The story with the scales reminded me of an incident that happened at the start of a career in Leroy three years ago. I came to this company as a backend developer and immediately got on a three-week integration: I had to go to almost all the roles in the store. After a couple of weeks, I had already worked with a local IT specialist (hello, Kolya!), At night he smacked the boxes in the warehouse and figured out the cooker hood. As it was, this is a separate adventure worthy of its own post. A few words: for the developer, this is an unusual experience that makes you feel the pains of employees and customers in their own skin.
One day I had a chance to visit the room in which buyers took the goods to arrange delivery. Employees worked there, who helped people shift the goods onto the scales, weighed and calculated the cost of services. This was done, of course, in Excel, to which my engineering craving for environmental automation led to thinking about the optimality of what was happening.
At that moment, the customers were already holding the check in their hands and imagining in their minds a new and comfortable layout of the room. Information about the goods that they struck a couple of minutes ago at the checkout immediately fell into the internal system, a barcode scanner on receipts was next to the keyboard. Only one question that circled in my head: why didn’t anyone think of crossing the information from the receipts with the characteristics of the goods and to avoid the need to make unnecessary gestures, purchase expensive weights, and significantly reduce the time it took to manually “weigh” the client.
No sooner said than done. The first task at the new job was to search for the necessary sources of information, cross them and create a simple api and web form with one single field for entering the number from the check. The necessary information was scanned by the device, a plate with goods, quantity and total weight was displayed on the screen to the employee. After the first test in the fields, it turned out that some products lacked the necessary characteristics. Well, here’s an additional benefit, implicit at the very beginning – we’ll give the user the opportunity to enter weight information and we will learn from it.
According to the rules of the genre there should be a picture of a joyful employee at extradition with a scanner gun. And although I don’t have such a photograph on hand, I already came up with a signature for it.
The joyful emotions of employees are priceless.
Over time, the form was overgrown with functionality, completely corresponded and integrated into the ecosystem of the store. But the conclusions that I made after this story, I keep in mind now. The problems people face “in the fields” are very often taken too easily by central office employees. And only when you see with your own eyes how people work, you stop thinking about spherical problems in a vacuum and imagine living employees who are wasting unnecessary work in vain. For me it was a simple task, and for them it was saved nerves, time, strength and satisfied customers. The “superpower” of IT people is the ability to save time that is wasted in routine. It’s nice when the code written on the computer changes real life.
P.S. I anticipate in the comments cases with non-optimal algorithms on the site or in the store. If you have a question “Why ???” and it does not concern the post, write in private messages.
P.P.S. And what about the meme about the scales, I do not know. Perhaps this is some kind of mistake.