How Do I Optimize and Search Location Data?

Before 1995 map data import was quite the magic trick. Using MapBusinessOnline, a subscriber can import an address list of business locations, and map points will magically appear on the map at those exact locations. We take this for granted today.

That initial location data spreadsheet could represent almost anything:

  • A list of customers or prospects.
  • A donor list for a non-profit.
  • A list of client home addresses for a home care company.
  • A resource latitude longitude list for a construction business.
  • A location record of advertisements by specific billboards.
  • A record of all criminal activities by area.
  • Remote latitude longitude points for wind turbines.

I think you get the picture. Import your spreadsheet and view those addresses and coordinates on the map. Symbolize, color-code, and label those records so that the points on the map convey more information to the map viewer. Read more about importing data here.

Business Mapping Software Location Data

Imported data can be queried and segmented for export or analysis. We here at MapBusinessOnline refer to those segmented results as a Marketing List. We call it a marketing list because sales and marketing pros often use those query results for marketing and sales campaigns. But in reality, marketing lists are used for various reasons; some outlined above. So substitute your action word for ‘marketing’ depending on your work, such as strategic planning list, follow-up list, or list of friends I’ll call when I’m stuck at home with COVID.

Importing business location data into MapBusinessOnline is a core use case for the product. Once imported into a business map, map editors can optimize the location data to maximize the map’s benefit to all map users and viewers. Optimization of imported business mapping data occurs through these mapping operations:

  • Symbolization – The assignment of symbols to imported data points. Think circles, pins, dots, triangles, and more. MapBusinessOnline offers a library of symbol images and allows the user to import their symbols, should they desire to do so. Map symbols can be size and color adjusted.
  • Color-code – Apply color-coding schemes to imported business data. Imported business data can be color-coded based on numeric data columns. Sales numbers, website metrics, crop harvest data, demographic data are all numeric data used for color-coding. Color-code symbols or color-code map layers, like ZIP codes. Read more about color-coding data.
  • Labeling – Each plotted point or symbol on a business map represents an address or latitude/longitude coordinate. Plotted points have labels that can be turned on and off. MapBusinessOnline refers to these point labels as Callouts. Typically, the point callout will include the location’s name, the full address, and five flexible additional data fields the map editor can fill with imported data. Read more about labels and callouts.

Optimizing imported location data as described above is crucial to developing an effective business map visualization. The business map, with plotted points, can be enhanced to provide the viewer with a pleasant and informative geographic experience.

Filter, Query, and Create Marketing Lists

Once business data is optimized, the map editor can use MapBusinessOnline to conduct spatial and filter queries against the imported data.

To run a Spatial query, use the search tools – polygon, free form, and radius search tools are listed in the middle of the Master Toolbar:

  1. Select a search tool from the options listed.
  2. Draw the search areas on the map.
  3. Choose a data layer to search from the layer options, in this case, selecting your imported data for querying.
  4. Name the query results and view the new Marketing List in the Data Window.

Read more about spatial queries.

Choose Your Spatial Search Approach

Routing Capabilities

The spatial queries display as ‘marketing lists’ in the Data Window. These query results are exportable and routable.

Professionals use segmented or filtered marketing lists to:

  • Plan sales trips and other sales activities.
  • Support marketing campaigns.
  • Track coupon redemption in retail stores.
  • Organize pick-up and delivery schedules.
  • Create optimized vehicle routes for busses and vans.

MapBusinessOnline marketing lists convert into a route stop file at the click of a button, specifically the Add to Route button on the Data Window toolbar. The Route Window will open, and the marketing list addresses will now show as a list of stops. The vehicle route, once processed, will display on the map as a blue line. Turn-by-turn directions are available for printing, as is a route stop list.

Marketing list and route work in MapBusinessOnline

A map creator can also share the map publicly with constituents. Click the Share button on the master Toolbar and follow the instructions for sharing a public map. Password protection is an option. Please copy the link and paste it into an email for distribution. Read more about map sharing.

The map viewers of publicly shared maps are not required to be subscribers to MapBusinessOnline. Yet they still receive map functionality:

  • Create vehicle routes on the shared map.
  • Measure distances.
  • Save image file views as Jpegs or PNG files.
  • Conduct spatial queries and save results and an exportable marketing list.

Marketing lists are editable in the Data Window and Map and Data.

In the Data Window, selected marketing lists are edited by data field:

  • Edit record fields one-by-one.
  • Delete records one-by-one or multi-select.
  • Manipulate marketing lists – create new, remove, update.
  • Export for use outside the application.

Map and Data provide number and text formats controls:

  • Adjust column formats.
  • Add and remove columns.
  • Add calculated data columns or formulas.

Business mapping is powerful. Become familiar with the process and enhance your ability to solve problems using business mapping software. Marketing lists in MapBusinessOnline help the map user manipulate data for analysis, routing, and export.

Seek out the Map Geek in you. Or not. I’m not sure if Map Geeks are in or out right now.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Leave a comment

Business Mapping Solutions for Business Problems

In professional life, business challenges occur every day. These bumps in the road may indicate a need for business mapping. Business problems are often location-related to an address, ZIP code, or county.

For example, COVID-19 is a business problem that has an associated location in Wuhan, China. Any COVID-19 related problem will have a location component.

Business challenges can be large or small. Maybe your business is facing an expansion requirement. Or perhaps your business is replacing a long-term sales associate, and it’s time to rethink territory arrangements.

Problems can be new or old. It could be your business needs to adjust its revenue expectations in the face of rising competition. Or maybe there’s a recently hired, fired-up vice–president of sales looking for new ideas.

In any case, problems are what business mapping software eats for breakfast.

Delivery and Field Service Orgs

Perhaps you run a delivery service, and your business-related travel expenses have recently skyrocketed. Sure, gas prices are up, but your expense reports indicate your traveling associates have racked up increased mileage over the last three months.

The solution to this travel expense problem is going to include several suggestions:

  • Lower travel costs – Use business mapping software to generate optimized routes that provide the most efficient travel.
  • Efficiency studies – Use business mapping software to analyze where your traveling associates begin their day and the roads they travel over their day. View multiple associate delivery stop lists against a map of your delivery areas. Look for and eliminate overlapping travel routes and stops. Out-of-control expenses are usually the result of crisscrossing travelers.
  • Sales territory management – Establish territories for deliveries and service calls, with clearly defined rules of operation. Read more about territories here.
  • Share maps that describe areas of responsibility – Stick to the rules. It turns out following the rules is a tricky part of the solution. Insisting on specific travel routes and stops can be difficult to enforce, but that’s where the savings are. Read about map Sharing in MapBusinessOnline.

Routing Solution

Apply business mapping software to delivery challenges to expose repetitive delivery addresses, route-avoid patterns, and the most efficient delivery routes. Look for patterns and opportunities that point out inefficiencies in traveler habits. Implement those changes.

