For years Doug VanTassell, national retail development manager at Oreck Corporation, has worked closely with eSite when making location-related decisions. Here, he talks about how eSite’s consulting and software have impacted the 500-store network’s growth.
What first got you interested in using spatial analytics for real estate decisions?
We needed a better way to predict where our retail locations would be most likely to thrive, and to determine where to place new stores in our existing markets. We found that the depth of detail provided by eSite’s spatial analytics would enable us to do both.
What made Oreck decide to partner with eSite?
In a word, personalization. The level of attention the eSite staff offered to Oreck and our franchise owners was incredibly valuable. Over the years, the company has become an indispensable partner, providing detailed information to guide both local marketing and overall store planning.
What is a common challenge your team faces, and how does spatial analysis help solve it?
One of the constant challenges we face is market optimization. We’re continually facing decisions related to our hundreds of store locations—everything from lease renewals to potential relocations to opportunities in emerging areas. With so much going on all at once, we need every possible piece of data to determine which sites will maximize our ROI. And we need it in a format that’s simple to use. Month after month, eSite provides us with the easy-to-visualize insights we need to accomplish our optimization goals.
Are there any insights that have proved especially valuable?
Yes—market segmentation. The ability to look at dozens of different types of customer profiles as they apply to the Oreck brand is an amazingly accurate way to verify the viability of markets and site selections.
What’s one of your favorite ways to use eSite Tools™?
One thing that’s of great benefit is the ability to have eSite take complex data and present it in the Google Earth platform. This makes it very easy for any member of our corporate team to visualize solutions, without having to be a GIS analyst.
Can you recall a time when eSite recommended something new—a solution your team may not have thought of—that made a big difference in operations?
This happens all the time with e-Site. We’ll often throw them a new challenge, and within a matter of days they’re able to provide us with unique reporting that helps us make the right decisions.