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Thatchers: territory management with MapVision

Thatchers Cider are a well-known family-run business tending over 500 acres of orchard and creating cider since 1904. Based at Myrtle Farm at the foot of the Mendip Hills, Somerset, Thatchers came to us to map their sales territories and help them to grow their presence outside of their South West heartland.

The challenge:

Thatchers Cider came to us looking to map their impressive sales network in the south of England and help them to plan its growth nationwide. With the withdrawal of support for products like Microsoft MapPoint, growing companies like Thatchers require an alternative solution which offers territory mapping and management tools without a prohibitive price tag. MapVision, our simple web-based mapping tool, ticks all of these boxes and was the preferred option for Thatchers.

At the point they approached us, Thatchers had 18 field sales representatives, with a universe of 100,000 plus retailers, including supermarkets, off-licences and pubs. This meant that even initial territory mapping was no mean feat.

The Thatchers logo overlaid onto an image of an apple tree.

The solution:

Fortunately, importing and geocoding territory data into MapVision is a simple 3 step process, so mapping their existing territories as area catchments was straightforward. Their portfolio of more than 100,000 new and potential customers was equally easy to import as a separate data layer that could be super-imposed on the territory map.

An important feature was the ability for Area Managers to easily map their field team’s territories and share the maps with them. MapVision, being interactive, allows the end user to zoom in/out and explore the map. The ability for multiple users to access and interact with a project means that up-to-the-minute changes are visible to all users. The visual data maps show proximity of sites too. With this visual representation of territories, it is easy to see where they have strong and weaker coverage. Thatchers used thematic points within MapVision to easily distinguish reseller outlets - simple colour coding within the theme allows them to distinguish retailer brands to make it easy for field staff to differentiate stores.

An additional requirement of Thatcher’s was the ability to map their customers to TV regions in order to manage territories. This gives them the ability to join up marketing and field team activity. TV region boundaries are, unusually, not included in MapVision’s off-the-shelf data library, but it was easy to import the data and then display it on the territory map as an additional data layer. In this way the overlay can be turned on or off with a simple check box to balance ease of understanding or depth of information.

The result:

Now that this project is complete, maps can be shared with individual field staff online so they can see all their stores, and easily separate them by type or brand. They can also click on stores and see all of their details such as recent performance, contact information, or anything else they wish to upload. All of this functionality is available to them through a normal web browser with no software to install, and simple enough that no training is required. Additionally, any of these territory maps can be exported as a flat image file or printed off to make it easier to access when out in the field, where an internet connection cannot be guaranteed.

"I was used to working with MapPoint and when we had a new project that required mapping Sales Territories, my team utilised the capability of MapVision, which allowed them to plan and focus their efforts in the most efficient and effective manner."

Rob Sandall, On‑Trade Sales Director, Thatchers

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