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Creating Routes for Retail Sales Representatives

A retail sales representative for a large beverage manufacturer has a sales territory covering a large section of central Virginia. She is responsible for visiting each of the large grocery stores in her territory once a month. Most of her accounts are in Richmond, a large city. However, she is also responsible for visiting grocery stores in several small cities. Because she always visits the same accounts, in the same order, she decides to organize her accounts into efficient routes that she will use each month to schedule her visits.

The retail sales representative begins by creating a series of routes for the accounts in the Richmond area. Each route covers a group of accounts from one geographical area, such as northeast Richmond, that can be visited in one day. Next, she creates a four-day route that includes all her accounts in the outlying portions of her sales territory. Day one of the route takes her to accounts in Danville and Pulaski. The following three days take her to accounts in Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Charlottesville.

After she finishes creating her routes, she uses them to schedule visits to all the accounts in her territory for the upcoming month. She specifies the date on which the route begins. Additional details, such as the starting time and duration of each visit, are determined by information she entered when she set up the route. Each month she will again use the routes that she has created to schedule account visits.

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