Jeff Yerbury, 7-Eleven’s Area Lead North, [pictured above right], takes our Q&A on franchisee field support.
Could you tell us about the new structure you have in place to support franchisees?
In May this year we put in place a new structure to better support our franchisees. We have invested additional resources across our field teams and established a new central operations area to support them.
Field team members have clear end-to-end accountability for the performance of stores in their area. They are there to build stronger store partnerships and provide coaching and development opportunities for the franchisees and their store team members.
The new channel operations area brings together functions and roles that existed before but they are now set up to better connect the support office with the stores and field teams to deliver brilliant customer outcomes by focusing on consistency of execution and continuous improvement.
What do the field team members do?
Our Field team members are responsible for the performance and outcomes of stores within their geographic territory. They own and are accountable for territory KPIs, which are delivered in partnership with our franchisees and store team leaders through coaching and development of store team members.
Our field team’s primary purpose is to make the customer experience wonderfully easier. They work alongside our store teams to deliver a consistent and best-in-class store experience for customers along with implementing new products, initiatives, and programs in stores. At 7-Eleven we believe that the field teams are critical to delivering on our growth ambitions and those of our franchisees. These roles are key to delivering our customer promise, to delight our customers and to make every customer moment count.
What does their week look like?
Each field team member is responsible for the performance of up to 14 franchise stores. Their visitation cycles see each field manager invest time in each store two to three times per month where they support the execution of key activities, provide observational feedback on store standards, and provide hands-on development and coaching for franchisees and their store leaders. It’s important to understand that their KPIs are both financial and non-financial.
By spending regular quality time with franchisees, they can develop strong and meaningful relationships which translates into improved store performance.
Apart from spending time with franchisees and their store leaders, the field team members get together weekly as a group to review store performance and to share customer insights. This collaboration allows them to share data on store performance but also provides an opportunity to compare best practices in-store so they can take those lessons back into the stores they are responsible for.
How does the channel operations area support the field teams?
The Channel operations area is made up of five squads, comprising ‘Go to Market’, store communications, digital delivery, reporting, standard operating guidelines and franchising process.
The shared objective of these squads is to provide best-in-class store operations to enable continuous improvement and consistent execution.
What we are trying to achieve is that the quality, standard and customer experience of the best 7-Eleven store you have visited should be the standard you experience at every other 7-Eleven you may visit.
The data, analytics and insights we are able to provide franchisees is both broad and deep. We are able to provide our franchisees with valuable commercial information that can be directly applied in their stores to improve productivity, sales and profits.
What has been the feedback from your franchisees about these changes?
It’s early days but the feedback so far has been really positive. Our franchisees are appreciating the extra quality time they are getting to spend with the field team members and they are starting to see how this can improve their operations, productivity and of course bottom line.