October 13, 2021


The Top 3 Takeaways from NOA 2021

The Top 3 Takeaways from NOA 2021

MaintainX was honored to be invited to participate in the National Owner Association’s 4th Annual Meeting for McDonald’s franchise owners. It was inspiring to see such a powerful consortium of leaders agreeing on the themes of Unity and Purpose. 

For most in attendance, this was their first opportunity to reunite with their peers since the start of the pandemic. There was a unifying feeling of having struggled through and survived amongst attendees. Above all, there was a bond forged through collective perseverance – 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, and more difficult for some than others. While we aren’t out of the woods yet, and new challenges continue to appear, there is hope that tomorrow will be better and NOA members will work together to tackle these challenges head-on. 

MaintainX’s top 3 takeaways from NOA 2021: 

Supply Chain Challenges

We are living in unprecedented times and there is a lot of uncertainty with the global supply chain. This has undoubtedly created the toughest operating environment in McDonald’s history. 

Overseas supply continues to be less secure and reliable than ever before. This has led to a renewed push to support and activate domestic vendors, we are still in the early phases of this initiative. Be prepared to continue encountering rolling supply chain shortages. One week it may be beef supply, another it may be roofing tiles–things may get worse before they get better.

For a brand built on order and consistency, how can McDonald’s stores lean into the principles of systemic precision to combat these supply chain challenges?

  • Be honest with your suppliers. 

Suppliers are doing their best to meet the needs of their customers. Suppliers are asking McDonald’s owners to ruthlessly prioritize their needs in order for suppliers to match their products to stores most efficiently. Order what you need and support your fellow franchise owners by not exaggerating your supply needs.

  • Prioritize maintaining your equipment. 

With supply shortages impacting parts and equipment lead times, ensure that your team performs preventive maintenance on your equipment. Implement and utilize automation software to manage these workflows to ensure you get every last mile out of your equipment. This is no time for reactive maintenance. Don’t wait for machines to break down before servicing them. 

Employee Hiring, Training, and Retention

Hiring was the talk of the show. If it is any consolation, we didn’t come across any one owner who isn’t struggling to maintain their workforce. The labor shortage is impacting stores nationwide with no immediate end in sight. That said, you can stay ahead of the competition and battle through these challenges by: 

  • Understanding your target demographics and what appeals to them.

While limits exist on which hiring platforms your co-ops can utilize to run hiring ads, it doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with the available options. Leverage creative ads that incorporate Gen Z-friendly messaging, including the use of emojis and fun video filters. Be as flexible as possible with the platforms and application requirements to make it easy and fun to apply. 

  • Leverage modern tools to improve training and retention.

Younger generations are digital natives and nothing irritates them more than old school paper processes and clunky software tools. Recent studies indicate that 60% of workers are dissatisfied with the technology provided at work. To top it off, these workers blame their managers: 77% believe their workplace doesn’t use better tools due to lack of budget or their manager’s limited understanding of technology. Explore modern mobile-first software solutions that end-users find fun and easy to use. 

MaintainX booth NOA 2021
Brian Goto was all smiles at the MaintainX booth!

Food Safety/Sanitation

Nothing like a global pandemic to spur renewed interest in health and safety protocols. While McDonald’s corporate has been emphasizing the importance of adherence to food safety guidelines for years, new initiatives led by Ecolab’s Science Certified program are helping the rubber meet the road. 

Knowing this, and to be honest, any of your stores should be prepared at all times for a surprise inspection from Ecolab or your local health department. 

While that may sound like an impossible standard, if you leverage modern digital tools, you can streamline recurring self-inspection audits and food safety training modules across your entire organization and be able to monitor compliance from a single dashboard. 

As the owner/partner, set your team up for success and continuously seek out solutions that make this possible. 

In summary, there were lots of great laughs and comradery to be had by all at NOA 2021. MaintainX had a great time meeting many of our customers face-to-face for the first time and we cannot wait to come back in 2022!

We would like to extend an extra-special thank you to our VIP clients, the Nisbet’s, who have been vocal supporters of MaintainX for over 2 years!
Nick Haase
Nick Haase
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