Computer Programs for Site Selection
With the growth in geographic information systems (GIS), service operations are able to conduct location analysis more quickly and with greater accuracy than was previously possible. GIS allows large databases 0 be displayed graphically, thereby providing the service manager with a "bird's-eye view- of a particular region of interest. These regional maps can
display a wide variety of demographic data, depending on the needs of the service manager. Exhibit 7.3A, for example, show the location of housing loans for a bank, including a breakdown by income of the different areas served by the bank. Exhibit 7.38 analyzes the percentage of total sales that would be generated from different areas if a regional mall
Geographic information systems (GIS), shown here from Maple, are used by retailers, financial services groups, insurance companies. and utilities in the site selection process Mapping relevant information on potential sites such as demographics, customers' buying patters, "trade areas, competitors, and drive times allows this information to be seen in a single, comprehensive view for more informed and precise decision making were to be built. Exhibit 7.3C identifies the gap between the demand for noncritical emergency room visits and the availability of clinics and physicians to meet that demand In addition , there are many non graphic computer programs available to assist the service manager in evaluating alternative site locations, Many of these models incorporate forecasting techniques such as regression analysis. which will be introduced in Chapter 9.