Find the Nearest Facility – Retail Expansion with MapBusinessOnline Pro

Here’s an anonymous story:

We’d been working on our current variety store expansion project for months. As Organization Expansion Director, my job was to facilitate expansion plans responsibly. The business’s overall growth plan focused on launching four or five new stores yearly until Red Market Express Variety stores covered the entire nation’s major highways with minimal territory overlap.

The challenge was to sustain this growth pace through all economic climates, meet revenue and profitability goals, and always comply with national, state, and local laws and regulations.

One of the beneficial tools we used to achieve our aggressive company goals was business mapping software. We used MapBusinessOnline Standard to set up territories by store. After a while, our store roster expanded considerably, so we upgraded to MapBusinessOnline Pro. Upgrades are prorated to protect user investment. Just click Subscribe on the website or in the Account section of the application.

If you’re managing just a few locations or creating less than fifty territories per map, MapBusinessOnline Standard will do fine. But as you expand, you should upgrade to MapBusinessOnline Pro for more advanced location-based analysis tools:

Radius-based territory mapping used for expansion planning.

MapBusinessOnline Pro Strengths

In some cases, individual Red Market Express stores conducted some prospecting campaigns within reasonable drivetimes of their stores. They used MapBusinessOnline Pro to define a given store’s driving time audience. Typically, these local target markets were people who lived or worked within a 20-minute drive time of Red Express stores. Population density was a factor. We’ve found that areas with a population density of at least 5,000 people per square mile were more responsive to enticement campaigns offering discounts for certain items, including Slurpies, Milk Duds, cartons of cigarettes, and Tylenol.

MapBusinessOnline Pro enhances general business intelligence with location-based intelligence. The tool can identify the nearest resources, expose demographic characteristics by area, or present all travel times and distances between all points across two datasets. There is power and intelligence in location-based analysis. MapBusinessOnline Pro gives you all of that – affordably.

Four drive time zones surrounding the proposed new retail store locations.

Finding the Nearest

For this year’s store expansion project, we’re focusing on the East Coast I-95 corridor between Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

We determined the four optimum new store locations by analyzing the driving times and distances between Red Express’s existing stores, competitor stores, and regular gas stations. Acquisitions got to work on competing store buyout possibilities while a team of directors focused on buying real estate property along the highway. Prospective store surveyors are on the job as I write this, taking measurements and checking on local and highway restrictions. It’s a long process, but we’re used to the bureaucracy.

Let’s examine nearby medical facilities as a simple example of how MapBusinessOnline Pro can streamline the required analysis.

Four retail location territories with demographic information added by radius area.

State and federal regulations require highway retailers to have an emergency medical plan in case of a store or passing traffic emergency. Each store is required to have the best first aid kits on hand. Epy Pens, Narcan, and other emergency medicines are also required, as is training on how to apply such meds when warranted.

However, in most such emergencies, after treatment in the field, the nearest emergency medical center needs to be contacted for ambulance dispatch or to accept incoming victims, as the case may be. MapBusinessOnline provides a Business Listings search tool that enables the identification of all medical facilities and hospital ER locations with contact information.

Downloaded business listings are imported into the map view and assigned symbols on the map itself. MapBusinessOnline Pro offers further analysis, which can compare store locations with emergency services locations to determine the nearest emergency room.

Armed with this critical data, we post maps and contact information at each store location. We also train store employees to check shared map views for more hospital details as necessary.

Four retail expansion targets with the nearest medical facilities highlighted in the map view.

Finding the Nearest facility is just one of the MapBusinessOnline map analysis tools that leverage driving time and distance queries to provide relevant information for business success.

While MapBusinessOnline Standard provides:

  • Drive time polygons that describe an area by driving time and distances.
  • Territory creation for up to 50 territories per map.

MapBusinessOnline Pro offers:

  • All the features of MapBusinessOnline Standard.
  • Mass, multi-point analysis of driving times and distances.
  • Multiple territory creation simultaneously.
  • Territory creation for up to 1,500 territories per map.
  • Generate find the nearest proximity searches.
  • Import up to 250,000 location records per map.
  • Append imported datasets with demographic and geographic data.

Best of all, MapBusinessOnline mapping tools make you look like a mapping savant. Red Market Express thinks so, anyway.

Request a personal web demo here.

About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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