Supply chains have traditionally been very linear, starting with design and ending with delivery. However, supply chains are facing a dilemma. Living in a digital world with instant gratification, supply chains can no longer afford major delays. The rise of the digital supply network is taking place where supply chains are transforming into digital, integrated systems that can better manage risks like natural disasters and other emergencies that require route adjustments. Despite improvements though, 40 percent of manufacturing companies reported disruptions that disrupted their supply chains in 2015.1
So how can supply chains continue to get better at predicting disruptions and optimizing distribution routes to avoid bigger problems? The answer is geographic information systems (GIS).
Technology like GIS maps is helping supply chains mitigate risks through better routing and data visualization. When supply chains have greater visibility, they can streamline distribution and delivery routes, improve costs, and meet customer needs faster.
Let’s look at an example of how disruptions affected the food and beverage industry’s supply chains in 2015.
Blizzard Conditions Disrupt Food and Beverage Distribution Routes
The early parts of 2015 were met with extreme weather from Blizzard Juno that affected states from Massachusetts to California. Heavy snowfall, freezing rain, ice, and hail caused transportation disruptions across the entire United States. Flights were cancelled, roads were shut down, and even ports were closed for short spans of time. This made it difficult for organizations across the food and beverage industry (producers, suppliers, distributors, etc.) to get food products to restaurants and grocery stores who serve consumers every single day.
While supply chains can’t control when extreme weather and natural disasters strike, they can leverage technology to develop plans that help avoid disruptions that can be detrimental to both companies and the customers they serve.
GIS and Data Visualization Help Optimize Transportation Routes
Supply chains have a lot of data to worry about. With the amount of shipments and risks involved, supply chains need to analyze a lot of data and work to find the most efficient ways to mitigate risks, manage inventory, and get products to consumers in a timely fashion.
Being able to visualize a supply chain’s complex datasets makes it easier to spot patterns and get clear visibility into what is happening with shipments and distribution routes. Without technology like GIS, trying to manage inventory, shipment routes, and locations was a slow, manual one. Organizations were slower to react to natural disasters, and emergencies negatively impacted their supply chains because they didn’t have the visibility they needed to make adjustments quickly.
Technology like GIS mapping has helped alleviate some of those concerns by allowing organizations to track shipments in real time, monitor traffic, and quickly react to disruptions like extreme weather by optimizing distribution routes.
Let’s go back to the 2015 blizzard example where food and beverage organizations had to worry about getting their food products to people. These supply chains could use GIS maps to track shipments and trucks and watch how weather patterns were impacting current routes. If roads or highways were shut down, organizations could use their tech to review different routes, determine what the best options were, and redirect the distributor so the products could make it to the restaurant or store as quickly as possible.
GIS mapping has and is continuing to help supply chains better predict when disruptions will strike and gain better visibility into shipments and distribution routes so they can be altered and adjusted when necessary. At the end of the day, it’s all about how quickly and efficiently you can deliver products to end users, and GIS mapping technology is helping supply chains streamline that process.
Successfully selling real estate requires more than simply driving a client around to look at various properties. Real estate agents must have excessive knowledge of the market, research properties and gather information about each property that the client needs to know, and have strong negotiation ability to make a sale.
To relieve concerns and questions their clients have about an expensive purchase like a new home, real estate agents need to market properties as well as they can. To do this, agents have started leveraging GIS for property mapping and data visualization to display property information. For one RE/MAX agent in Uruguay, real estate mapping software has helped him become more competitive in the market place and increase sales year over year.
Juan Irala y Hernández opened his RE/MAX office in Uruguay in 2012 with the goal to become the top realtor in his region. Unlike realtors in the United States, though, Juan didn’t have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a suite of services that provides real estate agents with marketing information and competitor property listings. Without the MLS, Juan needed a different way to better market properties and close more real estate deals.
The solution? Real estate mapping software that helped Juan analyze the real estate market and map out properties to show clients. After reviewing various property mapping solutions, Juan chose Mapline’s Excel mapping software. With Mapline’s capabilities, Juan started to do more market research and could upload his Excel database to create clean, visual property value maps. When Juan upgraded to an enterprise account in 2014, Juan received access to more advanced capabilities that have taken him far beyond the competition:
More Detailed Property Analyses and Client Discussions
With Mapline’s sublayers and shapes features, Juan could examine high demand and high value markets in the area and share them with clients. He was also able to provide more specific property data and information, making it easier to communicate with clients about property details and pricing.
