Friday, December 4, 2015

Sales Area Management Tool makes tedious tasks easy - and fast!

Marking franchise territories, sales areas or delivery zones can be quite a challenge if you are not using advanced GIS software.

This is especially the case if you have to factor in the distance (for example, from a local office or retail premises or your warehouse), or account for some local market characteristics (like potential market size), in order to balance workloads of your staff, or optimise for available resources or profit potential.

Sales Area Management Tool (SAMT) is a simple, inexpensive online mapping application, but packed with features that will make the job very easy. And fast! So you can focus on chasing business opportunities and not on tedious tasks of collecting hardcopy maps, then hand drawing territories and compiling information into spreadsheets, which could take weeks...

The following use cases highlight several advanced features of SAMT and demonstrate the power of this application as a business tool, indispensable for making informed decisions, with minimum effort. 

Use Case 1: Generating franchise territories with predefined number of prospects
A very convenient feature of SAMT is that it enables linking polygons with attribute information about those polygons. For example, with data from Census, like the number of persons or dwellings per postal area or zip code. Totals for individual territories are calculated automatically as polygons are selected so, it is easy to experiment with different compositions of polygons per territory.

Example of balanced territories defined with Sales Area Management Tool (variable: total population)
If you have good understanding of your target market and are able to define minimum size to sustain individual franchisees, you will be able to mark territories with high precision, optimising the total number available for sale. In other words, you will be able to maximise your profits.

Use Case 2: Defining sales areas of equal market size in key destinations
Another very convenient feature of SAMT is the ability to display a trace-over layer, in addition to the main geometry layer used for creation of sales territories.

For example, a dataset outlining extents of the largest cities could be displayed on the map as a trace-over layer to highlight locations to concentrate on. Polygons of suburbs overlapping with these reference locations could then be used to create a set of sales territories.

And if those polygons are attributed with market size information (e.g. population counts, as in the previous use case, or $ market size estimates based on Household Expenditure Survey data), it will be possible to create territories with equal potential.

Example of using trace-over layer when marking primary territories

Given current sales resources, organisations can maximise profit opportunities by focusing on the largest and the most accessible geographic markets. And having a fair estimate of the potential in each target area will help with setting reasonable expectations about anticipated revenue but also with managing workloads of sales staff and measuring their relative performance objectively.

Use Case 3: Marking delivery zones
“Select by circle” functionality of SAMT allows drawing on the map a circle with a defined radius form a predefined point. This functionality makes it easy to define delivery zones by selecting polygons within the specified distance from a location of interest. And since polygons selected and compiled into zones by smaller radius circles are not included in the circles with a bigger radius, it is a very easy to define secondary and subsequent delivery zones. 

A list of polygons included in the selection (i.e. defined delivery zones) can be downloaded in csv format and converted into look-up tables for sales staff to, for example, calculate appropriate delivery charges when filling orders from customers. 

Example of defining delivery zones from postcodes: 5km, 15km and 30km radius 

These three use cases demonstrate how simple, spatially enabled apps can help in day to day operations of business of any size. Why would anyone spend days, or sometimes weeks, and very often many thousands of dollars, trying to accomplish what can be done with SAMT in a matter of minutes?

Even very small, incremental improvements in efficiency of your operations, or a decision that allows better optimising profit opportunity, can make a huge difference over time - so you can reach your goals faster and shorten the path to success.

MapDeck is still in locked beta-test release phase but subscribers to stand-alone SAMT v1 app can take advantage of free access to MapDeck tools and data at no additional cost. Contact on for more information.

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Sales Area Management Tool 2015 Upgrade

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