Area manager territories and regions
January 23, 2012 5:57 AM   Subscribe

We have five area managers who look after a number of sites each (about 10) spread throughout the UK. How can I visually represent this on a map that shows the illogical (or logical) spread of their site distribution (from a distance perspective) Sub comment: I'd also like to be able to esimate the distances travelled if they visit each site x days per year and show the most efficient site per manager. Suggestions for this would be great too.
posted by trashcan to Technology (3 answers total)
Is the work required to oversee or service all sites essentially identical? Is the managers' compensation dependent at all on which sites each manager covers? Are institutional knowledge and long-term relationships an impediment or a contribute to effective oversight? Do the managers draw satisfaction or professional recognition from long-term improvements at these sites? Are the managers invested in their sites? Sometimes apparently inefficient solutions, like badly designed territories, nonetheless led to the most effective outcomes. Setting all that aside, however, to answer your question...

Visually, the simplest thing to do would be to plot each manager's sites using five easily distinguishable colors on a map. You can also show the blobby shapes connecting these dots makes to demonstrate overlap. Or plot each manager's routes if they go from site-to-site-to-site to show that they're crossing paths unnecessarily. Another copy of this map can be used to group the sites into efficient territories.

The key is to keep your visual nomenclature simple, intuitive and consistent: color to link the sites to their current (and, later, territories). If you introduce a second variable (perhaps the necessary specialization), consider shapes. Shading or patterns can indicate degree (e.g. applied against the shape), say, of trouble at the site so that one manager doesn't get stuck with all of the basket cases.

Regarding distance, I suspect the real thing you need to analyze is time (or possibly cost) spent getting to the sites. You will need to approach this task differently if the managers travel by car, train or plane. For example, for car travel, estimate travel time, use Google Maps or equivalent and identify either the distances involved in each manager's route between sites or, if they always go back to the home office in between, for each round trip. For train and plane, look at the schedules. You need to make a chart relating each site to your home base (or, if they differ, organized by each manager) so that you can recombine the sites into new territories and see if they make sense.

If you provide a little more information, you may get more useful answers.
posted by carmicha at 6:46 AM on January 23, 2012

This is sort of a lightweight GIS application, so something like eSpatial OnDemand might help.
posted by scruss at 9:08 AM on January 23, 2012

Voronoi decomoposition of the UK with your managers as points should be easy to do.
posted by themel at 11:02 AM on January 23, 2012

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