FOCUS Brands Cuts Back Office Costs with Electronic Document Management

By Kathryn Rookes, Senior Vice President, FOCUS Brands, Inc. | October 07, 2008

With a primary objective to "FOCUS on making people happy," FOCUS Brands, the franchisor and operator of over 2,100 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants and cafes worldwide, was looking for a way to make employees, business partners and the environment happy by reducing the amount of paper-based processes within the business.

Like most companies, FOCUS Brands handles extensive volumes of paperwork on a daily basis. The process of setting up a franchise, in particular, is extremely paper-intensive. Additionally, with regulations requiring the company to store files in a secure, organized manner for an extended period of time, it was becoming time-consuming and expensive to store a variety of sensitive documents from all aspects of the business spanning legal, franchise administration, and real estate. In addition to seeing rising operating expenses, FOCUS Brands recognized that it was becoming challenging for employees to work productively when dealing with so many paper files.

Improve productivity, reduce paper and storage costs
The decision was made to invest in an electronic filing and document management solution to better organize the company's files.

After researching and evaluating a number of vendors, we chose FileVision to help us set up and manage our new electronic document management system. Implementation was quick and very straight-forward. Instead of disrupting our business with a new system, they worked hard to understand our daily workflow so the new solution would fit seamlessly into our everyday processes. This way, we avoided what could have been a major disruption to business while we trained everyone. FileVision provided a solution that improved productivity, facilitated compliance, reduced storage hassles and expenses, and streamlined our existing processes.

Our move to FileVision has made lots of people happy: from franchisees that are ushered through the process more quickly and efficiently, to administrators, who can quickly file, organize, sort and retrieve files with the click of a mouse, to executive managers who have seen significant improvements in productivity and operational efficiency. In addition, all information and documents are available in real-time to all users, even those in remote offices or on the road. All files are stored electronically and are easily organized and retrievable by keywords. FileVision enables multiple levels of access, giving different employees access to precisely the files they need, and protecting particularly sensitive information. Gone are the days of employees running from office to office, searching for hard copies of a file they need simultaneously, which is often the case when a new franchise is established.

Environmental benefit
An unexpected benefit has been the positive environmental impact. We've significantly reduced our use of paper by eliminating the need for multiple copies of lengthy documents. Many documents are never even printed. Improved productivity also enables some of our administrative staff to telecommute a day or two a week, thanks to all files being available remotely and the greatly reduced time required to file hard copies.

Leaving us with well-organized files, increased productivity, and new environmentally-friendly business practices, FileVision made everyone happy and our team can now FOCUS on making the business the very best it can be.

Kathryn Rookes is the senior vice president at FOCUS Brands Inc., the franchisor and operator of over 2,100 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 32 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky's, Moe's Southwest Grill, and the franchisor of Seattle's Best Coffee on military bases and in certain international markets. Based in Atlanta, the primary objective of FOCUS Brands is to "FOCUS on making people happy." 

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