 

Construction Businesses

Jobsites require planning. Business mapping software can provide a construction job site manager with a platform for viewing all job sites at once. While MapBusinessOnline is not a survey-accurate mapping application, it does offer solutions for the construction industry. Construction business mapping applications might include:

  • Color-code Job site map markers by weekly or daily activity stages. Green for fully staffed and materials delivered. Orange for material shortages. Red for wholly stopped due to city inspection approvals.
  • Site selection maps – Preconstruction demographic analysis supports project marketing and sales. Determine the optimum building sites by comparing investment requirements, costs of updates, access to resources, and rental and retail opportunities. Become more aware of your construction site’s surrounding areas.
  • Explore and map business listings for future building projects, competitor analysis, or resource awareness.

Law Firms

We’re speaking with more and more law firms seeking business mapping support. Lawyers come across many requirements for mapping services. Like almost any other company, law firms have sales and marketing teams. Sales territory mapping and location-based market analysis are regularly applied. But more industry-specific requirements occur as well:

  • Crime location analysis – Whether you’re defending a client accused of serial robberies or prosecuting a known suspect, viewing all the crimes by location against an accurate map of the area is both enlightening and helpful.
  • Law firm visualizations – Import an address database of all law firms within a region for tracking. Color code and symbolize firms by core competencies, legal specialties, or case wins.
  • Map visualizations – Criminal trials and civil and personal injury lawsuits often carry location components. The ability to process a focused and clear map visualization of places or events can be part of a winning strategy for a savvy attorney.
  • Demographic analysis maps – Sometimes, demographic characteristics explain a lot about a neighborhood, a city, or a region. Maps provide visualizations of ethnicities, income levels, and a host of other Census Bureau categories. While not always evidentiary, they can provide excellent background.

A Crime Map – Serial Robberies

Accurate maps rarely lie. If the truth is on your side, a map visualization can be convincing and informative. Over and over time-stamped location placements have made a case for location-aware legal teams.

Manufacturing Concerns

Small to large manufacturing operations make up the backbone of the USA economy. Urban and rural areas depend on factories and machine shops for employment and taxes. While MapBusinessOnline can’t claim applications on the plant floor, we provide a myriad of services for the operations, marketing, and sales departments associated with manufacturing concerns.

  • Sales territory management – Create and edit complex territories, regions, and divisions supporting direct sales, manufacturing representatives, and nationwide distributor networks. Define sales accountability, track progress against goals, and focus on sales maps for sales meetings. Watch your productivity and sales revenue increase.
  • Marketing analysis – MapBusinessOnline includes multiple tools that support a variety of assessments, including driving time and distance analysis, demographic map visualizations, and explorations of areas of interest. Expansion planning, competitor analysis, and resource allocations are just a few critical map-based analyses supporting the marketing and sales of manufactured goods.
  • Plant Relocation – Don’t bother considering building and equipping a new manufacturing facility without a location-based analysis of feasible plant location options. Map visualizations can expose both opportunities and risks associated with new areas. Consider map views of labor demographics. Develop efficient routes for supplier and customer shipments. Expose resources that support working families. Build your plant in fertile soil exposed through the application of business map visualizations.

A Manufacturing Concern Map

Online business mapping software is accessible through the Cloud and is imminently affordable for any organization. Will your company use the tool every day? Maybe. Maybe not. But when you’re searching for solutions to business problems, location analysis may be just the new perspective you’re looking for.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a business map is worth a million.

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Adding Demographic Data to Map Layer Labels Using MapBusinessOnline

Demographic Data is such a fun digital tool to play within business mapping software. MapBusinessOnline subscriptions include access to the most popular categories of USA demographic data available from the US Census Bureau. Canadian data is available for our northern neighbor’s geographies, but the category count is much less. Canada is stingy with its demographic data releases.

I’ve written before about building a demographic map using USA data and map layer geographies like ZIP codes and counties. But for today’s blog, let’s discuss creating a business map using map layer labeling.

Map layers are the jurisdiction layers such as ZIP codes, Counties, States, or City Limits included in MapBusinessOnline subscriptions. Each object (ZIP code, county, or state) in a map layer has a label. These labels can be turned on or off en mass and can have additional data appended to the labels. There are five flexible data fields available with each map layer label set.

Create a New Map

Click the new map button on the Master Toolbar and create a fresh new map of the USA. To simplify our base map, go to Map and Data and turn off or uncheck the ‘Street’ background map check box.  There’s no written rule that you have to use a background map as an aside.

While you’re at Map and Data, check on the State Layer. Your new map should have nothing but the 48 contiguous states showing against the blue background. (BTW, you can adjust the color to something other than blue in Map and Data Map Options.)

 Append Map Layer Labels with Demographic Data

In Map and Data, hover over the State map layer. Click the Edit Map Properties Button and click the Labels tab along the right side. Next, make sure you click into Auto Label instead of Customer Label. Custom labels are labels that pop up when you hover over a map object with your mouse. Custom labels are set up just like auto labels.  Custom labels are cool but not what we’re after right now.

Clicked into Auto Label, scroll down through the label append options shown to # 1. You should find the Demographic Data prepopulated in the top dropdown and Population populated in the bottom dropdown. Ensure that the category option is for the year 2019 – the most recent Census Bureau release.

In MapBusinessOnline Demographic data, the most recent two years listed represent third-party projection estimates. As of mid-December 2021, the most recent Census Bureau Demographic estimates are for 2019. 2019 estimates are not based on the decennial 2020 Census Count. Neither are the two projection years.  Look for decennial Census data in the spring of 2022. That is per the Census Bureau.

With the Population 2019 selected, add a short text preheader for the label in the top field. I usually type in ‘Pop –.’ But you could be more specific and type in ‘Pop 2019 – .’ Include the dash. You could also spell out the word: population. It is up to you. I generally lean toward brevity and clarity when placing text on a business map.

There are four more flexible label fields you may add to the map from Auto Labels. Let’s do one more using Calculated Data Columns as a data source for labeling.

Calculated Data Columns for Labeling

Calculated Data Columns is the way you create basic formulas out of demographic data and imported numeric data in MapBusinessOnline. Don’t be intimidated; learn to love Calculated Data Columns.

Because we are appending the State map layer labels in our map, we need to create our Calculated Data Column in the State layer in Map and Data. Close the label function we’ve been using and return to Editing the State map layer properties.

Each Calculated Data Column setup is tied to a specific map layer. The Calculated Data must be constructed on the ZIP code map layer if the map creator works with ZIP codes. The same would apply to counties or states.

On the first page of the State layer’s Edit Map Layer Properties dialogue, you will find a button labeled Manage Calculated Data Columns at the bottom section.  Click it.

You’ll find the ‘Date column category‘ shown as Calculated in the dialogue that opens.  That means when you search for data to append to your labeling. The dropdown list will now include ‘Calculated‘ for any calculated formula options you’ve created at the State Map Layer level.

