Most of the answers you seek relate to proprietary systems and would be wrapped up in secrecy agreements, under the circumstances outlined below I wish you the best of luck, you may have great difficulty getting any more than surface info given that all the parties involved are now playing for sheep stations.
From what I could see their supply chain can be summed up as this: Use scale to leverage low prices and possibly rebates from suppliers that are absorbed by wholly owned subsidiaries and the goods are then placed into franchisee locations at a premium yield based on a exclusive mandatory supply agreement. Not much of an term paper?
Being an Aussie I thought I would be able to give you an international perspective, they have been in Oz for around two years, of nearly 50 Store licences sold 24 ended in bankruptcy or store closure. Five remain operational and the remainder are forfeits, non starts or missing in action. So unfortunately its all attorneys at ten paces down here and no one is talking.
And its not much better in the states where up to up to 50% of stores are reputed to be under break even. From the quick Goo search I did the chances of HQ being cooperative would be between Buckley’s and none… (there is an entire web site devoted to the litigation history between Qu corporate and their franchisees).
Before you talk to anyone at HQ contact the office of: Amy Powers Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel- to establish your bona fides, the last thing you need is a cease and desist order.
From my corporate days I learned the “recruiter gambit” and it came up trumps, if you go to: http://www.toastedsubs.info/consulting.htm you will find that they offer a “consultancy service” where you would be more than likely to find the answers to the questions you are asking, however I would suspect that you will still be walking a very tight line legally with corporate.
Good luck with your project you may end up rewriting a “tale of two cities”.
It might be wise to have a back up case study, 1800 radiator might be a good positive story, they have a category beating supply system with on and offsite warehousing and a 15 min offsite dispatch capability where the industry norm is once or twice daily deliveries arethe norm and overnight is not unheard of. On top of that they have easily approachable franchisees and HQ that are happy to share their companies success, ask if you can go on one of their franchisee discovery days.
Ps I thought that the biohazard suits at the quazi stores was a joke at first.