Supply chain improvements: holistic territory review
Our client, a specialist supplier, offers innovative management products for Ocular Surface Disease, Dry Eye and Age-Related Macular Degeneration within the Eye Health space but also more recently products within the Allergy and Children’s Medicines space as well.
We were approached to help review their existing sales territories within the Opticians channel with an eye to maximising the efficiency and potential of existing territories and identifying where a new representative could be employed most valuably.
The client's turnover has significantly increased in the last 3 years. This success meant that they were looking to review their sales territories and add an extra territory manager to their sales team to ensure that they could provide the best service to their growing client base.
After exploring using our own mapping tool, MapVision, it became clear that the client wanted the best of both worlds: access to leading location intelligence tools, and the benefit of our years of mapping experience to help them shape their territories. Additionally, the whole review needed to be completed in a very tight timescale. With no substitute for sitting down in a room together to resolve complex problems, we set a date for a consultation when we could meet key members of the clients management team.
With their own business information system, the client was able to provide us with their existing territory, client, rep locations and sales data. This allowed us to run the data through MapVision’s territory balancer module prior to meeting with them. We then had an objective starting point to lay out their territories before we took into consideration strategic business considerations and individual team member preferences.
When we sat down together, the shortcomings of an automatically balanced territory model became apparent. Should the focus be on minimising travel distances in the northern areas where clients were less densely populated, or should the strain be taken off the southern territory managers with more clients to manage? To add further complexity, clients were sorted into a number of distinct types, from independent stockists, regional and virtual chains and national providers, all of which had differing priorities, usage rates and business models. In short, most areas could benefit from the additional territory manager, so where did we put them?
It became clear that business priorities and personnel preferences would need to influence the final layout as well as balancing workload. For example, because servicing London requires mixed travel modes, it would need special consideration, especially since the current rep lives outside the territory.
We built territories together based on the current scenario, carving out a new viable territory and adjusting existing ones, thereby reducing their workload in an equitable way. The MapVision Territory Manager was perfect for the task, automatically updating the relevant metrics as areas were moved between territories. The background map with control of layers of customer data provided the ideal context for decision-making.
The management team could use their business knowledge to prompt our consultant to create the territory map in real time and, through trial and error, create a truly bespoke territory map perfect for their business, territory managers and clients.
After just two meetings, we had finalised the territory map. The final deliverables took the form of maps and spreadsheets including sales and demographic data for even more context.
The startlingly quick end-to-end process demonstrates that sometimes you just can’t beat sitting down in a multidisciplinary team and fully exploring a subject to do the best possible job. A face-to-face consultation with responsive, accurate tools to hand, allowed us to complete a seemingly intimidating process in a very short time. This showed our client the most cost-effective and time-efficient result, giving them more time to implement their revised territory structure ahead of their deadline.
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