  1. Click Add a Data Column.
  2. Name the Data Column. For example: ‘Pacific Islander Kids.’ We’re going to calculate the estimates for Pacific Islander Children by state.
  3. Select any number formating you’d like to apply (%, $, decimal places.) No decimals are required for our calculation.
  4. Choose Formula Options and then Simple Formula.
    1. Select the dataset you’d like to pull from – in this case, Demographic data.
    2. Because for this blog, I’m interested in displaying a Pacific Islander Population label, scroll down until you reach a pertinent year and the categories describing the Pacific Islander population. You can select one category at a time, moving the yellow selection to the right using the top blue arrow set, or hold the shift key and grab a bunch and move them all to the right. The top section will sum your column totals.
    3. With your selection moved to the Formula, click Add in the lower right
  5. You may now close the Formula section. Your calculated data column is complete.

Please note that subtract and divide operations are also available in the formula.

Percentages calculations are managed within the number format option. In Formula, I would move a column to the top and one to the bottom to develop a ratio and then format the number for percent.

Back to labeling.  With your Calculated Data Column created, go back to the Map and Data State Map Layer Edit Map Properties button. Click into Format Labels and Auto Labels again.  Now scroll down to Auto Label option #3. In the upper dropdown, select ‘Calculated.’ In the text section, type in “Pac Island Kids –.”

Now your map displays some pertinent demographic data by state, including the number of Pacific Islander Kids in your State. Maine has 7. Wyoming has 3. Chalk up another win for Maine.

Optimize the Map Look & Feel

Finally, with my demographic labels finished, I take a step back and optimize my map a bit:

  • I like darker borders on my states.
  • I add a color of choice for the state fill.
  • I adjust my Auto Label text color to something dark, and I click off Italics and the white shadow option.
  • I then play with the Zoom tool in the navigation scrollbar in the upper right. That’s the magnifying glass button. I run that Zoom rectangle just inside the USA border to maximize the map extent and show as many labels as possible.

Then I get my Mom and show her my map. She’s a Pacific Islander, so she can check for errors. Turns out Maine has four.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Leave a comment

Which State is Safer – Maine or Wyoming?

A Tale of Two States

We’ve been publishing daily, bi-weekly, and now weekly business map snapshots of the COVID-19 virus epidemic and the COVID vaccination status by the state since March of 2020.

These shared maps have been visual representations of where we stand as a nation in dealing with the virus. That’s what business maps do for problems like epidemics, crime trends, political trends, or general business challenges that have a location component associated with them.

But as the COVID variants continue to pop up, bringing our social lives and our economy to a grinding halt, or at least a severe slow-down, it strikes me as valid to take a hard look at the virus solutions provided and assess their value.

Today we’ll take a break from discussing sales territory mapping and how to optimize your ZIP code map visualization. Instead, we’ll visit two places where the buffalo and lobster roam.

When a Business Map is Telling You Something

Over time, I realized that our State-by-State map analysis of the crisis told us something. That, after all, is what maps do. Maps communicate problems and suggest solutions. We see this all the time across our network of business mapping software customers.

Two states, in particular, are of interest here – Maine and Wyoming.

Both states are rural, northern states with relatively small total populations. We show Wyoming’s population at 581,836 according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS happens to be the demographic source for MapBusinessOnline demographic categories.

The same Census Bureau release listed Maine’s population as 1,332,813. In which case, Wyoming has a population equivalent to roughly 45% of Maine’s population. Both states have ample open space sections that are sparsely populated.

Both Wyoming and Maine show reasonably similar population segments for the elderly – ages 65 years and up. Approximately 10% of the population for both Maine and Wyoming are older citizens. As an aside, I will be joining that crowd of fine folks here in Maine in less than three years. Please save me some Meloxicam.

The median income for the two states is relatively equal, with Wyoming leading by about $6,000, which I attribute to the oil and gas sector of the state’s economy. It isn’t easy to match those barrels of black gold (Texas tea) with lobsters, clams, and Downeast humor royalties.

Maine vs. Wyoming in Total Pandemic COVID Deaths

But where the map got most interesting was comparing the two states’ statistics on:

  1. COVID-19 related deaths and
  2. The % fully vaccinated against COVID.
Maine Wyoming
Population 1,332,813 581,836
Number of Deaths 1,428 1,347
% Fully Vaccinated 73 % 46 %
No. of Deaths per 100,000 Since Pandemic Start 100 245
Number of 65+ 158,254 56,686

Statistics referenced are from USAFacts.org.

The glaringly obvious fact is the low level of fully vaccinated people in Wyoming. Wyoming, a state with less than half the population of Maine, has twice the number of deaths per hundred thousand people. Wyoming is tied for last place, with Alabama having the lowest percentage of the fully vaccinated population.

Politics aside, conspiracy theories put on hold, and talk of vax mandates forbidden – these are simple numbers tracked for more than a year and suggest that vaccinations save lives.

This 27% difference in Maine vaccination rates compared to Wyoming rates may have saved 135 lives for every 100,000 people. Extrapolate that number to the entire USA. That additional vax percentage could mean a hundred thousand or more lives saved from a COVID-19 death just by getting more citizens to accept the CDC recommended vaccinations. It could be more, and I suppose it could be less.

  • This many people from a COVID death would be like saving the entire city of Portland, Maine.
  • Or, if viewed negatively, like losing all the attendees at an NFL playoff game.
  • Or all 107,000 attendees at the Grateful Dead’s largest turnout – Raceway Park, Englishtown, NY in 1977.

Business Map Derived Information is not Always Welcomed

I’m all for saving hundreds of thousands of lives, especially if my family and friends are protected. The last time I checked, losing a hundred thousand people was considered a mass causality event – not thought to be a good thing. But I guess I haven’t checked in a while.

The nation lost 2,966 souls to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and we went to war over it, a war that lasted twenty years. Oddly, many thousands die of preventable COVID today, and that’s cool with some elements.

I think what’s important is that people look closely at the available scientific vaccine information.  Consider facts based on the numbers. It is too easy for a jamoke like me to publish a blog on social media and claim to know something about healthcare. I’m not a scientist – I blew my Calculus III class at Colby back in 1979, thus ending my career in science.

The CDC and NIH are organizations that exist for a reason – to report on healthcare issues. Please pay attention to people trained in healthcare and be discerning when reading social media posts from self-appointed online influencers like me.

In my simple world, I search for high authority sites like the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and I think about the data I’m viewing. I have suffered more ‘Fauci ouchies’ this year than I care to remember. Three COVID shots, two for the flu, and one for pneumonia. I feel like a pincushion. But I’ve also got asthma, and I know what it’s like to struggle for a breath. No part of me wants COVID. I can’t afford to count on alleged natural immunity. It’s too risky for me.

The Side-effects Excuse

When I looked at the compiled data for the Pfizer vaccine, I arranged the side-effect stats from highest to lowest. The highest number for a side effect was for headache. The number of reported headaches is 50,953. This number represents anyone taking the vaccine and reporting a headache on that day or the following days, regardless of the headache source. So, the reason for the headache side-effect could have included:

  • A cold
  • A hangover
  • Too much nitrous oxide
  • A head injury
  • Some other medication’s side-effect
  • Having children

The tracked data is, in my opinion, overly thorough. Total applications of the Pfizer vaccine as of the date of this writing are reported online as 269,846,851. The VAERS reporting covers 1,418,834 total vaccination events. The viewer must seek to understand how the data is collected and reported.

