23 Franchise Supplier Problems We’re Solving in 2023

After decades in franchising as industry suppliers, we’ve heard just about every franchise supplier problem out there. We are excited for the year ahead and the supplier solutions and recommendations we can bring to the franchise community. Whether you are just kicking tires or have a specific and timely need, FSN is here as a resource when making supplier related decisions.

Here are 23 common problems we help franchisors address:

  1. Supplier Bloat. Too many logins/ platforms / providers.
  2. Sales Pitch Doesn’t Match Results. This is often salvageable but the problems need to be fixed or a new plan needs to be put in place at the right time!
  3. Lackluster Performance. You could be getting much better or much more for your money.
  4. Unaware of Better Alternatives. This is another big one. It’s not easy to replace suppliers because franchisees are busy and other strategic initiatives take precedence.
  5. Handcuffed by Past Supplier Decisions. This is perhaps the most costly problem due to the opportunity cost and flexibility limits for your strategic plan moving forward.
  6. You’ve Outgrown Current Suppliers. It’s hard to rip this bandaid off when a supplier is no longer the best partner to scale with, but there needs to be a comprehensive plan to address (at the right time).
  7. Out of Control Fees. Often, you do not have to wait until contract expiration to address this.
  8. Unfavorable Contract Terms. There are win/win levers you can pull to re-evaluate and get a fair deal.
  9. Internal Politics. Your team chooses or stays with a particular supplier because they have a “good relationship” with their team. Not because they are the best fit.
  10. Lack of Strategy & Alignment with Growth.  This is often tied to a lack of engagement plan from your team.
  11. Supplier Views You as a Customer, Not a Partner. They do the minimum possible to “get by” and are not proactive in prescribing additional ways to create value.
  12. The Big Decision. Do you build or buy? OR keep in house vs outsource? This is often the big clincher decision you need to make before bringing on supplier partners.
  13. Initiatives are not Appropriately Prioritized. This is typically a communication issue and stems from a lack of strategic focus.
  14. Knowledge Gap. Your team may not have the knowledge to effectively evaluate and compare (most common with technology that is rapidly changing and hard to decode).
  15. Lack of Testing and Innovation. It’s important to always set aside a budget each year purposefully to test new tactics, channels and technologies. Some will work, some won’t, but you’ll be better off in the long run by testing, testing, testing.
  16. Lacking Service Level or Support. One of the biggest frustrations is a lack of service, communication, or urgency when it comes to troubleshooting and customer service.
  17. Getting Franchisee Buy-In. Team support is only half the battle. You also need the right franchisee rollout for supplier adoption and results.
  18. Unclear Supplier Roles. This can often happen when there are too many suppliers and/or conflicting interests between suppliers / service providers.
  19. Suppliers are Not Integrated. When suppliers are silo’d and do not talk to each other, there can be issues with franchisee adoption and overall results.
  20. Franchisors Take the Easy Road. Many franchisors go with what others have done or what they know. This is dangerous as those suppliers may not be the appropriate fit. Listening and learning from experience is good, but following may not be the best way forward.
  21. Fear. Fear of change. Fear of effort. Fear of loss. Fear of making a mistake that will cost revenue or franchisee buy-in. Taking necessary risks is part of a strong business strategy!
  22. Time is Never on Your Side. It is never a good time to change suppliers. Many franchisors remain with existing suppliers, as they don’t want to take the time to analyze requirements, invest in identifying correct suppliers or assign a team to perform implementation.
  23. Best in Class, Not the Best Fit. Franchisors need to fully understand the current state of their franchise system and what their short & long-term goals are. Find suppliers that fit your needs and franchise growth plans.

Is your franchise experiencing a few (or more than a few) of the problems on this list? FSN is uniquely positioned to help you address these problems and more.

Our solution is broken down into a 3 step process:

Step 1: Fill out our assessment survey and tell us what’s on your roadmap and your bottlenecks, issues & opportunities.

Step 2: Choose whether you want a list of suppliers that will fit your needs, strategic introductions directly to those suppliers, or to schedule a discovery session with our team to explore and ideate.

Step 3: We’ll dig into our network built over decades in the industry and tap into our expansive supplier database to find you the best match. We’ll also be there help you through the entire process from supplier onboarding to franchisee adoption!