Guided Tour: Find Competing Stores
As well as finding the closest sales offices to customers, the 'find closest' functionality can also be used to find if competing companies have sales locations within a specific distance of your locations. These might be existing sales locations, or planned locations.
For this scenario, you could draw simple circles around your locations, and look to see if the competing stores are included. This can be slow, and only works with straight line distances. MPMileCharter can automate the process, and it can also work with route distances. This is particularly useful when geography (eg. valleys and rivers) influence the road network. For example, a competing store might be half a mile a way in a straight line, but the road distance is five miles due to an intervening river. This could make the difference as to whether the sales location is a significant competitor or not.
Find Competing Stores
In this example, we have a number of sales offices in the Dallas - Fort Worth area for the "XYZ Company", marked with green circle pushpins. Competing sales offices for the "ABC Company" are marked with red pushpins. A small number of the pushpins have their names displayed for illustrative purposes.
Are there any ABC stores competing with our XYZ stores?
For the sake of this example, we consider an ABC store represents significant competition if it is within 5 road miles of one of our XYZ stores.
The panel to the right shows the MPMileCharter setup required for this. We set MPMileCharter to calculate the fastest routes from the XYZ stores to the ABC stores. We also set MPMileCharter to use the "find closest" functionality, and to only report the closest (ABC) location if it is within 5 route miles.
Here are the results. MPMileCharter only reported ABC stores and distances for those stores which are within 5 miles of an XYZ store - ie. represents significant competition. We told MPMileCharter to only return the closest ABC store. Therefore these results do not show multiple competing stores. Simply tell MPMileCharter to return two, three, etc closest stores if you are interested in the possibility of multiple competing stores.
Finally, we look at some of MapPoint's advanced routing options that can be used within MPMileCharter.