The one tool every business needs to be more efficient
With the holiday season in full swing, efficiency is even more critical for businesses. Whether you're a major corporation or a mom-and-pop shop, it's essential to provide goods and services to consumers in a timely manner.
The MapQuest Geospatial Toolkit gives companies of all sizes across nearly 20 industries the ability to build custom business solutions that increase operational efficiency and revenue.
"Our B2B business launched in the late 1990s and delivered products via CD-ROM to business clients who wanted to display maps on their websites," says Jonathan Harahush, senior product manager at MapQuest. "Today, we offer access to our core geospatial platform through APIs (application platform interfaces) and SDKs (software development kits) that can be mixed and matched to create custom solutions that meet specific business needs."
BI Studios spoke with Harahush about how MapQuest's B2B tools are used by businesses, the advantages to using the technology, and what consumers can expect from MapQuest in the future.
What is the MapQuest Geospatial Toolkit?
Jonathan Harahush: Our Geospatial Toolkit is made up of a suite of APIs and SDKs that allow developers to integrate pieces of MapQuest functionality - such as maps, geocoding, routing, and traffic - into custom applications. For example, if a retail business has physical store locations and needs to help customers find them, MapQuest does the heavy lifting by integrating our maps and driving directions (routing) directly into their website. Customers can then easily find and route to the nearest location.
Our B2B service offerings, like the Geospatial Toolkit, are powered by the same infrastructure that serves over 42 million multiplatform consumers through MapQuest.com, MapQuest iOS, and Andorid apps. We have no problem supporting the scale required by large, enterprise-level applications.
What are the business advantages of MapQuest's technology?
JH: Our maps, geocoding, routing, and traffic tools can power and improve supply-chain and logistics-oriented applications in many ways, from plotting optimal delivery routes and tracking assets to helping customers find retail locations or services near them.
We have clients that make business decisions based on the quality of a geocoding result, such as ensuring that delivery drivers are going to the exact or near-exact location. This saves time, reduces costs, and increases efficiency. Our technology also allows businesses to visualize business operations and revenue in a geographical context. For example, mapping revenue by sales territory can help a business see which territories are performing better than others.
Do you have any recent examples of how clients are using the platform?
JH: Many retail clients use our mapping, geocoding, and spatial search technology to display maps that help users find the nearest store or location offering a particular product or service. We have clients in the insurance industry who use our geocoding and spatial search technology to power the backend search, allowing users to search for agents specializing in specific forms of insurance, as well as search for agencies by location.
Other clients also use our routing technology to facilitate delivery of goods. For example, when car and truck dealerships coordinate exchanges of vehicles between dealerships, a vehicle needs to be matched to a transport truck so deliveries are coordinated. Maps, routing, and geocoding are also popular with our clients in the healthcare industry for insurance purposes, as well as to assign home health care staff to patients and to provide mileage reimbursement.
You redesigned the MapQuest Developer Network in June to make it easier for developers to sign up and start coding. What else are you doing to make things easier?
JH: We are constantly looking to identify areas in which we can further improve the user experience. In addition to the sign-up process, documentation, and samples that developers can use to start development quickly, we are focusing on offering even more flexibility to a larger portion of our client base.
This post is sponsored by MapQuest.
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