Map Business Online Blog

Read about business mapping and how it can help your business succeed.

Nick Danger, Geo-salesguy

“Look kid, I’m a busy man. What’s does mapping software got to do with my business?”  His New York, no-nonsense accent told me my time was limited.

Murray had a lot on his mind. It was nearing month end.  Product had to get out the door.  And it looked like the nicotine gum he was chewing was about a year overdue for a refresh. 

“I appreciate your time today Murray.  I won’t be long,” I stammered. “We’ve got an easy-to-use web-based,” that was as far as I got with my pitch when Murray interrupted spitting cream-cheese on my lapel.

“Kid, my wife’s divorcing me, my sales are in the toilet, and my dog’s got fleas the size of Peking Raviolis.   If you can’t tell me what you’re going to do for me right now, there’s the door.”  He looked back at his PC and began typing an email with heavy, semi-angry fingers.  I swiped at my lapel with a paper napkin.

“Your sales are off where?” I asked.

“Every where. It’s a recession. Remember?” Murray was kind enough to point out.

“But if you don’t know where and by how much,” I continued “than you can’t do anything about it. Have you got a list of reps, or accounts where your sales are off?”

“I’ve got this year’s list by manufacture’s rep, and last year’s list by rep. Here, I’ll put ‘em on a USB thingy.”  He tossed me the thingy saying, “Knock yourself out.  And thanks for the Bagel. Next time pumpernickel.” 

“Duly noted,” I assured Murray. Next time, I thought.  There’s hope.  Innocently shifting my laptop so Murray could watch, I carefully inserted the thingy. I then quickly imported his sales records, symbolized his reps, and color-coded his sales by territory – zip and county.  I even attached a few notes to some obviously tanking accounts. Murray pretended to work on his email, and I let him pretend.  But I could see he was eyeballing my laptop.  Earlier I had overlaid sales numbers by city for Murray’s major product line – disposable medical test strips or DMT’s.

“Well,” I said.  “It’s clear that last year was down over all. But I also see a problem in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Las Vegas.  But I’m sure you know about those. You can see the counties and zip-codes where the problem is very evident. I highlighted them in Red.” 

“Vegas & Chicago? What’s wrong with those territories?” Murray chortled through his bagel, locks and cream-cheese.

“Well, based on previous year sales compared to this year, see the pie charts? Those accounts fall way below average.  And look at the trend for DMT strips overall.  They’re up.  And looking at it by county, you can see it is certain counties that reflect most of the shortfall.  I smell a sales rep issue.  If your DMT strips were actually failing, I think the sales shortfall would be reflected in more places across the country.”

“How much is that web-thingy tool you got there, Nick?” Murray probed skeptically raising a couple of hairy eyebrows so high some particularly rogue brow hairs appeared to be scanning for extraterrestrial life. 

“Murray, for $150 bucks per year you get this application and all its geospatial goodness. The bagels are $10.00. Just kidding!”

“Kid, maybe you’re on to something.”  Murray was hooked. “I suppose I could import this list of potential customers by address.  Can I generate a mailing list by region and export to Excel?”

“You’re getting it now Murray.” I was smiling inside. “Import the list. Click on the radius search button and drop a point. Drag out the miles you want to check.  Save the list with a name and export to Excel.”

“Son-of-a-[WordPress Edit]!” he suddenly screamed. 

“Yeah!” I chimed in, raising my wide open high-five hand high.

“What are you doing? I spilled my coffee you dimwit. Muriel!” While Murray waited for Muriel to come clean up his desk I sent a quick link to our trial page.  (www.mapbusinessonline.com)

In the end Murray thanked me.  We shook hands as I started out the door.

“Murray.” I said. “This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

“Kid,” Murray said in his best crotchety, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

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SpatialTEQ Releases Map Business Online Version 2.53

March 20, 2012 – Newburyport, MA – Today SpatialTEQ announces the release of Map Business Online (MBO) Version 2.53.  With this release Map Business Online now offers sales territory visualization capabilities, advanced map labeling options, and transparency settings for state, county and zip-code views. Map Business Online is an extremely affordable and easy-to-use mapping solution for large enterprises, small businesses, and non-profits.

MBO now provides territory visualization features that enable more detail about your sales territory or field resource plan including semi-transparent views by zip-code, county or state. This release provides more labeling options for imported data presentation including text style, font controls, a symbology on/off switch, and callout placement on the map. 

