I speak with many business mapping customers every week. Many are novices, perhaps new to the concept of business mapping and may require a little basic assistance just to get rolling importing customer locations or building a zip code map. Others have used mapping tools like MapPoint before and are interested in specific mapping applications that supplement their business workflows. Listed below are a few of my most recent favorite map applications from MBO users.
Importing Telecom customer sales dollars by zip code and summarizing the totals of the zip code sales by Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Map Business Online is able to easily import your business data by address, zip code, lat/lon, county, or state for instant visualizations against an accurate and up-to-date web map. (So it’s different then MapPoint in that the data is actually up-to-date!) Once imported to the map, the application can total or average your numeric values (sales dollars) by geographic district.
Compare Year Over Year Demographic Data. I realized Map Business Online could do this on the fly one day during a web demo. I was using the Calculate Data Column tool in the Map & Data Tab to compile four or five segments of population data into one file. The customer said they really wanted to compare three years worth of data. I remembered we had three years of data listed in the MBO demographics library. All we needed to do was compile the columns in the same manner for three years running and access the data either from a Market Area of Interest view or as a Summary File which you can now add to your map.
Team Map Editing – We released a collaborative business mapping product about 9 months ago. We’ve now got many companies applying teams of map editors of five or more users to their location based business work flows. Collaborative map editing combines the convenience of shared map views with the ability to actually allow someone else to edit your map or your map data.
In general there are really three reasons a business uses shared map editing:
1. To leverage multiple people towards solving a business problem. Here the old adage “two heads are better than one” holds sway. With team editing, you get a whole group of heads considering a shared problem. And the amazing thing is collaborative map editing helps solve problems more completely and faster. Think about it, instead of generating departmental silos that don’t communicate you’ve just created a team using a shared tool to solve a shared problem. I think that fact that maps are fun helps.
2. To share business data efficiently and keep it up to date. Shared map editing provides a platform for viewing and editing data. Sharing marketing and sales results on a location-based platform means that when people view it they see values, trends, and location placements all at once. Results and edits have more meaning when viewed against a map. Consider a sales meeting to review progress. One view the group might see is an Excel sheet highlighting sales results for June. OK, so there a numbers there. That’s fine. But another view might be the same sales results totaled by zip code on top of a sales territory map. Now the team is considering where and why sales are happening.
3. Conduct operational monitoring. Some companies require their sales people to report how many people they contact each day, week or month. By applying a team map collaboration tool to the business work flow they can encourage their people to update customer records on shared editable maps. Thus everyone gets a quick sense of the latest customer feedback, orders or problems. Good or bad news, it’s always better to get the news sooner rather than later.
And speaking of a MapPoint replacement, MapPoint is the gift that keeps on giving as more and more people drop by the Map Business Online website to explore the possibility of MBO as an alternative to the now defunct MapPoint. Many businesses built work flows around the Microsoft mapping tool. These basic functionalities are common requests from MapPoint users easily transitioned over to MBO:
• Easily look up a zip code and zoom to that area of the map. Simply key the target zip code into the upper left hand corner search bar and click the binoculars.
• Lasso a bunch of points on the map for routing. Select a group of destinations or imported address using a polygon or free form draw object tool to create a subset list for routing stops. Just a couple of clicks and you’ve got your list.
• Multi-stop optimized routing. MBO lets you build multi-stop optimized routes of up to one hundred stops per route. For more routing stops that that you’ll need to contact routing companies like Route Smart, Esri’s ArcLogistics, or Telogis.
• Up-to-date Map Data. This MapPoint hadn’t offered in years. It was killing MapPoint users. We get many users weary of failed address locator operations, but fear not for in MBO most location locate correctly on the first pass. And if they do not geocode correctly you’ll have an opportunity to fix the error by simply choosing to edit the point location and selecting a corrected point on the map. You’re done and good in seconds.
Keep us informed about your map use. This makes us aware of new feature requirements. Our customer’s application of mapping software always surprises us.
Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com
Contact: Geoffrey Ives email@example.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866