Be they restaurants, opticians, pharmacies, fitness studios, fashion stores, or cosmetics shops: Franchising is a cross-industry system that offers immense benefits both to franchisees and franchisers alike.
Maintaining a clear win-win situation for all involved requires a franchise-focused IT network that addresses the unique circumstances and interests of each franchise location, while taking advantage of the centralization and automation that a good connection to the main office provides. LANCOM franchise networks address these concerns with highly available and secure software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN).
IT managers for a franchise chain are familiar with the expectations of the franchise headquarters and the franchise branches:
- … the identity of their company to be recognizable at every branch.
- … there to be a connection to their central database.
- … that they can centrally roll out price changes to their franchise branches.
- … that the underlying IT infrastructure is as lean as possible.
- … that they can display the latest offers in all branches.
- … the provision of new digital services to be simultaneous at all branches.
- … that they can offer their customers a modern shopping experience.
- … the checkout system to work.
- … their devices to have access to the central merchandise management system.
- … to keep full control over their operating costs and keep their total cost of ownership (TCO) low.
- … not to have to waste time with IT maintenance.
- … that the surveillance system and alarms work properly.
- … to be able to concentrate on their core business.
- … that their customers benefit from new services or offers from their franchiser.
- … that they are free to add their personal touch, e.g. with regional products in their branch.
- … that the IT infrastructure suits the shop space they have rented.
When it comes to IT networks, "reliability" particularly stands for "investment protection". Those who equip their stores with high-quality technology expect that there will be no failures or unforeseeable loss of performance. This is especially essential for digital payment systems with MDE devices. With their consistently low defect rate and high durability, you can alway rely on LANCOM devices – for an uninterrupted high-quality sales and shopping experience.
You decide on which equipment is required and then use the same combination of devices in every store.
- A secure SD-WAN gateway (router or firewall) for Internet access and connection to the franchise headquarters or to external service providers
- A branch switch for networking all network components at the franchise site
- Depending on the size of the branch, three or more Wi-Fi access points for your wireless applications
- A network management solution with a high degree of automation and top clarity
LANCOM store connectivity provides both: Individual IT equipment for every size of store and every floorspace layout and structure, as well as practical branch packages pre-designed for a chain according to corporate guidelines.
Centralized franchise networking of individual shops
Franchise sites are very similar despite different premises, shop sizes, and the available connection types. So all the more efficient it is to network them: Due to the similar structure of your sites, branch packages can be put together to make them easy to cost, that are designed in advance, and that are suitable for every branch of the franchise.
Custom branch networking for your franchise shop
Do your business premises require customized network equipment? Or do you wish to avoid the IT equipment leasing costs from your franchiser? Do you place a high value on data protection? With LANCOM, you retain full control of your operating costs and simply assemble your branch networking equipment yourself:
Reliable Wi-Fi for a modern shopping experience
Seamless, powerful, and stable Wi-Fi coverage throughout the branch for the use of modern logistics and sales technologies such as barcode scanners, self-service checkouts, and self-scanning hand scanners (self-checkout (SCO)), payment and bonus point apps, and much more.
Electronic shelf labels (ESL)
Instead of paper labels, use ePaper displays that are suitable for daylight and have a long battery life!
Prices, article descriptions, and even bar or QR codes can be updated at any time, individually and centrally from the merchandise management system by wireless – without interference on a single shared infrastructure.
Secure connection to and cooperation with credit institutions
Protect all EC cash transactions and your cash-balance transfer with the highest standard of security!
For customers, you can securely implement practical cash-back cooperations with different banks, where customers pay more than the value of the goods via card or app and receive cash from your checkout system in return.
A guest hotspot for the smooth functioning of apps
In your store, customers don't have to worry about a loss of mobile coverage.
A secure Wi-Fi hotspot is easily implemented with LANCOM and opens up many opportunities for personalized target marketing via the customer's smartphone.
Shop-in-shop cooperation made easy
Sometimes your offerings and those of another retailer complement each other perfectly. So why not go for a shop-in-shop cooperation?
LANCOM shop-in-shop infrastructures are securely isolated from each other, installed quickly and with few conflicts, and they ensure constant, high-performance access for the internal shop.
Hybrid working in retail
Black Friday, Easter, the pre-Christmas period – demand sometimes peaks and creates new challenges for personnel.
There are also clever solutions for hybrid working in presence-based retail, e.g. when looking after the online shop, accounting, organizing orders, and much more.
To keep your franchise network manageable and controllable, there can’t be any loose ends. Having numerous remote sites means a lot of administration: Setup, commissioning, configuration, maintenance – all of this is multiplied per branch.
Not so with the LANCOM Management Cloud! As an intelligent, agile network management cloud, it enables a professional "SD-Branch" with remote management and monitoring of all network components.
Agile, flexible, and future-proof
Centralize and automate configurations and rollouts thanks to auto-configuration and zero-touch deployment! What this means is: With Internet access in place, all you do is mount your devices at the right location and connect them.