Popular MBO applications for business users include:

  • Sales territory visualization tools for CRM, presentation slides, and planning.
  • Resource location mapping for public safety and health applications.
  • Point-to-point routing for traveling sales people or mobile field workers.
  • Creation of exportable marketing list segments by area from bulk data imports.
  • Radius and Polygon search of imported data by geographic area.
  • Share map views by email or presentation slides.
  • Color code imported data by volume, geographic area, or pie chart.
  • Display data against street, zip-code, county, state or combined map views.

Map Business Online utilizes the most up-to-date map data available through Cloud based services provided by Esri www.esri.com.

About SpatialTEQ:  www.SpatialTEQ.com  develops easy-to-use location-based software and GIS tools that lower overall operation costs, and increase productivity. Access an array of geospatial software solutions, geo-data management services, or GPS tracking tools, at affordable rates, impressive turn-around times, and with the latest technologies applied. 

To learn more about Map Business Online go to www.MapBusinessOnline.com or contact:

Geoffrey Ives      

207-939-6866

email geoffives@spatialteq.com

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What We Didn’t Learn In Geography Class

In 2011 was a year of wicked big changes for me. After twenty-nine straight years of working, I was laid-off and had to restart my career at age – well, that’s not relevant. I was fortunate to quickly find a new role selling geospatial software – mapping and navigation tools – but there was a period of anxiety; sleepless nights, and there were fantasies about potato plugging somebody’s SUV. After a while, the feelings subsided and morphed into excitement about new opportunities; bereft of any potato plugging. I baked the potatoes and focused on new ways to apply geospatial tools.

And more than work was changing for me. The year 2011 was characterized by many economic and political ups and downs. Closer to home, our two daughters, older now, are making their own life decisions (gulp!). We canceled cable TV in 2011, in favor of Internet streaming. Bye-bye constant Kardashians, hello on-line content from Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, and Amazon.

So, geospatial software ends up being the constant in my life. Who knew? Back in junior high, I had loved Miss Wagnis’ geography class. I was good at identifying geographic objects like countries, states or continents. I was fascinated by the rise and fall of empires against the timeline of human history. Later I would answer those geographic Trivial Pursuit questions correctly – What’s the largest state in area east of the Mississippi? (Leave your answer as a comment.) I thought geographically but I never envisioned a career selling geographic tools. “Geography for a living” was not listed on my high school year-book ambition list.

My limited geographic education was in no way preparatory for selling location based services for cell phones or instructive on how to compete with free Google Maps over the Internet. Wrestling with Internet business models has meant relearning how I think. As consumers, we’ve each seen the Internet changing almost everything we do – the way we view TV, the way we bank, the way we make or keep friends, and the way we get a job. My 80 year old dad, a life-long voracious reader, now adores his Kindle Fire.

Maps have been a major part of Internet services for a good twenty years now. Geographic Information System software (GIS) plays a major role in a variety of land-based industries like natural resource management, energy distribution, and local and state government. But mapping applications are still underutilized for a broad range of businesses. And I believe it is because geospatial tools remain somewhat intimidating to the average business manager. Who has an extra four hours in their day to learn how to geo-code their customer list? To date, it’s just not simple enough – although we’re getting there – see http://www.mapbusinessonline.com).

Data displayed on a map needs to be as easy as copy and paste. Data updates need to be as easy and fast to transact as buying a book on a Kindle or downloading a song from iTunes. And the benefit of viewing business data on a map needs to be obvious to the business manager.

A map is no longer just a map. According to dictionary.com a map is defined as:
“A representation, usually on a flat surface, of a whole or a part of an area.”
Seems like a light definition today. For modern businesses, a map is a much broader tool. It contains information about markets, resources, customers, populations, incomes, contaminations, efficient pathways, and hazards. A digital map is an information resource that should be a critical tool to any business.
Geospatial companies are working diligently to provide more meaningful geospatial representations of your businesses. But it’s critical that map makers learn as much as we can about your businesses so that we can create intelligence out of geography and apply it to what you do.

A geographic information system is both strategic and tactical. It can help manage today and plan for tomorrow. Call a geospatial sales person in to look at your business. You might be surprised at how little you know about where you are.

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