Location is fundamental to all aspects of business, from deciding where to locate a new store to optimizing a supply chain or creating more engaging marketing campaigns that resonate with the best customers.
Location matters, and not just because of the mass adoption of smartphones, location-aware applications, or the explosion of location-based big data. Location matters because it ties many business units together and makes it possible to solve problems that had no solutions before.
It enables us to ask new questions and gain insight and understanding by looking at traditional data such as sales, costs, profit drivers, and customer characteristics or desires in new ways.
Also, location comes embedded with many of the new types of information that are core to twenty-first-century businesses — social media, check-ins, mobile searches, online shares, and more.
These reasons are probably why businesses have used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for decades to analyze, visualize, and understand location information and make more informed business decisions.
Innovating location analytics for retail business success – Esri’s forte
Researchers and analysts in retail are now convinced that by using GIS and location analytics retailers can explore, model, evaluate, investigate, and understand the localized market. It keeps stock at the right level so one doesn’t sell short or discount value and drive profits down.
Agendra Kumar, President, Esri India says that location has always been a core foundation in retail business and a critical element of an enterprise data strategy.
Redlands, California-headquartered Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute) is an international supplier of GIS software, web GIS, and geodatabase management applications.
“Organizations bring all the customer and business data from systems such as CRM, BI, and ERPs together to build a comprehensive location strategy for unified commerce. By applying GIS with other capabilities like big data, AI, and data science, retailers are using location analytics for discovering various patterns, assessing risks and making predictions. GIS and location analytics are helping businesses in making decisions like – where to launch new products? How lock-downs will impact the supply chain and distribution network? Which areas would have the highest impact? Answers to these questions lie in data gathered using location analytics, which is now empowering retailers to grow, innovate, build brand loyalty, and evolve in the rapidly changing customer and technological landscape,” affirms Kumar.
Retail organizations use Esri’s Location Analytics solution to add new insight by unlocking the geographic context of their business systems including customer relationship management, business intelligence, and office productivity tools.
GIS for Brand Distinction and for a more profitable supply chain
Today’s supply chains are truly global and interconnected. A typhoon in Asia can impact one’s business in Europe while North American demands drive global manufacturing performance. GIS, location analysis, and data integration services enable one to improve supply chain visibility, reduce risk, and better balance production to demand.
Similarly, expanding any business requires long-term planning and often significant capital expenditure. Minimizing costly mistakes and maximizing the performance of the store with more accurate site selection and market planning is supercritical in today’s times, especially where the COVID-19 pandemic has made realize that businesses have to conserve costs and funds.
Kumar says Esri’s ArcGIS platform tackles all these, aids a solution, and enables an in-depth analysis, assessment, and understanding of the most suitable store locations based on market potential. With the analytics, one can optimize store network and maximize sales from every outlet, which is a key element in the successful development, evolution, and growth of a business’s brand and store footprint.
GIS backs strategic growth
Finding good real estate can be daunting, and mistakes are costly. The process requires interaction, collaboration, and communication across many different departments, client groups, and domain experts. Using GIS and location analytics, real estate companies can best apply their experience, instinct, and intuition with quantified analysis and validated performance predictions. This reduces development costs and risks while streamlining and improving the site selection process so the entire real estate team makes more educated decisions, faster, educates Kumar on the relevance of GIS in today’s tech-supported retail world.