PERSONAL SELLING:
ROUTING PROBLEM 

QwikWrap Systems 

Mary, a sales representative for QwikWrap Systems, is planning a trip to a large Eastern U.S. city next week. She has a reservation for Monday and Tuesday nights at the Raymond Sweep Hotel, located at the intersection of First Avenue and A Street (marked as an "X" on the map below). She will arrive on Monday night and leave on Wednesday morning.

Mary wants to visit as many prospects as possible during her stay on Tuesday. These prospects are all owners of restaurants and delicatessens which sell hot food. On the map below, she has plotted all of these prospects with an "o". All prospects are qualified and all are equally likely to agree to establish an account with her company.

       |       |       |       |       |       |
     --o-------o-------o-------+-------o-------+--F Street
       |       |       |       |       |       |
       o       |       |       |       |       |
       |       |       |       |       |       |
     --o-------+---o---+---o---+-------o-------+--E Street
       |       |       |       |       |       |
       |       |       o       |       |       |
       |       |       |       |       |       |
     --+-------+---o---+-------+-------+---o---+--D Street
       |       |       |       |       |       |
       |       |       |       |       |       |
       |       |       |       |       |       |
     --o-------+-------+-------o-------+-------o--C Street
       |       |       |       |       |       |
       |       o       |       |       |       |
       |       |       |       |       |       |
     --+-------+-------o---o---+-------+-------+--B Street
       |       |       |       |       |       |
       |       |       |       |       |       |
       |       |       |       |       |       |
     --X-------+---o---+-------+-------o-------o--A Street
       |       |       |       |       |       |
      1st     2nd     3rd     4th     5th     6th
      Ave.    Ave.    Ave.    Ave.    Ave.    Ave.

Using a bus or taxi for the distances between prospects is out of the question due to waiting time and traffic congestion, so Mary will walk to all prospects during her stay to better guarantee that she will see all prospects as planned. It takes about ten minutes to walk from one intersection to another along each city block. Prospects that are located in the middle of a block would then be about a five minute walk from an intersection.

Each sales call will require about a half hour to address the needs of the prospect, to demonstrate the product, and to attempt a close. Although these will be "cold" calls in that Mary has not made a preapproach call or sent a preapproach letter, the prospects are all qualified and all store owners or managers (decision makers) are likely to be found in the place of business between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. All have expressed interest in a sales visit by mailing an information request card to her company, and Mary has found that almost all prospects will give her as much as a half hour of their time, even on a cold call. Mary believes that she can call on any prospect as early as 8:00, but that her last visit cannot be started any later than 4:30.

Plan the route that Mary should take for the day. Note that she will be unable to visit all prospects during her visit, but she must visit as many as possible. She will also want to take a half hour break for lunch, but since she is visiting restaurants, this half hour can be added to any of her visits to a prospect.

Again, Mary has the following constraints: The first call can be started no earlier that 8:00 AM and the last sales call can be started no later than 4:30. It is about a ten minute walk between each intersection. Each sales call will average about 30 minutes in length. Each prospect is equally likely to result in a new account. Mary will want to spend an extra half hour during one of the visits to these eateries to take a lunch break. There is not enough time to visit all prospects, but Mary wants to visit as many as possible.

Recall: closest-next heuristic.


SOME OTHER ROUTING PROBLEMS TO TRY:

| Allied Standard Brands | Alpine Products |


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