If you want to know where you’re going, get a map. But if you want to know what’s all around you, you could use a little Business Intelligence with that map. Kiwi company GeoSmart has created BIonaMap, giving users a new way to look at a broad set of sales data.
GeoSmart’s sales and marketing manager Luigi Cappel says much of the information that can be used to improve efficiencies, profit and grow a business is often hidden in databases and not available for spatial analysis without a GIS application.
“GIS applications generally involve software installation and specialist training, which is great in a large corporate, but often the people who need the information are people like sales and service managers, product managers, marketing people. They need an environment that is less technical and more intuitive.
“Our speciality is collecting high accuracy, current location-based information and then making it available to use in clients’ products such as car navigation, fleet management, printed maps, websites and mobile applications. We provide a wide range of tools which can be used by developers to provide whatever location based functionality they want to use.”
Cappel says there are many added value revenue opportunities with his product that resellers can offer their clients “and of course they have something new, exciting and valuable to bring to their client relationship.”
Cappel says the concept is both simple and complex. “It started when a company came to us several years ago with a problem. They sold baby bottles into pharmacies and some pharmacies sold plenty of bottles with blue tops but couldn’t sell bottles with orange tops and vice versa. In both cases the packaging faded [as products stayed on the shelves for too long], the goods were returned to the wholesaler for credit and had to be thrown away. Subsequently they identified that the areas where blue bottle tops did not sell well had a high percentage of Asian ethnicity where blue is seen as representing mourning and death, obviously not something for your much loved child, whereas orange represents wealth and prosperity. If the returns were seen on a map and combined with data from the census, it would be relatively easy to see the reason, but on a spreadsheet it is just numbers in a field.”
He says a classic problem with many businesses is territory management.
“BIonaMAP allows the user to create territories as simply as clicking on the mouse button. Zoom in and have one territory have odd numbers of the road and an adjacent territory snaps to it with the even numbers. One of the major questions we hear all the time is when a prospect rings up or makes contact, whose territory are they in?
“By uploading a report from the CRM or accounting package complete with the coordinates, you can now run queries about anything you have on file. For example: customers who spend more or less than $x per month, or customers who use one product or service but not others, or prospects who haven’t placed an order yet.
“You could also use this to find new customers by uploading GeoSmart or third party databases. For example if you sell potatoes to fast food restaurants, you could have your existing customers on the map in one colour and other potential customers in a different colour or with a different icon.
“It allows you to upload a comma separated value (CSV) file into BIonaMAP (which includes geocoded locations) and then visualise the locations and run Boolean queries. This is where it gets exciting for the end user and for resellers / systems integrators and consultants, because most companies have not had access to these kinds of tools before, they may know some of their problems, but wouldn’t know where to start.
“This allows resellers to add serious value to their clients and allows their clients to work smarter," says Cappel. “It is also a story about sustainability because working smarter can mean reducing driving distances, carbon footprints and of course travel time and vehicle running costs.
Cappel says GeoSmart is going to help a number of clients get set up with BIonaMAP so that they will become reference sites, but its focus will be on developing a value added channel which will integrate the product with their own solutions and expertise.