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A Territory Solution contains all necessary elements for building, editing, and maintaining territories. All territory parameters are saved in a Territory Design solution dataset in the project geodatabase.
A Territory Solution layer is a group layer that contains a minimum of two layers: a base layer and a territories layer with the solution name specified by the user during the creation process. The base layer has the same name as the input layer name. Although the base layer, level , name cannot be changed during the creation of the territory solution, the input layer name can be changed before creation. The default name for the territory layer (level 1) is Territories; however, this name can be changed.
Territory Solution group layer
The Territory Solution group layer contains all the layers associated with the solution. In addition to the base layer and territories layer, it can contain other layers to represent level centers and boundaries.
The base layer is used to store the territory solution base or alignment layer. This layer, level , is the base geography on which all territories and their levels are based. It is automatically created when a Territory Solution is created and contains a copy of the input layer.
Only the visible fields of an input layer are copied into the base layer. If the input layer has a selection set, only the selected features are copied into the base layer.
This layer contains the hierarchy of territories, such as territories, regions, and districts. One territory level, level , is automatically created when a Territory Solution is created and is initially empty. Territories can be added manually or automatically. Additional territories (levels) can be created to manage a multiple-level hierarchy territory solution.
Well-balanced territories are ideal for benchmarking and equalizing your marketplace. The Set Balance Variables geoprocessing tool specifies the variable to be used in the balance process. The Preference (%) parameter is optional. If preferences are not specified for all variables, they will be calculated automatically—equal weights will be used. If preferences are specified for one or many variables, the variable weights will be normalized.
An example of creating a balanced territory solution would be a service provider looking to redistrict the franchise areas based on ZIP Codes. An equal population distribution is key to adequately support a customer base. Also important is knowing the total number of households; however, it is not as important in the balance process. The bar chart below shows that each territory has an approximately equal total population. The reason is that 2017 Total Population was set as a balance variable, but 2017 Total Households was not.
Create balanced territories
To create a balanced territory solution, variables must first be added to the level using the Add Level Variables geoprocessing tool. Variables can only be added to a level above the base level. In other words, they can only be added to the Territories level (level 1) or any level above Territories—for example, Regions. Once the variable has been added to the level, the Set Balance Variables geoprocessing tool can be used to specify variable importance for balancing. If no balance variables are set, the Solve Territories geoprocessing tool will create territories based on compactness.
The Solve Territories geoprocessing tool allows the user to specify the number of territories to be created. If a value for the Number of Territories parameter is not specified, the tool will adjust or balance existing level territories. Solve Territories will randomly find the centers of territories based on clusters. If clustering is high, the centers will be closer together, and if the clustering is low, the centers will be farther apart. Since the centers are randomly determined, rerunning the Solve Territories tool may generate different results because of the random nature of determining the centers.
If the location of territory centers is already known—for example, store locations—you can use the Load Territory Records geoprocessing tool to load the territory centers and create empty territories with known centers. This will determine the center of each territory instead of randomly determining the centers. Once the territories with known centers are created, the Solve Territories tool can be used to automatically assign base features to the territories and generate the territory boundaries.
The creation of territory boundaries starts by determining the centers of territories. The centers can be existing locations, such as franchise addresses, sales offices, or distribution centers, or optimal locations.
Optimal locations are determined by finding clusters. Clusters can be based on spatial locations only—for example, clusters of base layer geometry centers—or combined with an attribute.
When calculating centers based on spatial location only, the actual distance between center points is used for calculating density values. However, if centers are based on location and an attribute value, a modified formula is used for distance calculations.
This formula means that features with larger attribute values are closer to each other. The territory boundaries will be created around the territory centers by aggregating the base layer features—for example, ZIP Codes.
Create manual territories
Territories can be created by clicking Solve in the Analysis group on the Territory Solution tab. To activate the tab, you must first create a Territory Solution. Once the Territory Solution is created, select any of the Territory Solution layers—for example, Territories in the Contents pane. This opens the Territory Solution tab.
Once the Territory Solution tab is opened, select the level to be modified. You can either create a new territory, reassign existing records to an existing territory, or unassign records from a territory. You can also manually edit territories to fine-tune them.