Geopointe

Assignment Plan Use Cases

Geopointe Assignment Plans allow you to create geographic areas and automatically identify the records that fall within them. This feature offers a multitude of applications and use cases that can help your business. This document will examine some of those uses and explain how to configure them.

Assignment plans can help you:
  • Identify which person or group of people (e.g. office, service location) will handle a record.

  • Know which area-specific rules/processes apply to that record. For example, your fee structure may be based on the poverty level of the area or you may need to file different documents based on local laws.

  • Use area-specific information to enhance your business/organization decisions and processes. Often the information you need to provide your internal teams, customers, or clients is determined by where a record is located.  For example, you might want to know about approved local venues, local governmental regulations, local support resources, timezone, demographic data, and more.  
     

You can find step-by-step instructions for setting up assignment plans in this support document. This document will help you configure assignment plans for common use cases.

You can achieve all of these configurations:

• Single assignment

• Multiple assignments
• Different territories for different functions – e.g. Sales and Service Territories

• Hierarchal territories  –  e.g. Territory Rep and Territory Manager

• Overlapping territories – e.g. Realtors, Case Workers, etc.

• Multiple objects

• Updating other fields or ownership based on Assignment

• Aggregating area-based information

• Integrating with Salesforce’s Territory Management

 

Single Assignment

This is the most basic implementation of the Geopointe Assignment Plans.  When territories don’t overlap and only one person/group is associated to each record, all you need to do is create a Geopointe Assignment Area lookup field on the object you want to assign.  Step-by-step details on how to do this can be found in our Assignment Plan support docs.
 

Multiple Assignments

Different territories for different functions

Sometimes you may define geographic regions differently for different purposes.  For example, perhaps your Sales reps cover smaller areas than your Service reps, and you want to know both the sales and service areas of your accounts (or whatever object you want assigned).

SALES TERRITORIES SERVICE TERRITORIES







 















There are two ways you can handle this situation. Most of the time, you will only have a couple of territory types, like in the above example, and having multiple assignment lookup fields is the way to go. For the above example, you would:

  1. Add two Geopointe Assignment Area lookup fields to your map object, e.g. Sales Territory and Service Territory.

  2. Create two Assignment Plans, e.g. Sales Plan and Service Plan.


     

  3. Define Areas for each plan.
     

Alternatively, if you have many types of areas (e.g. On-site Service, Remote Service, Part A Distribution, Part B Distribution, Small Account Sales, Mid Account Sales, Large Account Sales), you may want to use a Custom Assignment Object instead of adding individual lookup fields for each type of area.
 

Hierarchical territories

There are many different ways to implement hierarchical territories, and the best way to implement them depends on your business needs.  Some possible approaches are as follows:

  1. Use multiple Assignment Plans. This process is like the one detailed the “Different territories for different functions" section above. The smaller territories (shown above left) could represent Territory Rep regions.  The larger territories (shown above right) could represent Territory Manager regions.

  2. Use formula fields. Let’s say you have Service Managers that are each responsible for contacts within a county.  Groups of four counties are managed by Regional Coordinators.  You could have one Assignment Plan and two fields on the Contact:

 
Service County: Lookup(Geopointe Assignment Area)

Service Region: Formula(Text)
 
The formula for Service Region would look something like:
 

 

Overlapping territories

Sometimes records need to be assigned to multiple regions of the same type because the regions overlap. For example, you might want to know whose delivery areas a house falls into or which health care aides' coverage areas a particular client falls into.  This is the perfect time to use Custom Assignment Objects.  In these cases, you would create an Assignment Area for each delivery service / health care aide / etc.  
 

Updating other fields or ownership based on Assignment

Sometimes what you need to know is what territory a record belongs to.  But, sometimes, what’s more important to know is WHO is managing/servicing that record based on what territory that record belongs to. Geopointe Assignment Areas automatically come with a User lookup field.  You can use that field to associate a user to each Assignment Area.
 
If you just want to be able to see who is servicing/managing that record, you can create a Formula(Text) field on the object like:
 
Sales Rep = Assignment__Area__r.User__r.FirstName & Assignment__Area__r.User__r.LastName

 

If you would like the user associated to the area to become the new record owner, check the Reassign Owner checkbox on the Assignment Plan. For Leads and Cases, you can use the Salesforce Assignment Rule functionality to determine ownership by checking Run Assignment Rule.

 

Aggregating area-based information

It is often helpful to know more about the area in which a record is located.  For example, in each territory, there may be specific restaurants/venues that are approved for entertaining clients.  Or perhaps you need to provide lists of local support resources for clients in each region.  You can easily aggregate this information by creating custom fields on the Geopointe Assignment Area.  Then, when your records are assigned to a particular area, accessing all of that information is just a click away.
 

Integrating with Salesforce’s Territory Management

If you already use the Salesforce Territory Management but find its assignment rules too limiting or cumbersome to use, you can use Geopointe’s Assignment Plans to manage the assignments.  However, because Salesforce has not yet enabled Territory Management rules to be invoked from Apex, there are two parts to the integration: 1. Setting up the rules to work with Geopointe's Assignment Plans, and 2) Creating a mechanism to execute the Territory Management rules. Each part is outlined below.
 

Part 1: Set Up Territory Management Rules to Use Geopointe's Assignments


The easiest implementation would be to create an Assignment Area for each leaf in your hierarchy.  For example, the leaves in the following hierarchy are: LA Area, Other Central Areas, Other North Areas, Other South Areas, Sacramento Area, SF Area.  

 
Assigning records to those areas using Salesforce’s criteria-based assignment rules can be difficult or impossible.  In a situation like this, you can create the areas on the map using our library of shapes or hand-draw them.  For example, they could look like:
 
 
Let’s say you’re assigning Account records and these represent sales territories.  You will need to create two fields on Account:
 

Sales Territory (Lookup(Geopointe Assignment Area))

Assignment Area Name (Formula (Text))

where
Assignment Area Name (Text) = Sales_Territory__r.Name.
  Then, the criteria for the territory can be simplified to Account:
Assignment Area Name equals Area Name.


 

Part 2: Create a Mechanism to Invoke Territory Management Rules

Although Salesforce allows Case and Lead Assignment Rules to be invoked from Apex, they do not yet allow Territory Management rules to be invoked from Apex.  If this were possible, Geopointe could run the rules automatically.  But, since it isn't possible, you need to create a mechanism yourself.  You can vote for the run-from-Apex idea here: https://success.salesforce.com/ideaview?id=08730000000BqRXAA0.  

Creating a mechanism to invoke the Territory Management rules will require custom coding.  The outline for one approach can be found here:  https://developer.salesforce.com/forums/?id=906F00000008vLTIAY