Location Data: You Could Either Watch It Happen or Be Part of It

Did you hear about Eilon Musk’s, founder of PayPal, billionaire and visionary extraordinaire,  SpaceX venture and its recent success of the first privately-funded launch of a rocket to re-supply the International Space Station?

Eilon Musk

You may wonder what this has to do with MDM but there is a connection.  Just as forward-thinking as Musk in private space exploration, there are companies who are already exploring on how to use space-based information (geospatial) to deliver higher value to their customers and improved operational efficiency.

The primary use case across B2B and B2C we see here is customer service based.  The manifestation of it takes shape in form of GPS rendered lat/long data to understand where a customer has a piece of equipment deployed or where he wants to have it deployed or delivered.  One industry leveraging this paradigm to capture base station, local femtocell, residential broadband receiver locations is the telecommunication broadband operator (satellite, wireless and wireline).

In the past, physical addresses ruled supreme and still do for marketing and billing purposes.  Addresses are the key to match in-house customer information against a national register and 3rd party data feeds.  In business context 3rd party data feeds or cloud based matching against the likes of Dun & Bradstreet can also get hierarchical structures in order to align sales territories and get an improved reporting “truth” around what products a customer has purchased (orders) versus what was billed.

Physical addresses are well established in cities but in rural areas, particularly in emerging markets, they are often not available.  If you do not have it available for marketing purposes, you will definitely need it post-sales, when equipment gets installed, delivered and repaired.

Not only can a field seller enjoy the benefits optimize his route when visiting rural customers, his manager can also visualize where the campaign focus should be given prospect clusters in an area.  Moreover, a technician would impress a customer by being able to navigate the premises, say in any multi-story office building, to find a receiver in an office at the end of a hallway in the top right hand corner under the ceiling covers.  There are 3rd party data providers who offer altitude data on a vast number of cities and suburban office parks out of the box.

A mobile MDM-enriched interface would allow a technician to add, update or delete an equipment’s location while onsite.  This would create greater customer satisfaction, freeing an employee to shepherd the repair man through the premised for more productive use, cut mean time to repair (MTTR) and boost brand equity.

If you were to combine this asset-centric view with customer, contract and product data, the technician could turn into a seller as well as he would be aware of the customer’s importance to the customer, his current entitlement and the products/services currently being delivered on premise.  Let’s face it, we would rather buy from a car mechanic then from a car salesman – right?

Utility companies could use the same approach for remote usage reading and becoming de facto communication service providers (CSPs) themselves as water, power and gas are typically installed before value-added services like broadband internet.

Logistics providers could purchase 3rd party data and use their delivery crews to map and maintain delivery locations such as docks, gates and frequently changing department locations on large corporate campuses, e.g. Philips’ Eindhoven location, a city in itself.

Philips Eindhoven Campus - Netherlands

They could even provide a cloud-based interface for their largest clients to update internal addresses (typically not or only infrequently published via 3rdparties) to manage their own data.  Delivery accuracy improves, lost shipments decrease resulting in on-time payments (less Days Sales Outstanding) by appropriate delivery equipment, delivery method selection and crew skill set are optimized and re-routings are eliminated.  Similarly, this could take a project-based view for firms involved in oil & gas exploration and service companies maintaining a piece of equipment, like an industrial valve or pump, or firms disassembling, moving and reassembling whole factories or large scale equipment from Europe to developing countries.

So, let’s think bigger, not necessarily more complex, and move on from a Customer Single View of Central Product Catalog.  Is your company or industry ready take advantage of the next frontier, where hardly any man has gone before?


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