The report listed many side effects, but most were one-off side-effects new to me. One hundred and ninety-four side effects had more than 1,000 occurrences. Some of the side-effects tracked were superfluous, IMHO:

  • Fifteen thousand five hundred forty-three listed COVID-19 as their side-effect.
  • Eleven thousand seven hundred eight sited ‘injection site pain.’
  • You’ll be relieved to read that not one person reported any “abdomen crushing,” just one of the thousands of side-effect listed.

We vaccinate to save lives, and we see that vaccinations are doing just that, with minimal harmful effects. Maybe the choice should be, ‘take the vaccine or move to Wyoming.’ The mandated move would certainly help our health numbers look better here in Maine.

There are certainly some people who should not take the vaccine. But those people do not make up a large percent of the general population. I like the Mayo Clinic site for medical advice on vaccinations.

But then I’m just a blogger. My job is to discuss how business maps help expose problems and solutions. To me, the COVID map of Wyoming suggests a problem, and that of Maine, a solution. What our customers do with their business maps is up to them. Still, the adage ‘As Maine goes, so goes the nation,’ may still ring true.

Related reading: Here’s a recent article on the reasons for vaccine hesitancy.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in A story, Business Mapping Software blog post | Tagged | Leave a comment

Quickly Calculating Driving Distances & Times from One-to-Many Location Points

Below is a description of a straightforward solution to a typical driving time or driving distance problem. The capability is built right into MapBusinessOnline Pro.

Suppose you’ve got Dataset X that contains hundreds or thousands of points, and you would like to know the distances from one additional location to all the address points in Dataset X. In that case, you can get that solution quickly from MapBusinessOnline Pro.

MapBusinessOnline business mapping software comes in three flavors:

MapBusinessOnline Standard:

  • Import 100,000 records per map.
  • Create and manage sales territories.
  • Conduct market, demographic, and strategic analysis based on location data.
  • Build competitor maps, customer maps, demographic maps, expansion plans, market analysis, optimized travel routes, territory mapsZIP code maps, and more.
  • Share maps with constituents.

MapBusinessOnline Pro:

  • Import 250,000 records per map.
  • All the functionality of MapBusinessOnline Standard
  • Create sales regions and divisions.
  • Advanced cross-dataset driving time and distance queries.
  • Enrich imported location datasets with geographic and demographic data.

MapBusinessOnline Team Edition:

  • All the functionality of MapBusinessOnline Standard
  • Achieve collaborative team editing.
  • Admin controls of teams, editors, and viewers.
  • Best volume pricing.

Examples of why anyone would require the above mentioned multipoint driving distance and time solution include:

  • A device business sends technicians out for maintenance jobs and needs to understand the associated driving distances between all points to estimate travel expenses for repairs at known product installations.
  • Rescue services want to run the driving time analysis across a point network to assess response times for future equipment purchases or personnel hire justifications.
  • Marketing pros use mass driving time analysis to gauge mail delivery times across a set of states in advance of coupon redemptions at store locations.
  • Real estate agencies find it advantageous to publish driving times from specific home locations to a set of retail store and public resource locations to entice homebuyers with access to conveniences from their future home.
  • Logistics managers use multipoint distance spatial queries to track fuel and travel expenses and estimate delivery times.

Calculate Driving Distances or Times from One-to-Many Addresses

MapBusinessOnline Pro makes this time and distance analysis across a complex set of locations incredibly straightforward:

  1. Pro users enter a destination address in the Address Bar in the upper left corner of the application. Follow the address protocol of Address, City, ST. or input a latitude-longitude coordinate. Click the Binocular icon button to the right of the Address Bar to place the point on the map.
  2. The plotted single point will appear on the map, with the map extent Zoomed into the immediate area surrounding the point. A small menu or dialogue box will be associated with that point. In the dialogue box, select the option Labeled ‘Distances and Times.’ This option only appears if you have a subscription to MapBusinessOnline Pro.
  3. A new dialogue box opens requiring some input from the map user:
    1. In the top-left dropdown, select from the distance options provided. The possibilities include Straight Distance, Driving Distance, Driving Time, or combinations of these options.
    2. In the top-right dropdown, select either From or To.
    3. In the next section, select an imported dataset or plot the imported dataset of interest.
    4. Finally, in the bottom section, provide the column header text you desire to see in the Data Window output. Example: Driving Distance to Center Point.

The driving time/distance analysis calculates the distance or driving time from point A to every point in the submitted dataset. The user decides if that distance is a straight line or the distance along the road network. Of course, the user could also select driving time as opposed to driving distance.  You get to choose.

Distance & Time Calculation Dialogues in MapBusinessOnline Pro

MapBusinessOnline driving time calculations take into consideration: road classifications, speed limits, turn restrictions, one-way/two ways, and even historical traffic by time of day.

The query results appear in the MapBusinessOnline Data Window as a tabular spreadsheet. The business map user could also choose to have two options calculated:

  • Straight line and driving distance
  • Driving distances and time
  • All distances and times

The results of the query add additional columns to the imported dataset. All resultant spreadsheets are exportable to a CSV file format by clicking the Export button on the far right of the Data Window toolbar.

Experiment with the Distances and Times calculation in MapBusinessOnline Pro using a client address list or a business resource address list. This calculation could be beneficial for businesses managing:

  • Field installation and repair networks.
  • Banks and financial field assets.
  • Long-term home care client networks.
  • Mobile social services that cater to rural at-home clients.
  • Field sales groups that manage and balance sales territories.

MapBusinessOnline Standard and Pro both provide optimized routing for traveling businesspeople, which includes turn-by-turn directions. Couple that with business map views, market analysis, sales territory management, and you’ve got a full-featured geographic profile of your business.

Explore the geographic elements available in MapBusinessOnline Pro and Standard today. It’s never too soon to leverage the power of location for business improvement.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ve Just Been Made the Business Map Maker – Help!

“OMG!” BTW that is netspeak, and it stands for ‘Oh My God.’ It’s an Internet/social media acronym used to abbreviate common phrases for short messages and texts – similar to LOL for ‘Laugh Out Loud’ or WTF for ‘Why The Face?’

You’re welcome. Sometimes it helps to have a Baby Boomer around to mansplain things.

Well, anyway, the OMG! Exclamation is because you just found out your MapBusinessOnline company map creator has left the company, and you are now in charge of managing the maps he had created. Congratulations! The person directly responsible for developing business maps for the company is you.

The boss made it clear. He wants you to, ‘Clean up those maps we’re using and learn how to create new maps using MapBusinessOnline.’ You’re new to business mapping software and more than a little nervous about taking on business mapping in addition to your other duties.

Relax. We can help.

