MSA Worldwide: Where We Are Today
By Michael Seid, Managing Director, MSA Worldwide
As a consulting firm, MSA Worldwide is fortunate. As the acknowledged leader in our field we continue to be blessed to work with many of the world’s leading brands in franchising and, at the same time, are able to provide advice and guidance to companies just beginning to explore the possibility of emerging as franchise systems. Our strategic capabilities in franchising are well known and respected, but it is our ability to execute on a tactical level that separates our practice from other advisors and makes us a valued and essential resource for our clients.
Social Franchising and MSA
We are also active franchisors through our work with CFW Shops. CFW Shops is a social franchise system in East Africa that was acknowledged at 2014’s annual convention with the award to Scott Hillstrom, our chairman, of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Sharing with us important roles at CFW are several well-known IFA leaders including Sid Feltenstein, Jim Amos and Steve Greenbaum, each past chairs of the association, and former IFA board member Eric McCarthey. As with any franchise system, the real strength of CFW comes through our cadre of franchisees committed to the CFW system and their dedication to the brand and its mission to deliver authentic drugs and high-quality medical services, provided with dignity, to the families and communities they serve so well. Today, the CFW system is recognized as a world-leading social franchisor with more than 140 locations in East Africa.
Our Role with the IFA
Through our participation in the leadership of the IFA, we took a central role in the development of the IFA's Statement of Guiding Principles for franchising – what the IFA stands for in our collective belief of what being a franchisor and franchisee means. Working with the IFA staff, we have supported their efforts in combating each of the recent state relationship laws, their work in supporting franchisees in the discriminatory actions in some cities toward minimum wage increases that would make franchisees less competitive than their non-franchised neighbors, and our collective struggle with the actions of the NLRB to deconstruct franchising and make franchisors and franchisees joint employers. The IFA is indeed fortunate for having the talent recruited onto its staff by Steve Caldeira. Our work with the IFA staff and its leadership has shown how important this association is to all of us.
Working with Clients on a Global Basis
MSA’s leadership in franchising consulting enables us to work with clients on a global basis, solving problems and creating new opportunities for our clients. We focus on developing strategies and providing tactical support to ensure that our clients’ franchise systems are sustainable, replicable, and can achieve brand performance at each location in the United States and internationally. We do this by understanding the uniqueness of each of our client’s brands, and the culture, core competencies, capabilities, market challenges and franchise relationships our clients are striving to develop in their systems. Our role also includes developing world-class franchisee recruitment strategies and tactics, operations manuals, training programs, and working with our clients to develop and maintain solid relationships with their franchisees. Our capabilities in these areas are well known and respected.
Given our experience and broad capabilities, we have also assisted our clients and their other outside advisors in litigation support, expert witness services, and as advisors and participants in several challenging corporate areas including mergers and acquisitions. We recently completed a lengthy project with a major distributor of pharmaceuticals and consumer products in South America focused on improving their company’s core performance as well as their franchising capabilities. We are currently developing a birthing center franchising system for one of the European governments for launch in Central Africa. Being socially responsible is core to our practice philosophy. The Social Franchising section of our website provides a wealth of information and resources about social franchising.
The Franchise Experts
Franchising can be complex; MSA Worldwide's commitment to our clients is to develop programs that enable them to effectively exceed their goals and to improve the performance of their franchisees. This has been a commitment that Kay Ainsley and I programmed into the firm’s DNA more than 15 years ago. We are fortunate in the level of clients we have and the franchise industry recognition we have garnered over the years. While the marketplace for franchising can at times seem unsettling, we are confident that 2018 will be an outstanding year for MSA, our clients, and for franchising in general.