Our process is one of continuous improvement. Each day, the product gets a little bit better. Over months and quarters and years, our customers can look back and see the tremendous progress we've made and the benefits they reap as a consequence.
In order to maintain this pace, we need to make sure that our development team is happy and positioned for success. So in these release notes, we thought it would be interesting to open the kimono a bit and let you know a bit more about how the sausage is made....
Confetti for Scorecard Completion
The first module that was released at Vendorful was for eRFX. The implementation involved working both sides and all stages:
- The buyer drafts the RFX
- The vendor responds to the request and submits a bid
- The buyer evaluates the bid responses
We took great pains to not only give the buyers a great product, but to ensure that the supplier experience was top notch. To that end, they could collaborate in real time, work online or offline, assign tasks, and more. And this has been a hit! We've had suppliers reach out to us by email — and even by phone — to tell us that they've never had a better experience working on an RFP.
Despite that, there were a surprising number of people who submitted bids only to contact our support team and ask, "Did my bid submission go through?" Invariably, we would point them to the text on their status page, which indicated it did.
After some internal debate, we decided to try an experiment. What would happen if we displayed confetti after the bid was submitted? The results were surprising. Since we implemented the confetti feature, not a single supplier has asked us about the status of a bid.
We should have learned our lesson, but sometimes it takes a bit of time. But we're there now. In December, we added confetti to completed surveys. For those who aren't familiar with Vendorful's features, the surveys are part of our Vendor / Supplier Performance Management module. So now when stakeholders complete a supplier evaluation survey, we celebrate with confetti!
Compile Time Improvements
Vendorful's compile times had been growing longer and longer. For non-techies, when we want to test or release new features, we have to go through a process called code compilation. In our case, these compile times exceeded a minute. So for a developer to make a quick, 10-second code change, there was still an additional one-minute lag to see if that change worked. Now, take this a multiple it by the number of changes a developer makes per day and multiple that by the number of developers. That's lots of wasted time.
By going through the code and meticulously cleaning up dependencies, we were able to achieve an 80% reduction in compile time. What once took over a minute now takes a bit over 10 seconds. But the most important result is happier, more productive developers.
In continuing our theme of revealing the developer experience and changes that we make to improve things for our development team, which in turn improves things for our customers, let's consider files.
Vendorful stopped being a one-trick pony a few years ago. Today, our product is a suite, rather than a point solution. And there are many files full of code. You don't have to be a developer to relate to the challenges of digital file management. You might be someone who has thousands of files in your computer's "Downloads" folder. Or you might be someone who has meticulously created folders for different kinds of information.
Now imagine that you needed to come up with a system that didn't just work for you, but worked for everyone. Were someone new to join your team, they would be instantly oriented and know where to find things. And as importantly, everyone who is creating and editing these files and folders are doing so in the exact same way. Seems impossible, right?
So this December, one of our developers wrote this in explaining why she reorganized files, "I couldn't anymore bear files in incorrect locations." So she took it upon herself to address it. Like the compile time improvements, simple file housekeeping is a book to both developer happiness and productivity.
Want to see the results of happy developers? Sign up for a Vendorful demo.