And keep in mind, business maps are critical to business analysis for many companies. They provide an array of business analyses that can give your organization a competitive edge:

Location-based business analysis is valuable for any business. And that makes your efforts towards creating clear and concise business maps useful as well. Be sure to include business mapping skills as a bullet on your resume or CV. It matters.

And – because MapBusinessOnline is a cloud service, business maps are easily managed in a work-from-home environment. In your PJ’s, no less.

This Could be Your Inherited Map

Help Getting Started

We have a bunch of articles on how to create new maps. Here’s a quick list of sources you can pull up from the MapBusinessOnlin blog, specifically designed to help new users get started mapping and how to optimize their business map:

You’re thinking, ‘But what happens when you inherit business mapping responsibility? Because the previous map gal has left the company. I can’t ask her.  The boss has designated me as the New Map Geek.’ No sweat. Read on.

Watch a web demo video and maybe take a stab at creating a business map – How Do I Create My First Business Map?

Account Ownership

Each MapBusinessOnline Standard subscription is for one user only. If there is an existing subscription and you can log in, use the Help Documentation to explore updating the email for your access only. If you require help from us to reassign subscription access, please get in touch with us via email. Please send an email to a MapBusinessOnline salesperson or reach out to us through the Contact button. Requests for us to adjust account settings must be in email form for privacy protection. Chat and phone do not protect your company’s privacy.

For general help, click the Help ‘?’ button in the upper righthand corner of the map. Also, use the topic lookup in the Blog.

Working with Existing Maps

Your predecessor probably created a few maps. Those maps may be overwhelming for you at first, especially if you’ve never worked with online maps before.

Saved maps are stored in the Open Map button on the left side of the Master Toolbar. Here you will find the My Maps folder filled with basic business maps related to your place of business somehow. You’ll also find the My Templates folder. These are maps of high importance – at least important enough to be isolated in the Templates folder safe from editing by others.

My Template maps are a safe place to store maps that took a long time to build or contain business data critical to company processes. You can open a My Template map, do some work, and then save it as a My Map. From the My Maps folder, you can share new maps with others. Templating protects the original work from accidental editing.

Open an existing map from either folder – My Maps, Recent Maps, or My Templates. The map will display some representation of your company’s business. It will have several components to the map view:

  • A background map layer is usually present.
  • A map layer of states, counties, ZIP codes, or a combination of these layers, is often included.
  • You may also notice imported business data on the map. Imported data will display as colored points or symbols on the map. These user imported points may have been converted into a heat map layer to show intensity.
  • Many territory maps are based on  ZIP codes. You can edit these layers by selecting ZIP codes and adjusting the territories accordingly. Read about editing existing maps here.

Tip: If you’ve edited a few things on the map and you decide to revert to the original map, click New Map on the toolbar and do not save the changes you made. 

Before you know it, you’ll be creating and editing maps with ease.

Take another look at the Recent Maps folder in the Open Map function. These are the maps worked on most recently. Open them up and view them. Think about how they relate to your business.

  • Are they pleasing to view?
  • Do you understand their purpose?
  • Or do they confuse you?

If the maps are not pleasing, that’s good news for you and your company. It means you will be improving those maps, and the company will benefit from your work And you will too, as lead Map Geek.

What does a Map Geek look like?

Actual Map Geek in the Captivity

But it could also be this:

Actual Map Geek in the Wild (me in 1959 with our dog Sneakers.)

 

 

Play with Map and Data

Map and Data tools control the look and feel of map layers in MapBusinessOnline. When Map and Data is engaged, it is a gray box that hovers over the map. Map and Data displays a checkbox for map layers and imported data layers.

If Map and Data is turned off, move your cursor to the far-left side of the map frame to halfway up. Click the small gray arrow button there to reengage Map and Data.

Using Map and Data, uncheck and check on the various jurisdiction map layers and imported data layers. Adjusting a few layers will give you a sense of how the tool works what data layers seemed most important to the previous map creator. Read more about Map and Data.

As you get familiar with the map layers, think about your people’s comments and suggestions regarding mapping.

  • What are they complaining about?
  • What’s the main reason your company uses business maps?
  • What improvements are they requesting?

If you are looking to make some quick fixes, look to the Map Legend. Map creators often leave the Map Legend unedited, which is a mistake. Map viewers naturally look to the Map Legend to understand the critical map layers. Get rid of reference layers like the State layer, which is an unnecessary legend line.  Edit legend labels to reflect correct layer names. Use names that your people will understand. Read more about Map Legend control here.

Consider requesting a Web Demo through the Contact button on the website or watch a web demo video.

Whatever you do, you should look forward to working with MapBusinessOnline and becoming a map expert for your business. You’ll be TCFS.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Would Your Business Benefit from Business Mapping Software?

Most businesses use Microsoft Office tools and Google business tools every day. Well, maybe not every one of us, but most of us working in an office use these tools regularly—we all access writing software, spreadsheets, and database management tools to get our daily jobs done.

Many organizations apply CRM and ERP systems to manage customer interactions, sales, purchases, and reporting. Such tools are accessed every day for sales processing, inventory control, and accounting. Business mapping software, on the other hand, isn’t always accessed daily. It’s a tool a business will derive benefit from when they suddenly realize they require it. Like when the company is about to build a growth strategy, forecast sales for next year, or fix a major problem.

Let’s face it; businesses exist to solve problems. A telecom company helps people communicate better. A grocery store solves hunger and thirst problems – and maybe some other basic human needs. But solution-oriented businesses have problems too. I’m reminded of the blues song, “My Problems Got Problems.” Businesses live to solve those problems. Well, like all other businesses, online business mapping software solves problems too.

So, what kind of problems does business mapping software solve, and how does a company know when it’s time to invest in location-based business software?

It’s Time for Business Mapping When

Business mapping alarms should go off if your business is becoming focused on an area or your business challenges are often described by referencing ZIP codes, counties, or other jurisdictions. One example might be a new eldercare business. We’ll call it Old Lady Daycare (OLD for short.)

A few weeks after this healthcare service opened, business was booming, and management pulled in new hires. Client home addresses quickly became essential to the application of homecare services and efficient billing protocols.

Create ZIP Code Territory Maps

As the weeks rolled by, it became clear that tracking field staff by ZIP code made the entire workflow more manageable, effective, and efficient. Business mapping software was purchased and used to:

  • Visualize client home locations by address for visit verification and tracking.
  • Create eldercare clinician territories that assure accountability and measure business issues.
  • Develop and share emergency maps that denote vital resources in the event of power outages or disasters.

Other Healthcare businesses may encounter a need for business mapping tools to manage marketing strategies. General practitioners, dentistry, physical therapy, and optometry offices pepper the suburban landscape with business locations offering routine in-0ffice services. Each of these offices will require marketing efforts.

Business mapping is like bothering to stop and look around you and observe details. It’s one more thing for solving problems.

