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Jennifer is a sales rep for an upmarket kitchenware manufacturer in Sydney. She spends her days driving to clients' retail stores to check their stock and place orders for them. The office gives Jennifer the schedule of customers to visit each day. As customers have different timetables for visits, the schedule is never the same. Her first job of the day, and the most frustrating, is sorting out the most efficient way to get to the clients. She is familiar with the customer's locations as she visits them frequently, but not as familiar with the best route between them. Sitting in traffic all day is not Jennifer’s idea of fun. She hates being late to a scheduled customer, and hates having to rush and arrive flustered. A friend told her about a new in-car navigation computers. She said that some let you put in all your locations and get a map of the best way to get there, then talk you through the directions. They can also get around traffic jams. Jennifer is not sure about getting one – it is already hard enough to drive around Sydney without a computer babbling at you. She also worries that she won't be able to use it. She can’t even set the clock on the video! How will she set all the locations and know that she’s done everything right?
Jennifer gets the list of client calls by email at home before she leaves. She goes out to her car, and enters the addresses of all the places she has to visit today. She notes that one of them must be done at 11am and one at 2.30pm and asks for her route to be shown.
She looks at the sequence the computer has calculated. It looks good, but there is one client she would like to see in the morning instead of the afternoon. She moves this, recalculates her route and gets going.
For the first client, she doesn’t need directions. She turns it on after the first client and hears the directions as she drives. It is quite clear but she occasionally looks at the screen when there is too much noise.
The system shows her the distances she needs to travel, so she can plan when to get petrol. She has time after her 2.30 client, so shows the nearest petrol station and heads there, then shows the nearest ATM to grab some cash (the route recalculates for her).
This system is turning out to be much more useful than she thought. It is saving her time and petrol and making her day much less frazzled.
… communicate effectively with decision makers