One of the important rules of running an efficient business operation is to try to standardise processes wherever possible in order to achieve a consistent level of operation. For any business that needs to keep track of its client or customer base, plan deliveries, or plot its future expansion, Maps are a crucial cog in the wheel.
By referring your branches or stores to a standardised map offering you are ensuring that everyone has the same access to local information and can work with the same support as each other.
For instance, with over 700 outlets across the UK and operating as a franchise, Pizza Hut has to offer equal support to each franchisee and accurate information.
The first step is to supply up to date and detailed mapping for the map base and where possible we would look to use a quality mapping such as the A-Z street 1:14,000 that we use for Pizza Hut’s maps. It is always desirable to use mapping with good attention to detail and currency of information.
For your area you may need a smaller (less detailed) scale of mapping that is able to cover large areas and perhaps just show main roads, towns & cities etc. Whatever the area that needs to be covered there will be a suitable scale of mapping available.
Pizza Hut use Trade Zones to define the geographic scope of their stores and they not only need to know where this zone ends but also need to quickly identify where a certain road is in order to despatch an order to the required address quickly and efficiently.
Instead of a Trade Zone you could use Postcodes, Local Authorities or other geographic boundaries to determine your area of operation.
For Pizza Hut we take the Trade Zone from the franchisee in the form of a shape file (a digital file that shows the Trade Zone as a polygon) and overlay this on a map base. This then tells us the geographic area that needs to be covered by the map and also helps to determine the optimum size for the map to be made at.
Postcode boundaries will often be then added over the mapping depending on the franchisee’s individual wishes and we will then add a grid around the map consisting of numbers up the sides and letters across the top/bottom which will be used in conjunction with a street index.
The street index will allow the user to search for a street alphabetically and see which grid square (e.g. A1) the street is within on the map. This is obviously a real bonus in planning a delivery route around a small geographic area.
An index can sometimes fit on the same printed medium as the map itself – at one side or underneath the map, although very large indexes are often supplied as separate printed items or even as searchable PDF files.
We then add Pizza Hut’s logo/branding to the map and supply it in whichever finish they require the map in. Typically this will be a basic laminated finish as the main priority of the map is for it to be protected and it will be used solely as a working tool with no real requirement for any decorative qualities.
A standard price/size is offered to each Pizza Hut franchisee that contacts us for a new map so that everyone has access to the same offering and thus helping to ensure a smooth roll out through the branch network.