Dentistry seems to be an exceptionally competitive marketplace that makes aggressive marketing a necessity. MapBusinessOnline can boast of many such healthcare practices using business mapping to:

  • Manage direct mail and email marketing initiatives. ZIP 5 and ZIP 3 codes are used to track and report on marketing impact.
  • Conduct office consolidation and expansion planning.  Population and income maps help plan business expansion.
  • Develop location-based strategies and outreach programs for attracting new patients. What works best: local seminars, postcard mailers, or door-to-door selling?
  • Lookup Business Listings by ZIP code or polygon area for outbound marketing.

As healthcare providers and medical offices expand, new office locations become necessary. Map-based demographic analysis can provide unique perspectives on ZIP code areas, answering questions like:

  • Demographic fit – Which neighborhoods provide the optimum demographic populations for our practice?
  • Identifying the Elder Communities – What is the total population of people ages 65 and up by ZIP code, town, or city?
  • ‘Is it Safe?’ – What are the crime statistics for the neighborhoods firmly under consideration? How will those facts impact client and employee safety?
  • ‘Winter is Coming’ – Does climate change impact any of our proposed locations, and how? Probably a standard question for future projects.

Finance Companies Bank on Location-Based Map Views

Banks and insurance companies worry about investments and property values. Portfolios of properties improve and lose value based on where they sit. Residential housing values impact their surrounding areas in a variety of ways:

  • What are the recent selling price trends of nearby homes and businesses? Is the movement up or down?
  • What are the median household income averages for families and household earners for the neighborhoods under consideration and the surrounding areas?
  • What are the top five crime stats for the portfolio’s key ZIP codes?

For banks, loan providers, and insurance companies, the problem is controlling risk. Finance companies make profits on sure things. Hurricanes, high crime rates, and political upheavals are a drag on profits. A well-crafted business map will define asset locations, assign asset values, and describe the significant risks impacting enterprise investments.

The adage, ‘bad news early beats bad news late’ is the mantra for major financial organizations. Nobody in that business likes surprises. Finance managers use business mapping to:

  • Visualize assets and field resources through drone camera feeds and remote sensing triggers.
  • Conduct demographic studies of critical asset areas.
  • Associate profits with areas of interest.
  • Determine location placements for offices, branches, and ATMs.

Referring Customers to Fields Techs

Call centers around the world manage mobile field staff support for end-users. The pandemic has only magnified this growing and crucial business mapping use case.  Millions of these customer support calls are resolved through online chats, calls, and emails.  But many service requests require in-house support. Technicians must be contacted and physically routed to the end user’s office or home location. These technician dispatches happen hourly for hardware technology companies, appliance repair services, pool maintenance businesses, and other service organizations.

Each remote service industry will have its own set of problems that can improve with business mapping. But common problem areas include:

  • Matching the appropriate technician to each case. This process can become complex depending on the specific technical issue. Is this support call routine or advanced?
  • Notifying the technician responsible for the requirement and making sure they get to the end-users location.
  • How do we deal with cancelations and verification of presence?
  • Reporting on all technical support service events at a month or quarter-end. Maps are for sharing and learning.
  • Create Drive Time based operations maps to better assess field technician reach.

Using Drive Time Visualizations to Analyze Shipping Patterns

Business problems are in search of a solution. If the problems have location components – an address, a ZIP code, a city – and often they do, then an investment in business mapping software will provide some answers. Business maps are not a panacea, they won’t fix everything, but they’ll probably make you and your business aware of new directions to take. And before you know it, you’ll be using business mapping software every day.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

 

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cartographic Setup within MapBusinessOnline

I’ve been building business maps for many years now and have developed my process for setting up my business mapping. But many of you may be unfamiliar with the thought process and basic steps we map geeks go through when we start a new business map.  I thought it might be valuable to share my steps towards building a pulchritudinous and business-like map using MapBusinessOnline.

Setting Up the Map

First things first.  After launching the application, click New (far left) on the master toolbar to Create a New Map. For most of you, choose the USA map template. Or, if you must, select Canada or the USA and Canada map template.

Up comes the map of the USA with Map and Data hovering over the map. The Map and Data Box displays checkboxes for the more popular map layers and backgrounds. Click the little gray Right Arrow in the middle of your far-left screen panel if it’s closed.

I like to zoom in a tad. Click the plus sign once or twice on the upper right corner Navigation Scrollbar to zoom in. Or use the Navigation Scrollbar magnifier – bottom left – to create a Zoomed-in bounding rectangle.

I also optimize Map and Data for my needs, keeping it small and positioning it off the USA as much as possible.  I keep my Map, and Data dropdown (there’s only one) set at Custom View. If you find you are in perpetuum creating the same map setup, you can adjust this dropdown to your liking. But wait until you’ve made a few maps first.

Setting Up My Map Look Using MapBusinessOnline

Now keep in mind, you could permanently save your favorite business setups as a Map Template in the MapBusinessOnline Save dialogue.  A map template protects your critical maps from unintentional editing.  This is an easy way to begin each of your maps by selecting your favorite setup map scheme in the template option list.

Hint: Saving a map template could be a real timesaver for busy map-makers.

Adding Map Layers

Check on the State Layer listed in Map and Data.  Read more about Map and Data here. Hover over the layer and click Edit Map Layer Properties to edit the layer’s look and feel. I like the state layer boundary to be dark. Uncheck the State layer fill to let the map background show through. I also turn off the state layer labels because most map viewers know which states they’re viewing. In my view, state layer labels simply add clutter to the map. But under labels, you could choose to show state initials. Your choice.

Hint: Avoid adding clutter to your map because it distracts from your map’s purpose.  Always try to focus your map audience on the purpose of the map.

Consider adding other layers to the map, like the City Limits Layer. Think about your business map subject and the purpose of your map. If it is city-focused, the city limits layer can be helpful. If it is ZIP code-focused, then add the ZIP code layer to your map.

Turn on the ZIP Code Layer using Map and Data.  I like to apply a gray border to the ZIP codes and keep the internal fill a light green. Use the Edit Map Layer Properties button to control the look and feel of the map layer. Keep in mind, ZIP codes at a national map view are not very helpful because they generally appear pretty small.  Zoom in to more critical areas of your map to explore alternatives for a ZIP code area look and feel.

Zoomed In to View ZIP Code Detail

Demographic Mapping

Add a demographic theme to the ZIP code layer.  Try out demographics using a population category to get an idea of what a ZIP code thematic map looks like.

  1. Select the Boundary button on the master toolbar.
  2. Choose the ZIP code layer
  3. In the dropdown, select Demographic Data
  4. Choose the year 2018 (the most recent Census release – not a projection as are the 2019 and 2020 data groupings) and apply Population 2018.
  5. In the Color Box section, use only three color ranges (expand to more ranges when you get comfortable color-coding), and apply several gradations of Red or Blue.

Hint: Census data is updated after we get Census ACS updates. And no, the 2020 Census is not available to MapBusinessOnline quite yet.

