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Vibrant: territory gap analysis and local consultant selection

Vibrant Energy Matters Limited (Vibrant) is the UK’s largest property services company. They provide outsourced solutions to residential lettings and sales agents, private landlords, commercial agents, property managers, and social housing providers. Vibrant approached us looking to optimise their staff network and improve their service efficiency.

The challenge:

Vibrant offers a comprehensive range of property services including Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards reports (MEES), property compliance audits, Legionella Risk Assessments (LRA), solar surveys, residential property inventories, inspections, check-outs and condition reports. To do this they use a network of employed and self-employed professionals to give them the flexibility they need to service their impressive client property portfolio.

Working with hundreds of individual addresses rather than a shortlist of regional offices, adds a level of complexity when it comes to territory planning. This is further complicated by each consultant having differing specialities and qualifications, so a single consultant might not be able to provide all the services required in an area. Regular changes to consultants and the client portfolio, mean that the Vibrant network would need constant review and optimisation.

Vibrant logo overlaid onto an image of a terraced street.

The solution:

After listening to Vibrant’s list of requirements, our GIS consultant suggested Prospex, our desktop GIS (Geographic Information System), due to its advanced territory planning and management functions. Working with a UK-wide, constantly shifting network, the power of a desktop GIS would be valuable when calculating drive times and distances for each individual consultant and property. It could also bring the analysis together into visual data maps and spreadsheets that Vibrant could use to manage its staff. Vibrant’s territory planning also happens to be based around postcode geography, which is where Prospex excels.

Taking advantage of the training included with every Prospex install meant that the Vibrant team were soon up and running. We continued to offer support remotely to help them take full advantage of the GIS software, including the use of Prospex’ advanced macros to get maximum value from the system.

Vibrant’s main use of the software is to create a weekly gap analysis in their network to ensure that they can offer a good service to each area. They work to an ideal ratio of one member of staff for each 1,200 annual calls in an area. Using the previous 12 months rolling data, Prospex generates heat maps for calls in each area, which is then compared to current consultant coverage. Typically, this is used to identify gaps in coverage, but it also allows Vibrant to spot areas where they have too many staff, enabling them to make efficiency savings.

Another task for Prospex is to identify the closest assessors to any property within Vibrant’s network. This takes advantage of the journey time and distance macro within Prospex which harnesses our own TimeTravel data. This uses pre-calculated drive times for all of the UK in order to quickly and accurate work out multiple drive times and distances. The 10 closest assessors to any given area are then exported into an Excel spreadsheet. Vibrant then turn this into a pivot table allowing the team to have the data at their fingertips to help new enquiries, wherever they may be.

The result:

Several years on, Vibrant are still using Prospex and their processes have evolved to take advantage of yet more of its features. The weekly gap analysis has moved from using an output of heat maps, to Excel data tables. This simplifies the process and allows the data to be more easily applied through the use of searches and pivot tables.

Vibrant have also found other uses for Prospex beyond the original brief. For example, without fixed routes or regional offices, consultants are reliant upon facilities close to the properties they service such as public toilets. Vibrant now use our GIS to identify closest public toilets to a property to make life more comfortable for their field team.

We continue to work with Vibrant, offering both phone and remote desktop desktop support and training. With usage evolving and growing, and Vibrant thriving as a business, we look forward to working with them for a long time to come.

"I started using Prospex whilst the UK was in a full lockdown - Toby provided me with 100% remote, yet very interactive training. I am now confident with the Prospex package and it has allowed me to create some in depth and insightful pieces of analysis that massively increase the efficiency of our business."

Finance Business Partner - Vibrant Energy Matters

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