Business View Oceania | February 2020

35 36 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA FEBRUARY 2020 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA FEBRUARY 2020 For more inspiration visit Delivering Contempory Flooring for Australian Homes Beautiful Delivering Sustainable Commercial Flooring Solutions in Australia since 1963 Functional 1 snap your place ! 2 visualize the space 3 order samples ANDERSENS FLOOR COVER INGS about that country town approach and it’s what makes us special.” The average tenure at Andersens is 14 years, compared to a franchise industry average of seven years. For many of the company’s franchisees, this will be the last job they have, the last business they ever own. As a result, the annual conference becomes more like a family reunion than a business milestone. There is a lot of mate-ship among the franchisees, even from very different geographies. No one on the Andersens team is ego-driven, everyone feels right at home. As a network, the business has close to 200 employees. The head office operates with a staff of 12 and another two people in the field full time. On top of that is the warehouse operation, which is a critical component. The nature of the flooring business dictates that most of what you’re buying is in excess of the job that you’re selling. For instance, if the project is flooring for a whole house, the carpet might be cut from a 500 metre roll, or the vinyl might be from a pallet of vinyl planks or a huge roll of sheet vinyl, or the timber might be from an enormous batch. Having a large warehouse gives Andersens the ability to manage that inventory demand and make sure stock is available. It also addresses seasonality. Because a number of Andersens’ manufacturing vendors are in Australia, China, Korea and Belgium, there are disruptions in the supply chain from seasonal holidays such as Chinese New Year. Christmas and New Year in Australia is especially disruptive for manufacturing or for transport. With the warehouse, Andersens has the ability to smooth the inventory supply, so franchisees are covered throughout that period. Hodge admits, “Competition is abundant and quite high quality, which keeps us from becoming complacent. The other thing that a really strong landscape does is make you earn it where it matters. The obvious example is the customer. The less obvious is in the labour supply. Not only for the sales team in the comfortable there with their family and friends.” Franchising is basically a subset of business ownership that succeeds best when franchisees have the attributes of an entrepreneur. For Andersens, potential candidates should be willing to take a risk, to back their own hard work, and desire more than they have today. There are minimum requirements in terms of capital that are not particularly burdensome and interest rates are very low. The most important aspect is attitudinal. Hodge explains, “What we look for is a franchisee candidate whose values align with our own. We aspire to support our franchise community with a standard that we call Country Town Service, and we insist that our franchisees do the same with their customers. It’s a distinctive culture of service to the customer, whether you’re in a metropolitan city store or a store in the bush. Our founder, Jack, had a terrific slogan: “Treat your customer as though they’re your best friend’s mother.” There’s something quite refreshing and comforting