Analytics started with the goal of having a better customer engagement and has now grown to include business expansion programs based on locational factors. The integration of Bing Maps with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM / Power Apps has been making geo-analytics easier by bringing location intelligence to data like never before and helping to visualize data efficiently over various geographies.
Maplytics is a preferred, 5-star rated, multi-language, geo-analytical mapping app on the Microsoft AppSource for Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. Built by Inogic, a leading Independent Software Vendor (ISV) with a portfolio of productivity apps, it seamlessly integrates Bing Maps with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM / CE and Dataverse (PowerApps) and empowers users across verticals with a visual representation of geo-coded data, creating optimized routes, automatic scheduling of appointments, Radius Search for nearby clients, sales Territory defining, and so on by enhancing their sales and other business processes.
The field reps are among the most loyal users of mapping apps due to their professional requirements. The field reps using Maplytics enjoy the benefits enabled by the power of the Bing Maps for Enterprise platform. Let us look at a typical journey of these reps
A Short History of Field Rep Tracking
The era of field reps had started long before e-commerce and home delivery services came into the picture. In prehistory, pre-electronic communication times, ravens and pigeons were used for communication. Many birds got lost along the way or were abducted by enemies so, for critical communications, they were replaced with humans that ran or rode from one kingdom to another to deliver messages and goods. Pheidippides is one such "immortal" runner who delivered the news of the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon. All of these kinds of field service were prone to multiple points of failure and obviously not timely or sustainable.
In more modern times, with the creation of a system of postal address codes and proper state borders, letter writing became a form of communication. The goods were shipped via the postal services and, with Global communication, goods and service notes went across borders through waterways and airways world-wide.
Today we have more direct and personal forms of service offerings, arguably tied to the start of electronic channels of communication. Landline telephones at respective homes and offices could be considered the pioneers of more instant communication. However, messages during travel could not be exchanged and a sales rep could not be redirected while "on the move", between visits. This issue was somewhat resolved by the invention of the pager. Reps could read the messages on small text based screens then get in touch with the message sender and act. The stream of communication was improving, but the way of finding the route to the place still depended on paper maps and passers-by.
The introduction of smartphones with navigation maps came in as a boon for businesses and the service industry in general. Field sales reps could be contacted easily while on the go and provided with impromptu info or re-directed with new instructions.
Real-time tracking systems incorporated into cellular phones were the game-changer. The location of the field reps could be traced and they could be contacted easily and instantly. Routes and detours taken could be supervised, traced and recorded for later inspection. This live, real-time tracking changed the face of the Field service and the Field sales industry. Inclusion of this feature into Maplytics for Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM enhanced its services is a must have!
Maplytics and Real-Time Field Reps Tracking within Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM
The Jan 2022 release of Maplytics extended Real Time tracking for field sales reps using the Bing API. Using the Route planning feature within Mapytics, a set route is created for the traveling field reps. These reps at times need to take a detour on account of changes in the meeting plans, the addition of ad-hoc meetings, the cancellation of meetings, and more. Hence, the routes followed get changed. As live tracking keeps tracing the route of a rep in real-time, the route gets captured even when the rep follows a different route other than the set one.
With navigation routes plotted, the real-time location of the rep could also be shared with the client. The manager is empowered with information and could update the clients in case of delays. In case of cancelations, reps can use that time for new meetings by searching nearby records thereby completing their daily appointments smoothly and enjoying a work-life balance.
Working with Real-Time Field Reps Tracking in Bing Maps
Real-Time tracking works in the Dynamics CRM app, Dynamics CRM sales app, and Field Service app. It can be effortlessly utilized by all kinds of field reps. To begin with, the feature needs to be enabled within the Settings Tab. When the refresh interval is set to 'x', the rep's location will be refreshed and tracked every ‘x’ seconds.
Reps only need to download and install the Maplytics App from the Playstore or the Appstore on their cell phones, log in with their CRM credentials and enable tracking. They are also able to see their location on the map and can disable the tracking after completing their client visits in the day.
Reps and other resources can be viewed in the following manner over the map with Today’s Plan and Location History available for post-trip viewing.
Sales and other Modules
‘Today’s Plan’ button allows managers to view route assigned to the respective rep or resource to be followed as well as the route that is being travelled by the respective rep or resource in real-time, including appointments assigned to them for the day.
The following information is visible on the Summary Card about the Appointment Timestamp.
The ‘Location History’ button allows managers to view the routes that have been travelled by the reps/resources in the past.
The following information is displayed on the Summary Card:
The Booking Timestamp for the Field Service Reps on the Summary Card and Location history appear as follows:
Users can use Real-Time Tracking within the Field Service App/Dynamics CRM app/Dynamics CRM Sales App as well, just like the way explained above for desktop. They appear as follows:
|Dynamics for Field Service App
||Dynamics CRM Sales App
This is great but is there more?
Apart from real-time tracking, Maplytics has been able to develop notable features using Bing Maps services like radius search, optimized routing with turn-by-turn navigation and along the route search, Appointment Planning, defining and aligning Sales territories with Territory Management, performance analysis of complex data with Heat Maps, Census Data and shapefile overlays amongst others.
To learn more about Maplytics, visit our Website and for more info on Inogic visit us here
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