More Fact-Driven Property Decisions
Real estate agents can’t expect clients to purchase a property based on their realtor’s personal opinions. Real estate agents need to be able to have fact-driven and objective conversations with clients about available properties. With Mapline’s features like sublayers, shapes, and heat maps, Juan could determine which properties were in higher or smaller demand, show clients local hot spots, and do deeper analyses that allowed him to have more fact-driven client conversations and led to more strategic selling decisions.
Greater Team Collaboration
A large part of Juan’s success has come from the increased collaboration he’s had with his team using real estate mapping software. Trying to analyze data in Excel and share different versions via email becomes confusing and inefficient. With Mapline, Juan has been able to share 24 maps and 25 datasets with nine of his colleagues. Together, they can share and view property value maps and information in real time, allowing for more strategic team discussions and better business decisions.
Since leveraging the capabilities mapping software offers in the real estate industry, Juan has seen a 50 percent increase in business growth year over year. Mapping software like Mapline can give realtors a competitive advantage in the market place.
Read the Entire Case Study
Since the development and launch of the first GIS back in 1960, modern GIS mapping software has changed and grown to the point where it is leveraged by companies to analyze and improve sales performance.
As a sales expert, your top priority is increasing revenue. You have plenty of data and information about your sales territories and customer accounts. But there’s a problem: Sifting through all that data in your Excel spreadsheets is tedious, time consuming, and frustrating. There’s also a major chance that going through your data manually won’t give you accurate results, which can lead to costly sales decisions.
Sales mapping software not only helps prevent inaccuracies, but streamlines your entire sales process when trying to make decisions about your sales territories and routes. Below are five ways you can leverage sales territory mapping to drive efficiencies in your sales process and improve overall revenue performance.
Focus on Specific Sales Areas with Clear Visualizations
You probably have spreadsheet after spreadsheet of information like customer addresses, store locations, and other account data. Viewing hundreds of Excel rows and columns isn’t an ideal way to identify trends and analyze your sales territories. With GIS mapping software, you can use features like territory overlays to filter the types of information you want to visualize. For example, you may want to view sales territories by zip code or county. This allows you to more quickly and easily examine your territory performance.
Identify Opportunities and Underperforming Areas
Trying to categorize which sales territories are performing well versus those that are not is difficult to do in an Excel spreadsheet, and can lead to unnecessary errors. When mapping your data, heat maps provide a color gradient to indicate higher-density areas. The brighter the color is on the map, the higher the density of your sales territory. Heat mapping lets you accurately determine what areas are the most successful, as well as which ones are underperforming and therefore require more resources.
Balance the Workload of Your Sales Reps
Do you know how the client or customer load is spread out across all your sales reps? What if you had a couple sales reps who were overworked and driving the most commission, while the rest lacked customers? With how much data and information is scattered throughout Excel spreadsheets, chances are you wouldn’t be able to catch those trends. When using sublayers, you can see the overall picture of where your clients are and how your sales reps are performing. If you are noticing that some sales reps have significantly more work than others, you can make decisions on how to balance the workload or figure out when the right time is to hire more to your team.
Strategically Optimize Routes
Time is money. And when your sales reps are in the field, the last thing you want them to do is travel routes that take longer and require more fuel. GIS mapping software helps you optimize your routes so you can reduce travel time for your sales reps and improve fuel efficiency. All this helps you increase the number of customers you reach, which improves your overall sales performance.
Greater Team Collaboration and Performance
Data spreadsheets don’t provide the insights and visibility you need to bring your sales team together to improve performance. And without visibility into your sales territories, you’ll miss opportunities and have a team of dissatisfied sales reps who won’t be able to see the growth and progress they’re making. When you map out your data, you can use features like pins and colors to call out leads and growth areas, so your sales reps have visibility into all the opportunities available, as well as what sales areas need improvement.
Sales territory mapping and its capabilities can help streamline your sales processes by accurately showing territory performance, identifying which sales territories need more attention, and visualizing lead opportunities and showing the whole picture to unite your sales team. Learn how GIS mapping software can help you improve your sales performance.
