If a customer is out when the sales representative calls, the visit was not only unproductive, but it also came at a cost. Because every kilometre costs time and money. With several visits each day and an ever-growing customer base, these are just three of the many good reasons to put the task of route planning for such visits in professional hands. For several years now, Technolit GmbH has entrusted this job to PTV Map&Market software.
Technolit is an expert purveyor of welding technology and workshop supplies. A sales team of 600 employees nationwide covers sales regions, each containing an average of 300 customers and 2,000 square kilometres. Every employee visits around 500 companies, workshops and tradespeople each year – this equates to 15 visits per day. Furthermore, the company is enjoying above-average growth, meaning that the customer base is constantly on the rise. It is now no longer feasible for Technolit to plan these visiting routes manually.
Welding together planning and sales
Since 2005, the company has been making use of PTV Map&Market. Intensive training and test plans formed the basis of the first introductory phase, in which two specially chosen sales groups kicked off the process. Next came project follow-up, including customer care for the established client base, then a second phase to incorporate two more sales groups. Finally, the project was extended to cover sales nationwide. “Throughout the process, PTV Group was on hand to offer assistance and advice”, says Thomas Otterbein, a controller at Technolit. Among other things, it is the excellent quality of the training provided which has led to such high approval ratings from users and the sales staff.
Trip scheduling with PTV Map&Market is based on geocoding and visualisation of all the relevant address data for each area. It takes into account the order and frequency of visits, the route and the corresponding speed profile, any costs that may arise and division of customers into groups A, B and C. The Technolit team now makes regular visits to C customers as well, in order to generate new revenue. There is even time to spare for acquiring new customers. The fact that the route plan can also serve as a record of the visits made saves employees a good deal of work.
“PTV Map&Market has really taken our business to the next level”, says Otterbein. The economic advantages include shorter routes, a corresponding decrease in petrol consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. This has meant that the sales team now has a lot more time to offer customer support. “Our collaboration with the PTV Group has been of great benefit on many levels”, Otterbein concludes. “Both financially and in terms of employee and customer satisfaction, as well as ecologically and as an example of mutually respectful cooperation. To all planners, we can certainly recommend the PTV Group.”