Incorporated in August 2000 by pedorthics-trained entrepreneur Ray Margiano, Ph.D., Foot Solutions (FS) is a specialty foot care business that works with its customers to solve their foot problems through proper fit. The company operates 250 retail stores in 15 countries and a certified Pedorthic Training Center at its headquarters in Marietta, Ga. Products and services include computer foot scanning and analysis; custom accommodative insoles, orthotics, and arch supports; and a full line of business, casual, and athletic shoes. In 2008, FS was named a Top 25 Small Business of the Year by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and appeared on Franchise Times magazine's Up and Comers: 100 Companies on the Verge list.
Foot Solutions, Inc. and Their Digital Content Business Challenge
FS promises to help its customers "look, feel, and perform better through customized foot solutions" developed by certified experts using state-of-the-art technology. To bolster this claim, the company requires all franchisees and their managers—as a condition of doing business—to complete 40 hours of online training, 2.5 weeks of precertification pedorthic coursework and training in Marietta, and 1 week of in-store field training. (FS also expects each store to have at least one certified pedorthist on staff within the first year of operation.) Training videos, manuals, and monthly conference calls and webinars—as well as advanced course offerings at the regional level—are all part of the ongoing training and education process.
With stores on every continent, keeping franchisees and their employees current on company policies, operational changes, industry news, continuing education opportunities, and other mission-critical information had become a logistical nightmare. "Our goal is to make sure our customers’ health is taken care of, from a shoe standpoint," says VP of operations Bobby Saade, "and that means keeping up with product changes. We need to be able to react quickly to those changes, but given our size, it had become impossible to communicate them as quickly and effectively as we needed to."
Vendor of choice: FLIQZ
Emeryville, Calif.-based Fliqz was established in 2005 to help enterprises of all sizes seamlessly integrate video into their websites. Today, president and CEO Benjamin Wayne estimates that a quarter of the top 20 websites in several major vertical markets are using its white-label, plug-and-play solutions. Five plans—ranging from a free "Basic" starter package up to the $999 per month "Platinum" total customization experience—supply the player and the tools that make online video transcoding and encoding, streaming, management, and analytics possible. The company’s 20,000-strong customer base includes such big-name organizations as Major League Baseball, T-Mobile, and VH1.