Now view the map. Color-Code dialogue allows the map editor to uncheck the fill for colors ‘not in any range.’ This uncheck option simplifies the map and the map legend. Oh yeah, the map legend. Please read on.

The Map Legend

Once you’ve added map layers, and especially after you’ve color-coded the map, you’ll see the Map Legend appears over the map. Move the legend to an unobtrusive spot on the map. Perhaps drag it over a body of water. Or place it in the St. Lawrence River valley in Canada. It won’t hurt anyone up there. And it won’t clutter your map.

I remove any layer, not adding value to my map legend, like the State layer. Usually, no one needs a legend to tell them there are states listed on the map. Click the tiny little Legend Edit Gear in the upper right corner of the legend. This opens up the Legen Edit dialogue. Now uncheck the state layer.

I also consolidate that ZIP code layer labeling to combine Census Data with the ZIP code layer. That consolidation removes a legend line. For example, in my map displayed on this blog, the legend says “Population (2018) by ZIP5 codes” all on one line.

The Map Legend should be concise and orienting for your map viewers and not distracting and confusing so that your company Know-It-All can poke at it during your presentation. Don’t feed the company, Know-It-All. They are jealous of your map-making capability.

Map Background Options

The bottom check box listed in Map and Data is for adjustment of the Map Background. The most commonly applied map background, and the default background in MapBusinessOnline, is the Streets layer.  Click the Edit Gear to edit map layer properties and select an alternative map background in the dropdown.

Try a different map layer or two to see how they look. I often use the National Geographic layer. It adds some topographic value, and it has pleasant colors. Sometimes it’s nice to change the background, so your maps look a little different.

Save your preferred business map setup as a Template, as mentioned above.  All map templates show as a template option when you click New Map. How exhaustively convenient.

Hint: Read our blog for more best mapping practices. Use the search tool.

You’re a map geek now. Let your Geek Flag fly. If you create business maps that throw an appropriate light on business problems, you’ll be lauded for it. Just like I will be celebrated for using big words in my blog post.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Do Business Maps Handle Sales Territory Overlap?

Sales territory mapping software is used by millions of businesses to support their sales organizations in many ways.  Some of the more commonly applied business mapping territory use cases are:

  • Define sales account responsibility for sales reps and other customer support personnel.
  • Share sales goals and track progress against objectives.
  • For sales planning purposes both in team meetings and for sales reps on the road.

Other, non-sales, departments also use territory mapping tools. Examples would include:

  • Accounting for tracking commission payments.
  • Operations for tracking field technician distribution, product installations, or transportation and delivery systems.
  • Developing location-based market analysis.

In many ways, the primary purpose of sales territory maps is to improve and control account responsibility. All other applications and departments tap into those accountability territory map views to get answers and solve problems.

Because so many business people access territory maps, managing overlap is very important. If a territory map system allows overlap, careful management and attention to detail are necessary to prevent chaos. There’s nothing worse when trying to determine account ownership than getting the ‘He went that-a-way,’ answer.

“He went that-a-way.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture the Three Stooges pointing arms in opposite directions.

When it comes to sales accountability, territories define who is responsible for sales initiatives, customer follow-up, and internal paperwork resolution like unpaid bills or returns. Business, like life, can become messy. Having a go-to person in charge, who can be contacted when issues occur, is essential.

Over my forty-year career in sales organizations, of one kind or another, overlapping territories have often caused trouble.  A common argument for overlap is legacy account management. Protecting legacy account ownership tends to be a demotivator for salespeople.

By legacy account, I am referring to old, lucrative relationships kept in place just because it’s the way we’ve always done it. Or, “Jim’s always covered that account. Janet won’t mind if he holds on to it.” Believe me, Janet minds.

Allowing a legacy account to remain the responsibility of a tenured salesperson, located outside of the territory, detracts from commissions, and leads to resentment between sales reps. Ultimately, the customer will be left with unresolved problems – refer to those infamous Stooges referenced above.

Salespeople are usually paid on commission for at least part of their compensation. Introducing overlapping territory accountability waters down the commission payout, erodes the sales incentive, and sows the seeds of dissatisfaction. Many times, I’ve seen green salespeople overshadowed by legacy or seasoned sales executives, move on to greener pastures where they outsell an entire team. Don’t pour water on the belly-fire of your latest hire just to keep good-old Jim happy in his sunset years.

Overlap can be strategic too. Paired coverage of the same territory might help new salespeople to come up to speed with help of a seasoned pro. A gradual transition would benefit both the old and the new person, as they manage new sales challenges and possibly new technologies.

The critical takeaway with regard to territory overlap is to be aware that it exists and act on issues that arise from it.

MapBusinessOnline provides sales territory management tools that highlight overlap and allow territory managers to consider alternatives to unfair sales incentive practices or other challenges related to overlapping territories.

Display Territory Overlap

To access MapBusinessOnline territory overlap or intersection tools, open Map and Data.

  1. In Map and Data, along the top, click Map Options.
  2. Along the right side, click the Intersections Tab.
  3. Check on the boxes for Allowing Territories to Intersect and Highlight Intersections on the Map.
  4. Finally, in the color box provided, select a bright color to highlight intersection areas.

These tools ensure those intersecting territory areas are clearly displayed on your business map.

Setting up Territory Overlap Using MapBusinessOnline

Transportation & Delivery Networks

The transportation industry also applies territory management tools. Transportation and delivery systems develop and maintain territories, that are usually carved out of highway and road networks. These delivery and pick-up areas represent repeat drop-off points for large shipment carriers,  small-package delivery, and bus services.

Often, drive time analysis is used to establish territory areas. Inevitably sections of territory overlap develop. Consider small truckload pick-ups at regional airports. Carriers are contracted to pick up airfreight at transportation hubs and deliver the freight to outlying areas.

Territories for transportation networks may require overlap because airports and storage facilities service multiple urban areas. Thus, one truck carrier business located in St. Louis will be contracted to pick up freight from Nashville, and a truck from the same St.Louis carrier may be picking up freight in Memphis. Company vehicles moving freight across the territories inevitably overlap. Tracking the operational costs of the various pick-ups and drop-offs can be tricky.

In the above map image, several transportation network territories are depicted on the map. The color red is used to designate areas of overlap. The territories are using the ZIP code map layer as the territory alignment base. In these overlapping situations, it can be helpful to develop an exportable dataset of all ZIP codes that overlap with the territories noted.

Export a List of Overlapping Zip Codes by Territory

To help organize overlap complexity, MapBusinessOnline lets you create a marketing list by ZIP code and Territory. The resulting list will display doubled-up ZIP codes with the territory names. With territories created and visual color assignment assigned, pull up the Data Window view:

  1. In the Data Window select the ZIP code layer in the left-side Dropdown
  2. Select the Choose Column button in the lower left.
    1. Move superfluous column data out of the analysis (like primary county, filler) using the blue arrows in the middle of the Choose Column window.
    2. Select these columns from General, Territories, and Territory Count, and move them to the right side. Exit Choose Columns.
  3. Click the Filter Funnel Icon.
    1. In the left-side filter, select General and Territory Count
    2. In the right-side modifier section select the Greater Than sign ‘>’
    3. In the far-right modifier numeric field choose ‘0.’ This filters for a territory count greater than 0.
  4. Click Filter in the lower-right to apply the filter. The Data Window now presents only the ZIP codes with overlapping territories.
  5. To export a list by territory, click the far-right Export button on the Data Window toolbar. Choose the bottom option in the export dialogue to ‘Segment by Territory.
  6. Export and save the file.

