Mapping and speed data from MapMechanics underpin s delivery proposition

From catchment planning to continental expansion, data specialist helps join the dots

19 November 2012 -- Digital map data assembled, prepared and formatted by MapMechanics is playing a key role in the continuing expansion of, Britain s biggest grocery home shopping retail business.

Having originally supplied map data to Tesco for strategic analysis and planning, MapMechanics is now also the supplier of the mapping used in the daily scheduling of s fleet of home delivery vehicles.

In the latest development by the retailer, MapMechanics has also provided mapping to support the expansion of s home delivery service into continental European markets such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

MapMechanics is a leading UK-based specialist supplier of digital mapping and business and demographic data, which it not only sources, but also formats to suit the specific needs of customers and their software.

For some years Tesco analysts have used map data from MapMechanics to help define store delivery catchment areas. They have also used data from MapMechanics to help them understand where the uptake of the company s home delivery service was likely to be highest.

Data products supplied by MapMechanics for these activities include ITIS road speed data (latterly renamed INRIX data) for modelling catchments, and postcode sector boundary data for analysing the propensity of consumers to use the internet for online shopping.

In a separate initiative, road speed data supplied by MapMechanics has been in continuous use by s transport planners in connection with the routing and scheduling system it employed for its delivery fleet in the past.

Latterly has introduced a new, more advanced routing and scheduling system, Oracle Real-Time Scheduler, to plan home deliveries by its fleet of over 2,000 vans; and in the light of its established relationship with MapMechanics, the retailer again turned to the company to supply appropriate digital map data for both the UK and Ireland.

To work with the Oracle software, MapMechanics has supplied Tesco with NAVTEQ Premium vector street-level map data, which includes essential routing information such as one-way streets, banned turns and address ranges. It has also supplied Andes raster mapping, which is derived from the NAVTEQ data and provides a visually pleasing version of the data for display and presentational purposes. generally delivers to homes from 8am right through to 11pm from Monday to Friday, as well as up to 10pm at weekends, so it is vital for the company to be able to route its vehicles to take account of changing traffic speeds and flows at different times of day and at weekends.

MapMechanics has therefore also supplied with NAVTEQ Traffic Patterns, a data set that contains average traffic speed on individual road segments, calculated from past traffic flow measurements and differentiated by time of day and day of the week. In addition, during the Olympics, MapMechanics provided a specifically tailored road network to help maintain a good service for online customers.

According to Ben Dito Smith, the Location Strategy and Analysis Manager for : Efficient, timely delivery is a fundamental feature of our home shopping proposition, so it is essential for us to use the most appropriate software and data available for our delivery planning system.

He adds: We have found that MapMechanics is very well equipped to provide exactly the mapping and demographic data we need. The MapMechanics team are responsive and helpful when it comes to advising on the best products for our requirements, and good at supplying the data in an appropriate format.

David Cockrell, MapMechanics account manager for Tesco, comments: Over the years we have gained detailed knowledge of many of the analytical and scheduling systems in use the marketplace, and built up special expertise in providing appropriate data products in a suitable form.

He says this wide-ranging knowledge can be particularly useful when people in different departments of the same company ask questions about mapping or digital data, which has happened from time to time at Tesco, or approach MapMechanics with new requirements.

We can quickly join the dots together, and suggest seamless approaches to problem solving. delivers to consumers homes from larger retail stores and from a small number of specially designed dotcom stores. The home shopping business on its own now turns over more than £2 billion.

About MapMechanics

MapMechanics has been providing innovative solutions in sales and marketing, digital mapping, geographic analysis and logistics planning for over twenty years.

  • MapMechanics distributes a wide range of data products including AA, NAVTEQ and Ordnance Survey digital mapping, as well as leading business and demographic datasets from many sources throughout the world. This data is listed on MapMechanics’ intuitive new transactional data web site,, which is probably the most extensive and up-to-date listing of its kind in Britain.
  • MapMechanics develops, supplies and supports TruckStops, one of the world’s best-established routing and scheduling solutions, and its portfolio includes a wide range of optimisation solutions. Examples include specialist systems for optimising transport of full or part loads, for servicing a high density of calls on the same streets and for optimising use of pallet networks.
  • MapMechanics is the UK distributor of the GeoConcept geographic information system, which is used extensively in a diverse range of fields such as depot planning, retail planning, marketing, healthcare, environmental planning and management, transport and logistics, site selection and territory allocation, telematics and command and control applications, policing and broadcasting, and central and local government.
  • MapMechanics also uses digital map-based technologies to offer an extensive range of Web, desktop, paper and component solutions for a variety of business applications, from atlas production to business analysis, site selection, customer profiling and vehicle routing and scheduling.

Backing up its extensive product range, MapMechanics offers a comprehensive service of implementation support and training.


Katy McKenna
Canal Court, 155 High Street,
Brentford, London, TW8 8JA
Email Contact
Tel: +44 (020) 8568 7000

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