Providing The Tools For Franchise Expansion

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Since implementing Lawson Financials, including the Franchise Management module, and the Lawson Reporting Suite, FOCUS Brands has documented several specific benefits, including: Continued reduction in the amount of time it takes for the financial department to close out a period. Made departmental overhead reports available real time via user specific dashboards; previous to the Lawson implementation, it would take two days to create and distribute them. Eliminated hours of work to generate and distribute departmental reports. Reduced the amount of time it takes to enter payroll journal entries into the Ggeneral Lledger from six hours to fifteen minutes. FOCUS Brands' major holdings, Carvel and Cinnabon, both work on the franchise model, which requires sophisticated accounting, financial, and reporting systems. Carvel and Cinnabon had their own separate financial systems in place when the companies were brought together in 2004. When FOCUS Brands combined the two organizations, the decision was quickly made to move to a single system. This would allow FOCUS Brands' to keep in sync with its overall business strategy to apply economies of scale and best practices to all of its holdings, and centralize management and financial tools to "FOCUS on making people happy." Before the single-system decision could be executed, the two systems ran concurrent, making it quite costly to maintain the separate systems. In addition, the systems did not communicate with one another, making it difficult for FOCUS Brand managers and executives to get an overview of how the company as a whole was performing.

Because the two systems did not communicate with one another, FOCUS Brands' staff did not have adequate tools for company-wide data analysis and reporting. FOCUS Brands' managers and executives had to rely on manually generated spreadsheets for consolidated views of the business. Not only being time-consuming, spreadsheets simply weren't up to the task.

Cinnabon was already using Lawson Financials. It owned the software, but outsourced the application management and maintenance. It also outsourced financial business processes. Carvel, on the other hand, used a different financial system, and had an in-house accounting and IT department.

FOCUS Brands faced the difficult task of consolidating the companies onto a single financial system and combining the various outsourced and in-house departments into a single unit. After an analysis of the two different financial systems, it became apparent that Lawson Financials was far better suited to supporting the FOCUS 5 vision. It was much more flexible, offered more sophisticated analysis and reporting tools, could more easily integrate data from different departments and systems, and had a Franchise Management component suited for handling the kind of billing, analysis, and reporting needed by FOCUS Brands.

FOCUS Brands implemented the Lawson Financials Suite of Applications, including the Franchise Management module, Lawson Business Intelligence products, including the Reporting Suite, Process Flow and Framework Services, as well as a number of other smaller components.

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