Too hard to be quick

This story is about how we have helped thousands of companies reduce hundreds of actions with a single project

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published July 22, 2019

Remember when you last ordered something on Amazon or eBay. How do you think, how many people took part in placing an order — in packaging, in delivery, and other processes? And how many technologies did they use?
Let us tell you a little about this. Someday we will live in the era of only robots, but now everything is done by humans.
Usually, in order to send, for example, a T-shirt with a kitten you ordered, first of all an employee needs to create an order; then find the item you ordered in stock; weigh it; select a transport company and collect the sample documents you need to send and save them pdf; then print the invoice on the printer "number one"; send a pdf-sticker for the product to the printer "number two"; and on the printer "number three" print the supplier's sticker; pack your T-shirt and accompany it with additional documents printed on the printer "number four" … and this is not all the details of the process of preparing and accompanying your order. Bored, right?
At the time of the appeal, the entire process of shipment of the goods, about which we wrote above, was accompanied by employees manually. To send a T-shirt with a kitten ordered by you, several people in different offices and warehouses during the process of placing your order had to print a lot of, VERY MUCH documents and send them along the chain. They also needed to remember for what type of document a particular printer was designed, what paper should be, and what standard it should meet.

Such work caused apathy in employees — it required physical interaction with devices, which were sometimes located in different places, accompanied by hundreds of "clicks" and the opening of various windows to select a variety of print options. There was always a chance that the operator could send an invoice to a printer for printing labels or any of the printers would be turned off and then, after all the work is done, when the operator came to get the necessary paper, he understood that he would have to do it all over again …

Perhaps, on the scale of order in the form of a single T-shirt, it does not look so depressing, BUT … Amazon alone is responsible for 4,000,000 orders per day on average. Do you remember that the company works with many more sites?
The company's motto: "To help retail brands provide customers everywhere" — when they contacted us, we immediately realized that we must help them make life a little easier.

After reviewing the customer's task and having penetrated into the internal processes of the company, we found out that it is necessary to create an easy-to-use tool that will help reduce the time-consuming and uninteresting work of employees, save them from continually setting up devices and ensure a more comfortable process processing and shipment of goods ordered.

We started working on a project from our office in Bishkek and worked together with the project team from the UK. In a short time, we were able to successfully integrate into their work standards.

As well as in many projects over which we worked, we had to face the problem of communication at first. The project manager on the part of the customer could not stop with the establishment of requirements. He woke up every morning and looked at the task radically in a new way, while we could already start working on it … Fortunately, the project manager, on our part helped us to resolve this process and agree on the first version. Applications, to work on which we immediately violated.
The result of our work was the V-Print module. This is the integration of the existing application of this company with the PrintNode service, which allows you to integrate into a single system and manage multiple printers and USB scales located at different points.

We have reduced the number of clicks at times!

Now the employee who takes part in the shipment of the parcel — say, the very t-shirt with a kitten, just log in to your account in the system, create or select an order, click "print" and the system will offer to choose the document and printer on which it should be print out.

For each type of document, you can assign a specific
printer, which the module can remember and the next time it does not have to choose again, and the sample document will automatically go to print. At any time, the specified settings can be changed and saved. A useful feature is that the module not only remembers the printer responsible for a specific type of document but also notifies if this printer is currently unavailable, offering to replace it with another available printer, after which it can reassign print of this type of document to this device or to print from it only once.

The V-print module allows you to manage the printing of documents remotely — it's not at all necessary that the printer responsible for printing should be located in the same building, city or country.

You should have noticed the delight of the company's CEO, who received a document from Bishkek on his personal printer in an office located in the UK.
Now, printing and sending documents at different stages of shipment practically does not require physical interaction with the devices — one click of the mouse and the invoice for the T-shirt that you ordered is already printed right away in the warehouse from where it will be sent later.
We managed to shorten the process from "save, print, collect and transfer to another" to "press a button — and be happy because everything has already been transferred and printed." The workflow has noticeably accelerated, and soon the customer asked us to automate it some more.

When we say "some more" we mean the task of connecting to the module used not only printers but also USB scales, which are located in warehouses. The customer even sent us a copy of the weights used so that we know what the employees are dealing with and can test them as much as we like. We weighed various items across the office, and the customer at his office in the UK looked at how the weight figures in the system were changing before his eyes.

Before connecting the USB scales to the system, employees had to know the weight of the order personally — look at the boxes, find out from the documents, or weigh the goods themselves. Sometimes the law could be in a warehouse that was located hundreds of kilometers from the place of registration, and then the employees transmitted information about its weight by independently entering data into a sample document.

So, in the V-print module, there appeared integration similar to printers for USB scales. Now the weighing process has become much more comfortable — the system has registered USB scales that are in different warehouses, and the employee responsible for shipping this product from the warehouse only needs to put it on the scales and the system will remember its weight and record the data in the document where must be registered.
So, summing up, we can say that the customer received a new module that fully meets the needs of the company, where you can add equipment and manage already registered devices without reference to their location.

Employees can easily set up print settings for typical documents with which they interact daily, create typed templates that are convenient for them and be sure that printing will take place without errors and delays, and if something goes wrong, the system will notify them about it and will offer another option. Weighing the goods and getting results also ceased to be a problem — now it is enough to place an order for the scales and — all the information has already been recorded almost without your participation!
We are proud that the V-print module developed by us is used by more than 2500 companies that are customers of this company all over the world. It's great that our project helped many people to work better, simplified life and reduced the time for processing and delivery of your parcel to ordinary employees and provided the best delivery of your orders :)

We are ready to discuss with you solutions for automating the processes of your business.
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Worked on the article:
Juliana Amelina
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Maria Ilchenko
PR and Event Manager
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