Retail Case Study: Reducing Support Costs



More than $2,500,000 in Savings for Fortune 500 Company by setting up a Netfor Service Desk and streamlining processes helped the world’s largest franchisor in its business category slash IT costs. Providing the company with a steady diet of innovative technology service improvements strengthened its bottom line and customer experience.

Situation: When a national business services provider approached Netfor in 1999, the top Fortune 500 franchisor knew it was spending too much and getting too little from the “help desk” service provider supporting its 4,500 stores’ information technology needs. In fact, it was overspending an estimated $500,000 annually

To better understand the company’s and its franchisees’ issues, Netfor’s Implementation Team asked many questions about how the business network functioned, where problems of low quality were being found, and where unnecessary redundancies could be eliminated. 

Challenges: The company’s first challenge was that individual franchise owners were expected to perform all of the technology-related deployment services themselves or were contracting local technicians to handle the job. This technology burden included setting up instrumental parts of their businesses, such as the Point of Sale System, Card Readers, and Wire Drops. In many cases, technology issues weren’t handled, and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance was compromised. 

While this isn’t an unusual challenge for most retail stores and franchise locations, it can be damaging. For this franchisor, it resulted in inefficiencies and low-quality service, further increasing the number of support calls incoming to the help desk and interrupting the franchise owner’s ability to keep their business up and running.

The more costly challenge was that the franchisor’s IT “help desk” service provider was charging the company $500,000 more annually than we at Netfor considered necessary. Essentially, the franchisor was wasting $500,000 every year it stayed with the same technology support provider.

Action: Our first action was to transition the company’s technology lifecycle to a model in which Netfor managed and deployed inventory. We are intimately familiar with the systems and hardware, such as thermal receipt printers and pole displays, used in every franchise location, enabling us to quickly move in, set up the franchise’s technology needs, and move out so business can start happening. 

To complete the deployment, a remote technician configures and tests the system(s). By managing all hardware deployment, Netfor has eliminated the need for multiple outside vendors, thus increasing efficiencies and accountability. 

Partnering with the company to maintain its Netfor Service Desk has yielded the most savings. By implementing our ITIL Framework for delivering our Netfor Service Desk customer experience, we are saving the company $500,000 each year of a five-year contract —$2,500,000 in technology-related fees over the life of the contract. Netfor customer experience is based on excellence in first-call resolution and customer satisfaction. 

Major Results: By streamlining its deployment process and using the Netfor Service Desk, this client has enjoyed sustainable benefits, including savings estimated at $500,000 annually. Our initial action has yielded a reduction in deployment costs and costs related to supporting the company’s ongoing technology needs. New locations’ technology systems are up and running faster and more efficiently, so retailers are up and running sooner. Ongoing support is now provided to more than 4,500 franchise locations in 50 states and Puerto Rico. 

These changes have practically eliminated operations interruptions at the physical locations and have significantly reduced the incidence of disruptive technology issues. Mood music, shown to improve a customer’s experience and chances of buying, is staying on. Credit card swipe machines and other hardware are staying functional. For these locations’ customers, that means shorter wait times and an overall improved experience. 

With Netfor’s technicians on the job, the work has been better executed and more efficient, freeing up the franchise owners to manage their day-to-day business so they can focus on what they do best.

Sustainability: Netfor’s involvement with this company has continued as we support its push forward in the marketplace. The franchise giant has turned to us to provide project managers, field technicians, and remote technicians required to open more than 400 new stores in a consistent, turnkey manner. These same Netfor professionals also configure and deploy more than 1,200 systems annually. With each resolved call, the Netfor Service Desk continues to empower each location to improve its same-store sales metrics.

In 2001, this client awarded Netfor its prestigious Vendor of the Year award. We are also the exclusive on-site vendor of its system inventory and data migration services. This valuable retail client subscribes to all of Netfor’s services, integrating the full spectrum of our customer experience offerings. Netfor continues to explore and implement service-improvement initiatives as they directly align with the company’s vision and mission.

Update: It’s 2022 and this partnership is still going strong! With now more than 5,400 stores and Netfor just recently enabling their franchise-wide conversion to MPOS, this franchise partner has no intention of slowing down their IT innovations and as a result, the relationship with Netfor has more value than ever before. 

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