As a Field Marketing company eXPD8 has 3,000 merchandisers covering stores over the entirety of the UK and Ireland for a wide range of clients. With such a large area to cover it is essential to assign calls efficiently to the closest employees to reduce both fuel consumption and travel costs. To do this eXPD8 uses the Distance and Travel Time Tables in Maptitude to find the nearest member of staff to each store that we plan to visit.
eXPD8 is passionate about reducing its environmental impact and using technology to speed up processes. eXPD8 completes an average of 17400 calls each week, though this number continues to increase thanks to a new contract with Tesco. This means that there are thousands of journeys each week, from staff’s homes to stores, from one store to the next and then finally back home. Without working out the nearest members of staff to each store, as well as the nearest stores to each other, fuel consumption and travel costs would quickly get astronomical.
These journeys need to be calculated each time calls are scheduled, as the stores visited constantly change, due to store openings and closings, working in new chains, or clients having changing requests and needs. eXPD8’s workforce is also ever changing, with new colleagues joining and others leaving. Additionally, the flexibility offered by eXPD8 allows people the ability to work on days, or at times which suit them wherever possible, so not all merchandisers are available for every call.
eXPD8 Analytics uses the Distance and Travel Time Tables in Maptitude to find the 10 closest members of staff for each store that they intend to visit during the two weeks being scheduled, with journeys limited to a maximum of 50 miles. eXPD8 Analytics also finds the 10 nearest stores to each other (within 10 miles). This means that when scheduling they can send merchandisers from one store to another close store before going home.
This is brought into another file where the regional managers can assign calls based upon the calculated travel and additional factors such as experience with that client, store, and activity, and the merchandisers working hours. They then sequence calls using the information about the distance from homes to stores and between stores, provided by the Distance and Travel Time Tables in Maptitude, so that journeys are optimised.
Maptitude enables eXPD8 to significantly reduce the length of journeys undertaken by merchandisers, which has a positive impact both environmentally and financially. The ability to optimise journeys based upon data from the Distance and Travel Time Tables means that merchandisers do not waste time and fuel on unnecessary back and forth trips, as they complete all calls in one area before moving on to the next.
Using the reasonably automated process provided by Maptitude means that it is easy to run each week. This allows eXPD8 to run it fresh for each scheduling period so that new members of staff and new stores can easily be calculated and included. If a more manual process were needed, eXPD8’s use would be much more limited, potentially having to assign specific stores to specific merchandisers reducing the flexibility we can offer to clients and making it harder to find cover in cases of staff sickness or absence. One of the major benefits eXPD8 offer to clients is the ability to work in a wider range of stores over the whole country, with short notice and Maptitude makes this far easier for them.
eXPD8 Field Marketing Agency provides quality field marketing and retail support services to retailers, suppliers and manufacturers across the UK and Ireland. Its data team, eXPD8 Analytics, specialises in providing data analysis, insight and reporting to identify opportunities that improve trading performance.
“Using Maptitude to work out the closest members of staff to each store we visit has been incredibly helpful in reducing the travel done by our merchandisers, leading to positive environmental and financial results.”
Data Analyst, eXPD8 Analytics