MapMechanics’ GIS package cuts dmbgroup’s modeling time to minutes

Drivetime and catchment analysis saves hours on retail profiling – and no catch! 

February 19, 2013 -- A package of digital mapping software, map data and postcode data from MapMechanics has formed the lynchpin of a marketing project developed by customer communications and direct marketing specialist dmbgroup for a retail client – transforming an initial concept based on mapping and profiling into a practical reality that is fast and convenient to implement.

In particular, the system has reduced the time it would have taken to run a catchment area modelling process with the company’s original software from hours to minutes.

dmbgroup has a 25-year track record in communication projects, and has extensive experience in analysing customer data and supporting this with a range of marketing resources. It has established a reputation for its ability to offer a range of services with a single point of communication.

In this case the company had proposed the idea of profiling the areas around the retailer’s store locations to determine the market potential, and then following up with a door-drop marketing campaign. The task involved modelling the drivetimes around each store in turn, and establishing catchment areas that were within comfortable reach of target customers.

Although dmbgroup already had a mapping system in place, marketing analyst Nicholas Emmerson soon realised something more advanced was required. “Our old system didn’t allow us to create templates for the project, so we had to input the data separately for each location.”

Having identified MapMechanics as a possible supplier, Nicholas Emmerson went to a demonstration, and by the end of it was convinced that it offered the solution he was looking for. “I told the MapMechanics people it seemed so well matched to our requirements that I was looking for the catch,” he says, “but I can honestly say there wasn’t one.” The package supplied by MapMechanics is made up of GeoConcept, the powerful mapping and geographic information system; NAVTEQ Premium street-level vector mapping with navigational details; Geoplan postcode sector boundary data; and ForGIS unit postcode points.

“With GeoConcept it’s easy to import your own data, set up templates and output the results in various formats – for instance, as text files that can be used in other software, such as our back-end database system.”

With the new system, he says, it is no longer necessary to set up the project from scratch every time. “We’ve reduced the time for modelling each location from about an hour and a half to literally a matter of minutes.”

Since the company has been outputting six or seven maps a week in the course of the project, the aggregate time saving has been substantial.

By working at a very granular level, using both postcode sectors and unit postcodes, dmbgroup has also been able to perform more extensive and detailed analysis. For instance, it can use GeoConcept to produce heat maps showing concentration of activity in colour-coded form, or to perform competitor analysis.

“Now that we have these resources in place, we will be able to make use of them for similar exercises in future,” Nicholas Emmerson says. He adds that although the present exercise has concentrated on drivetimes by car, GeoConcept can equally produce catchments based on walking time, and could be used by the company to perform many other kinds of geodemographic analysis if the need should arise.

About dmbgroup

dmbgroup has 25 years’ experience of communication projects, and offers a full range of services centred around customer communication and direct marketing. Its wide range of resources includes loyalty card scheme development and management; development of bespoke CRM software solutions; analysis and profiling of existing customer data; print production and multi-channel communication; and creative design, including print and digital. Its key selling point is that it offers this range of services with a single point of communication, making it easier for clients to manage different areas of a project by dealing with only one external source.


About MapMechanics

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

  • MapMechanics is a 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 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 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. 

For further information and pictures please contact:
Katy McKenna
Canal Court, 155 High Street,
Brentford, London, TW8 8JA
Tel: +44 (020) 8568 7000
Fax:+44 (020) 8568 7400


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