Learn More About Sales Territory Mapping
Have you ever lost an important file in a sea of email chains between your colleagues? Email is a great way to communicate with your team, but it’s very easy to miss the latest version of an attached spreadsheet that has the most up to date data and information.
At Mapline, we’ve worked to eliminate the need for confusing, back-and-forth email chains with our web-based mapping tool. How, do you ask? We’ll tell you!
Start by pasting your spreadsheet data into Mapline to visualize the information. Once the map is created, you can then enter the email addresses of each individual you’d like to share the map with. Your team members and colleagues will be able to view the map and check out any updates or changes whenever they need to.
Much easier than emailing out three, four, even five versions of the same spreadsheet, right? Here’s some real case scenarios where this comes in handy:
Identify New Retail Site Locations
Your retail business is growing quickly and you’re ready to expand to a new location. Now it’s up to you to decide what location will give your business the most bang for its buck. With Mapline, you can map out where your competitors are located and what geographic locations your specific business would flourish in based on your consumer data. You and your team can then work together off the web-based map to determine the best expansion location.
Determine Distributor Routes
When dealing with large quantities of data, it’s extremely beneficial to be able to view that information in an easily digestible format. And when communicating with manufacturers and distributors across the supply chain, it’s even better when that information can be shared and updated effortlessly. After uploading your list of distribution centers and drivers to Mapline to create, you can determine the most optimal distribution routes and share the map with your peers across the supply chain.
Customize Real Estate Maps
Mapline is great for mapping out available homes and real estate. Once you have real estate data like square footage and listing price ready to go, create a map for agents and clients who would be interested in the properties. You can also customize your real estate mapping with photos or color-coded pins, or create a personalized map for a client with their top home choices.
Learn more about our web-based mapping tool’s sharing feature that lets you share maps in real time with your colleagues and clients.
Not every mapping software is made equal. In fact, the right software for you all depends on your goals and the end-result you’re looking for. For example, if you need a solution with mapping software features focused on helping your sales team track new leads and close more deals, Badger Mapping offers those capabilities.
But what if you want something that not only helps your sales team, but also tracks overall business performance and growth opportunities? This is where Mapline comes in!
Here we take a deeper dive into Badger Mapping and Mapline to learn more about these solutions’ mapping software features.
- Badger Mapping: This is Badger Mapping’s bread and butter, really. Their application allows you to visualize, colorize, and filter your customers on a map to look for the best opportunities. The search function also lets you search for new lead opportunities in your sales territories. To help make the sales process more efficient, Badger Mapping offers features like route optimization, CRM integration, and a built-in mileage counter to help track gas and miles while in the field.
- Mapline: Mapline provides similar sales support and then some. You can create clearly defined sales territories that allow you and your team to identify trends and analyze geographic performance quickly and easily. You can do this in two ways:
- If you don’t have too many territories to analyze, you can use Mapline’s drawing tab to draw out the territories yourself on the map.
- But if you’re dealing with more complicated territories that include groupings of zip code, county, or state boundaries, you can leverage our territory overlays
Business Growth Opportunities
- Badger Mapping: As a field sales tool, Badger Mapping’s lead generation feature locates new leads and helps you more efficiently schedule meetings with customers and prospects.
- Mapline: Mapline gives you the full, 360 view when you’re looking for the right place to grow your business. You simply paste your spreadsheet of competitor data into Mapline and voila! You have a clear map view of where your competitors are located, and you can identify potential locations far enough away from your competitors with the best opportunity for success.
Mapline’s capabilities extend even further to easily assist you in improving your operations and marketing initiatives:
- If you need to find backup supply options to streamline your operations, just paste in your locations and suppliers and run a distance calculation within the map. The result is a downloadable distance grid spreadsheet that tells you what your closest supply options are.
- To visualize company performance, leverage our territory heat map to visualize the business performance of your customers or locations within your sales territories.
- Customer segmentation gives you greater insight into your customers to enhance your marketing efforts. Just map your Excel data and use our Sublayer tool to visualize your information for greater insights into your customer behaviors and needs.
While Badger Mapping helps sales map out leads to close more deals, Mapline provides sales support and makes it extremely easy to track performance and efficiently drive greater strategic business decisions with
Learn more about our mapping software features.