Worldwide Online named Australia’s best printing franchise

Worldwide was named Australia’s fifth-best franchise by, based on a survey of more than 1,000 franchises.

Managing director Rob Dallimore said one reason Worldwide fell into administration in 2010 was because head office became distracted by having to manage both the franchises and the manufacturing hub.

However, head office is now able to focus on the franchises after handing over manufacturing to shareholder Crystal Printing Solutions, he told ProPrint.

Dallimore said head office made a point of responding quickly to requests for help from the 49 franchises and understood that each had different needs.

“Our income is very reliant on the franchisees’ performance. We’re here to serve them. Our franchisees are our customers. If they’re not successful, we’re out of business.”

Worldwide’s franchises have a combined turnover of about $50 million and employ more than 200 staff, said Dallimore.

[Feature: The story behind Worldwide’s turnaround]

A new franchise opened in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria in April, while another five have changed hands in the past six months, said Dallimore. That shows franchisees have faith in the Worldwide model and the future of print, he added.

Dallimore said head office would welcome approaches from potential new investors, but that for now its preference was to make its existing franchises more profitable.

That has included a $1.5 million investment in new software to make their internal systems more automated, he said.

Meanwhile, fellow franchise operation Kwik Kopy placed 10th after finishing in the top five last year.

Kwik Kopy chief executive David Bell told ProPrint that Kwik Kopy’s awards success reflected head office’s commitment to guiding franchisees through challenging times, and helping them identify and pre-empt changes in market demand.

There are 103 Kwik Kopy franchises in Australia with a combined turnover of $85 million, he said.

The awards were judged on seven criteria, including franchisees’ return on investment, the support they receive from head office and the opportunities they feel they have to grow within the system.

[Related: More news about franchises]

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