I have no idea how to make a widget. I haven’t a clue as to how to extrude plastic, stamp out metal parts, create a nonwoven web, or design and build mass quantities of consumer kitchen devices. But I know that manufacturing plants have a need for business mapping software.
I know this because here at Map Business Online we get the calls every day from managers and associates who work in manufacturing, within support departments such as sales, marketing, product planning, and executive management.
These support organizations are tasked with designing products, selling products, marketing products, and determining the direction of the overall company. Business maps help these folks turn spreadsheets of customer and product information into actionable business analysis that encourages forward thinking.
The Glory Boys & Girls in Sales
Those widgets you made last month have to be sold. While it’s tempting for production folks to think of salespeople as glad-handers who get to go out to dinner all the time, they actually have to plan their business activity to achieve their “astounding” results. Sales professionals use business mapping tools to:
- Establish sales territories that define areas of sales accountability. Sales territories are a platform for sharing sales goals and clarifying who’s responsible for achieving those goals in specific areas. That sharing platform could be the place where your product features and benefits are drilled into the heads of hungry salespeople.
- Create customer maps that overlay sales territories with customer locations, perhaps defining the type of customer and their required visit frequency.
- View overlays of prospects, potential customers that could help expand sales achievements as time allows. Prospects are the new customers that blow away goals and objectives. Demographic data overlays create the profile of your best selling area and are used as the template for defining new markets.
- Analyze product popularity by area of interest. Understanding where and why products sell is critical to expanding the coverage area of a business or product.
- Replace obsolete and inaccurate Microsoft MapPoint. (Folks – this tool has been dead for four years. Move on.)
Sales departments have a partner department called marketing. While at times businesses are unable to accurately measure response rates to many marketing campaigns, should your executive team ever decide to eliminate your marketing group you may find the sales team on the roof of the factory ready to end-it-all.
Marketing is difficult to measure but necessary both for campaign generation and branding. In many ways, the modern business marketplace is all about marketing, not sales. If you sell a product using Google AdWords processes you know exactly what I mean. 90% of our sales occur with almost no interaction. That’s the online world we live in.
Marketing departments apply business mapping to a variety of analysis:
- Track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by ZIP code or county.
- Explore market potential and define the addressable market by monitoring sales activity, demographic make-up, and customer responses by ZIP code and then extrapolating these results to similar ZIP codes around the nation.
- Develop an optimum ZIP code demographic profile and mail or email marketing campaigns to those areas with the most potential.
- Track marketing campaign results by geography and time to determine appropriate intervals between periodic campaigns.
Change is constant and for that reason, executive teams are all about strategic vision and process measurement. They’ll be interested in all the sales and marketing business maps that track results. In addition to hiring and firing, company executives are thinking about the future. Execs use business maps to:
- Present the results of vision planning against a geographic background. These vision maps are perfect for expansion planning or moving an operation from county to county or even country to country.
- Develop resource planning maps in support of strategic planning. Critical resources laid out on a map offer instance validation for plans supporting a change in direction.
- SWOT maps provide geographic resonance to strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis. Often these critical SWOT elements come with a built-in location component. SWOT maps can be built on top of resource map data to display a bigger picture.
In the grow or die reality of American manufacturing, your team needs every single edge it can muster to assure the business continues to expand at a healthy pace. Business mapping software is a tool that serves a multiplicity of purposes across the entire manufacturing business.
Your plant and product may be more or less location-based than other businesses, but you’ll be better off having a few key managers or associates capable of building basic business maps to dig deeper into your daily and long-term challenges.
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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.
Contact: Geoffrey Ives firstname.lastname@example.org or Jason Henderson email@example.com