A Case Study: New Papa Murphy's Franchise Owner Finds Reliability in Sales Temperature's Accuracy

A forecast for business: Helping retailers plan adequate staffing

Executive Summary:

When Kyle Koepke bought his Papa Murphy's franchise he planned to hit the ground running. As a former employee of a pizza restaurant, he had a good understanding of what it takes to run a successful business. Nevertheless, running a franchise for the first time has a learning curve and any business must deal with unexpected, such as fluctuating sales trend that can quickly torpedo overall profitability.

Koepke knew that franchise ownership is a full time job, particularly for someone recently out of college running his first major business. He was prepared for the ramp-up time to build a successful team, getting to the know the franchisor, and creating a positive partnership with the community. But what was throwing him off was the inconsistency in predicting his daily business expectations, week-to-week, month-to-month.

"Some days we'd have orders for 500 pies and others it would be a fraction of that," said Koepke. "Since I hadn't owned this franchise long nor had any historical knowledge of business trends, it was impossible for me to make any type of accurate predictions about how much business we'd do on a particular day."

The irregularity in pie shell sales resulted in staffing and inventory levels that were frequently markedly off from what was needed for the day. Either too many staff were on hand, resulting in unnecessarily labor costs, or too few were scheduled to handle the number of pie shell orders, resulting in frustrated customers and missed opportunities.

"Other than regular promotions like 'Ten Dollar Tuesdays' there didn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to the business swings so despite our best efforts to make predictions, something would always catch us off guard," continued Koepke.

Sophisticated Machine-Learning Tool

That is until Koepke found Sales Temperature. Sales Temperature's sophisticated machine-learning tool quickly integrated with the Papa Murphy POS system Koepke was using and analyzed the past few months of sales data. The tool looks for more than just obvious spikes and downturns, but is sophisticated enough to analyze subtle details in sales trends and apply those against external factors including the weather, local economic forces and geography.

Within just a few days Koepke started receiving accurate sales forecasts a full two weeks in advance. Within just a week or two, the forecasts became extraordinarily precise - down to the number of pies being sold on any given day. The Sales Temperature tool continues to refine its analysis every day and, over time, provides unparalleled levels of specificity and accuracy.

The results? Koepke could manage staffing, operations and costs much more handily. "With Sales Temperature I can manage my business around the forecasts because they are so accurate. We no longer have erratic schedules for our employees because I can more seamlessly manage the scheduling in advance. It's a huge relief to have this reliable and easy tool to use."

Koepke encourages all franchise owners - especially those who are new to the franchise operation - to use Sales Temperature particularly as they are still in the growth phase of their experience with the business.

"There are so many things to learn when getting a franchise off the ground. Predicting sales and staffing took up a lot of time that I needed to spend on marketing, operations and customer service. With Sales Temperature I can eliminate that concern and focus on the many other aspects that it takes to run this business successfully."

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