Overlapping Territory Filter Operation for Export

Think territory overlaps through carefully. If you decide that your business needs to allow territory overlap, MapBusinessOnline will accommodate your requirements. Just make sure the overlapping territories you’ve allowed, have a solid business reason for being there.

_______________________________________________

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer App for free, non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Do Large Enterprises Invest in Business Mapping Software?

Why would a large enterprise business like a bank, an insurance business,  a manufacturing concern, or a medical center consider purchasing business mapping software like MapBusinessOnline?

There are many reasons why large companies choose to purchase online mapping software, such as MapBusinessOnline, a secure, cloud-based map visualization tool.  Read more about business mapping software here.

Sales Territory Mapping

The most common reason business mapping companies come to MapBusinessOnline is for sales territory mapping.  A big company generally has an established level of territory mapping when they come to us. But those territories may be nebulous, filled with legacy account responsibilities, or just in need of updating.  The business may have morphed into something new, and territory design may need to shift from State-based territory alignment layers to ZIP-code or county alignment layers.

We still get a boatload of inquiries from enterprises whose sales territories date back to Microsoft MapPoint – a tool so old it’s got hair on it. Many ex-MapPoint users seek a replacement for this obsolete software. Expect some higher price points but more advanced functionality when you move on. (Unless you tapped into MapPoint’s fleet tracking capability, in which case you should expect to pay at least $10,000 more than MapPoint. Just saying.)

MapBusinessOnline – Sales Territories for Big Business

Sales territory mapping capabilities in MapBusinessOnline cover a wide variety of standard and advanced business requirements, including:

  • Addressing overlapping sales territory exposure.
  • Sales territory hierarchies (requires  MapBusinessOnline Pro version.)
  • Export monthly, quarterly, or annual sales results by ZIP code and territory.
  • Color-code territories by sales activity, demographic characteristics, or other numeric values.
  • Demographic and market analysis views of territories for expansion planning.
  • Franchise sales territory development and tracking.

These are just a few of the ways big and small enterprises apply territory maps.

An Insurance Mapping Project

Strategic Planning Maps

Big business executives spend a lot of time getting all strategic. That’s a significant aspect of their jobs. But to ensure their strategic vision is as forward-thinking and innovative as possible, they must consider a geographic analysis of their business, where it makes sense.

So, where does business mapping provide the best support for strategic planning? I’m glad you asked.

Generally, strategic planning is about growth. How fast can we grow, and can we financially support the expansion?  Business maps provide answers that enable faster growth:

  • Business Maps Expose Opportunities – Map-based or location-based market analysis can establish where a business is doing well and extrapolate that success to undeveloped sections of the country that present similar demographics.
  • Finding Gaps in Sales Coverage – Business maps displaying customer locations, color-coded by sales activity, can reveal gaps in account ownership and sales coverages. One insurance company dedicates a whole business map to exposing gaps in sales coverage.
  • Merger Maps – Acquisition planning for large mergers, such as hospital system’s mergers, requires an understanding of where potential acquisition targets exist.  Visualizations with firmographics of facility concentrations and competitor placements are prerequisites for merger decision-making.
  • Associate Mapping – Where do all our employees reside or start their day? This question has recently become much more interesting as the Work-from-Home workplace became the norm, post-pandemic. A business map quickly displays these locations and can be tweaked to present an employee location map from various perspectives:
    • Employee concentrations.
    • Employee access to high-speed Internet.
    • Employee proximity to health care services.

Maps Add Unique Perspectives to Strategic Planning

Risks and Liabilities

Any decent SWOT analysis is going to include a section on risks and liabilities. As businesses plan, they must consider known obstacles to growth and potential disasters that could impact a workforce, a supply chain, or a communication network.

This writer would like to believe that, as a nation, we’ve learned a thing or two about disaster preparation over the last 18 months. But then again, I don’t want to go out on a limb.

Risks and liabilities come in many flavors. A simple asset address or latitude/longitude map provides an essential reality check on where company investments are physically located:

  • How many buildings exist in coastal areas at risk of hurricane or extensive winter storm damage?
  • What communication networks does the company depend on for phone and computer services (inbound and outbound), and what impact would inclement weather have on those telecom assets?
  • Are call center resources adequately redundant and located far enough apart to provide overlapping support during power outages or pandemics?
  • Does the company have a high-speed internet work-from-home infrastructure covering 85% of the workforce?
  • Are critical business resources at risk of weather, war, pandemic, flood, or fire impact?

Utility companies monitor risks like the list above regularly. Other industries must also assess risks and their impact on their constituents, customers, and the bottom line.

The pandemic of 2020/21 has severely impacted critical aspects of all kinds of businesses, many of which have location components that managers can view on a map:

  • Supply chain impacts – Where are business-related bottlenecks occurring, and how can we help unblock them?
  • Labor shortages – Which cites report an available workforce within commute distances of our offices?
  • Where are the nursing shortages? Rank and visualize city limits by the percentage of vaccinated RN’s

We don’t claim to have answers for all the complex, post-pandemic issues US businesses face today. But I believe location-based analysis can assist in preparation for disaster and help identify where business challenges are most likely to occur. Business maps expose potential flare points and suggest mitigation pathways.

Security and Software Access

MapBusinessOnline is a cloud-based service. Large enterprises will want to ensure that their associates’ subscriptions to business mapping software in the cloud are safe and secure. At MapBusinessOnline, security and consistent access to maps and analysis are our primary concerns.

We subscribe to Www.Veracode.com for regular software penetration testing and security reviews. MapBusinessOnline is cloud-hosted by Microsoft Azure and includes all the security protocols Microsoft provides through hosted services.

SingleSignOn (SSO) access to MapBusinessOnline is available, making it easy for many end-users to safely and quickly sign-on. Ask a technical support representative to connect with your IT Group to set these access protocols up.

MapBusinessOnline privacy rules and login protocols protect your users and your business maps from outside access. Please don’t ask us to access your maps because we cannot. Your business maps are protected. Only your users can view and edit the maps they create.

So, there are lots of reasons why large businesses would invest in geographic mapping software like MapBusinessOnline. Not to mention the myriad of maps useful to business analysis in general:

The list goes on, like the beat. Rapidly expanding large enterprises need to add location analysis to their business processes for that geospatial perspective their competitors may already be viewing.

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Find out why over 25,000 business users log into www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

To access MapBusinessOnline, please register and then download the Map App from the website – https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/App-Download.aspx.

After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, or g2crowd.

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