diverse inventory
- Variable pricing by region
- Thousands of trade and consumer buyers
15 years ago, Amber Tiles wrestled control over an expanding franchise operation with the introduction of Micronet Distribution Software. Back then, it made a world of difference to a business with huge inventory and price management demands – and is credited with spurring much of the company’s subsequent growth.
15 years on, however, Amber Tiles saw gaps in their overall systems begin to emerge.
“We were losing out on valuable return business,” Amber Tiles Business Systems Manager Andrew O’Brien says. “Repeat trade buyers are gold for our stores. But we had no platform to stay in touch with them regularly. Many franchisees were relying solely on face-to-face contact to nurture these relationships – and that just wasn’t scalable.”
O’Brien also saw critical gaps in systems useability.
New staff needed significant, costly and time-draining training just to get up to speed. And even experienced users weren’t taking advantage of many of the existing system’s features – it was just too complex.
Plus, if outlet numbers were to keep growing, Amber Tiles knew they’d simply need more robust, efficient infrastructure and better operational support for their stores.
Why Amber Tiles chose HARMONiQ
Improving customer communications, franchisee relationships and overall staff productivity across multiple franchising locations is no easy feat.
The new software needed to address:
- Inbuilt marketing capabilities, allowing regular, segmented, personal communication with customers
- An intuitive and user-friendly platform to get staff on board and using it swiftly
- Ability to customise, including sophisticated inventory management features built specifically for the unique challenges of a franchise business
- Multi-site functionality, communication and visibility
- Ability to scale for the growth to come
“HARMONiQ met all of the requirements we set ourselves when we began our search for new software. And it provided a whole lot of additional functionality to boot.”
“In addition to integrating inventory management accounting and business intelligence capabilities,” O’Brien explains, “HARMONiQ also included the ability to stay in touch with our customers in a far easier way. Most of our franchisees don’t have a marketing department. Now we’re giving them the ability to access this capability themselves.”
“What really struck me about HARMONiQ was how customisable it was,” O’Brien continues, “we could easily simplify it, include or exclude features, all based on our specific franchisor requirements. And its scalability is also going to be a real asset.”
How’s it going so far?
All Amber Tiles stores are now successfully up and running on HARMONiQ. And the benefits have been significant from even the earliest days.
“Staff immediately found it easier to pick up and run with,” O’Brien reports. “And we’re getting real efficiencies from its multi-site functionality. Now we’re able to communicate, and trade electronically, with all our franchisees. Plus, we’re evolving our communications strategies to take advantage of its marketing automation tools.”
Any last advice?
O’Brien cautions that it takes serious commitment to get the result you want from implementation of a highly developed platform like HARMONiQ.
“If you want a product off the shelf, you get what you pay for,” he says. “But if you’re prepared to put in the effort and resources with HARMONiQ, it can make a huge difference for your users – and that’s where we’re getting the most benefit.”