Rand McNally Case
There is one major problem that Rand McNally faced back in the 1990s. This problem was to figure out how to overcome their mindset of just being a printed map company. They had a bunch of employees of the older generation that did not really understand the technological, or Internet age. GeoSystems, better known now as MapQuest had already sprung themselves into the web based maps. It seemed that Rand McNally was really lacking in innovation to be able to make their jump into a web based product. They set up a website in 1994 to support its customers’ use of the map CDs it produced. If they did not find a way to innovate and bring new ideas to the table, Rand McNally would become non-existent.
The first great action I believe Rand McNally’s new investors took was to appoint Richard J. Davis in 1999. He already had 25 years of experience in management with companies that specialized in high tech equipment. He also had seven years of experience with one of Rand McNally’s biggest competitors, GeoSystems. He definitely should have known GeoSystem’s strategy inside and out. I believe this helped Rand McNally update their own tech based maps to be able to compete in an ever changing market. Davis hired Chris Heivly to run the RandMcNally.com website. Heivly immediately put maps and address-to-address driving directions online. This was considered a very risky move by the previous management that Rand McNally was under. Heivly saw it as an essential move to stay in the mapping business. Rand McNally then decided that travelers needed to bring online road maps with them. Detailed driving instructions and road conditions were essential to create the best and safest way to travel a route. At this time there was not a lot of wireless devices that could receive this kind of information. But as we all know, this type of service is almost a must for any traveler. Maps, directions, and traffic updates are in almost every...