Auto-configuration via the software-defined networking (SDN) means the device is ready for immediate use – without the need for the network administrator to travel and touch the device on site.
The quality of your store Wi-Fi has a major impact on your business processes and customer satisfaction – and thus on your reputation. To ensure that handheld scanners, applications, digital price tags, etc. function smoothly, disruptions should therefore be eliminated as far as possible. The powerful, 'thinking' access points from LANCOM and the LANCOM Management Cloud aim to get the best out of your WLAN right from the start.
LANCOM Active Radio Control 2.0 is a unique Wi-Fi optimization solution that analyzes and improves WLAN installations holistically and automatically. Based on real-world usage data, the optimal channel distribution and transmitting power are suggested during WLAN setup, and are repeatedly checked for improvement possibilities during regular operation. This minimizes the workload and costs many times over, especially in the case of large numbers of branches.
Intelligent digital retail networking
"In recent years, shopping has become faster, contactless and, above all, is increasingly digital. [...] At the same time, it is clear that the classic retail store is still the most important touchpoint for a personal, high-quality shopping experience. To manage the balancing act between stationary and digital sales channels, or even in store and online trade, what we need more than ever is a profitable symbiosis of networking solutions that are specifically tailored to the diverse requirements across the retail sector. From chain stores and franchisers to shop-in-shop operators, it is important to cost-effectively plan individual retail networks and roll them out as widely and as quickly as possible."
LANCOM White Paper about smart retail infrastructures and network requirements
In brief: With the LANCOM Management Cloud, you decide on the structure of your network. You set the framework and apply settings or software updates to every device on the network, fully automatically and wherever they are located. As an intelligent core element of your franchise IT network, the cloud handles all security mechanisms such as network isolation, roles and rights systems, and the 24/7 monitoring with its alerting feature.
This is how easy, pleasant, fast, and cost effective network management can be.
Real-time communication between main office and branch
Be it a franchise main office or a franchise site – the connection is up and allows fast, effortless working. All network-infrastructure devices can be managed in the LANCOM Management Cloud, which opens the way to a centralized setup, management, and maintenance of routers, firewalls, switches, and access points. Convenient for the franchisee, clear and inexpensive for the franchiser. Thanks to zero-touch functions, one-click security, and 24/7 monitoring, you save the administrator a lot of time and yourself a lot of money.
Scalable and future-proof franchises
As a franchiser, you can network anything from a few to more than a thousand sites in a centralized and standardized way. Our SD-Branch and SD-WAN solutions have already withstood several long-term practical tests in scenarios of all types and scales. There is no limit on your growth: A LANCOM network grows with your requirements and is well equipped for the future with free software updates and durable, always up-to-date technology.
Maximum availability for your business processes
The connection to central merchandise-management and logistics systems and in particular the payment system must not fail. The loss in sales would be unacceptable. That's why our SD-WAN gateways provide twice the protection for your network with an additional, integrated cellular backup and our reliable manufacturer support offers fast, direct help at all times.
Securely integrated external service providers
Some digital applications such as video surveillance or digital advertising can only be implemented by securely integrating external service providers into the network. Through clever network virtualization with strict network isolation, you only provide as much access as necessary to enable smooth and efficient cooperation.
Highly secure, trustworthy store connectivity engineered in Germany
Be it an international franchise or not, data protection and security are the top priority, especially when it comes to personal data about the customer and payments. With LANCOM you are on the safe side. Your franchise network not only meets the high security standards of the “IT Security Made in Germany” trust mark initiated by the German Ministry of Economics, it is also fully GDPR-compliant. The backdoor-free LANCOM products (software and hardware) are mainly developed and manufactured in Germany. With the LANCOM Management Cloud hosted in Germany, network management is also subject to European law.
Full cost control and transparency
Planning in the franchise business is truly worth its weight in gold. IT infrastructures from LANCOM reveal from the outset what the investment and running costs of your project will be: You receive a clearly priced product package including the manufacturer's guarantee and transparent software maintenance, which you can multiply as often as you like. This gives you control over and an overview of your operating costs at all times.
Full support from an experienced networking partner
Along with an overall portfolio that is perfectly tailored to franchise networks, LANCOM offers one thing in particular: More than 20 years of experience in store connectivity. Especially in retail, numerous franchising customers already trust in the secure and powerful networks, the professional support from a German manufacturer, as well as the customer-oriented communication with the Sales team.
Modern shopping in your store
Shopping has changed in recent years: With self-payment terminals and handheld scanners, distance shopping and delivery services, customer hotspots, electronic shelf labels and billboards: These are some of the shopping trends that LANCOM can help you be ready for. The professional LANCOM Wi-Fi with the latest standards Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E including conflict-free coexistence with Wireless ePaper radio modules, and various analysis and monitoring options in the LANCOM Management Cloud – you are equipped with everything you need for a modern shopping experience and targeted customer analysis.