Upon reaching home, Travis had his dinner and then opened his work laptop. He entered his password when prompted. And while the computer logged him in and prepared his desktop, he began to think about how he should word the technical details.
Gear Up LLC was one of their old clients. They had been with Travis's employer, Re-Solved LLP, for the past three years. Re-Solved LLP offered the usual spectrum of professional services consulting firms usually provide. The Business Unit in which Travis worked specialised in implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Four years ago, when Travis had joined Re-Solved, the unit was a small one. Over a course of the next couple of years, the unit had grown considerably under the able guidance of their senior management, and due to the excellent client handling skills of managers like Jim, who ensured that the clients never went overboard with their demands, and the development team was never unnecessarily overworked.
Earlier this year, Re-Solved had decided to expand their ERP solutions portfolio by launching their custom developed extensions to proprietary ERP software. Gear Up LLC was one of the first clients where some of these extensions were going to be rolled out, and so the proposal they were currently preparing was going to play a major role in taking their business to the next level.
Travis opened the email Jim had sent. It contained the minutes of meeting they had with the Gear Up team, along with scans of the preliminary prototypes sketched by the UX team and an empty template of the proposal document. All Travis had to do was fill in the necessary details in the technical section of the document and mail it back to Jim.
For this was how Jim worked. He would identify key team members who would be in charge of the different modules of the project. At the time of preparing the proposal, he would mail each of these team leads an empty proposal template. Every lead would fill in the details in the section relevant to their unit and send the updated file back to Jim, who would combine all their inputs into a single document, adding a few introductory paragraphs and concluding remarks. Once the complete document was ready, Jim and all the leads would review it, trying to identify any problems such as continuity issues, contradictory statements in different parts of the document, excessive use of jargon and make the necessary corrections. After this, they would do a final review and assign a few junior team members to read the document and explain it to the rest of the team. This was mainly to understand how easy (or difficult) it was for someone who was not involved preparation of the document to understand it.
This division of labour approach was so effective it had drastically cut down their proposal preparation time. "Maybe I can apply this somehow for writing my novel", thought Travis as he began to write.
Gear Up already had a running ERP system, which Re-Solved had helped them implement around a year and a half ago and were also currently supporting via a maintenance contract. So there was no need to go into excessive details about what the software could and could not do. So, he devoted more paragraphs to provide a brief overview of what the new extensions they were currently developing were, and how they complimented and added value to the existing functionality. Now he had to document the details of the new packing and quality management software they had proposed last week.
They had proposed something similar during the initial implementation. But at that time Gear Up management had wisely decided to change things around one step at a time, and so the implementation of this functionality was deferred till the end users became comfortable with the new system. These processes were decided to be carried out using the functionality provided by the ERP software out of the box.
But Gear Up had grown considerably as an organisation in the months that followed. In addition to increasing their production capacity, they had also had added more variety to the types and sizes of the gears they manufactured. Also they had tailored their packing process to be more in line with the needs of their customers. That is, things like dimensions of the carton, number of gears in one carton, quality of the finished product, were decided by the customer at the time of placing the order. This meant that most of the time, the packing process began after the order had been received, and rarely were there instances where gears that were manufactured ended up being dispatched immediately. So during selection of the gears to be delivered against a particular order, the end users needed access to details regarding the gear quality like the nature of surface finish, the hardness of the gear, dimensional tolerances, manufacturing characteristics such as the material used, hardness of the gear, as well as technical and operational parameters like the the type and size of the gear, its module, the nature of the profile of the gear teeth, number of teeth on the gear and so on. The standard functionality in the ERP system they were using was unable to provide all these characteristics in one place. Also, the details of the gears requested had to be first obtained from the order.
This, combined with the causing considerable slowdown in the packing and dispatch processes. So Gear Up had approached Re-Solve for help, which had ultimately culminated in the proposal Travis was currently preparing.
Travis attached a diagram of the proposed architecture of the new custom built packing and dispatch system (he had found from experience that a well labelled diagram often helped the reader to understand it better), and followed it up with an overview of the function of the different components of the system. After he finished, he read it once again, making minor adjustments here and there till he was satisfied with the result. Then he saved his work, emailed it to Jim, and shutting down his laptop, looked at the watch.
It was a little before midnight. So there was still some time to locate the notebook which, in addition to the notes and rough drafts of chapters from his previous works, also contained his login details for penana.com, the online platform where he published his stories. He knew that it was somewhere in the bookshelf, and so he started his search from the lowermost row. After a few minutes, he had located it and was seated by the table examining its contents. He found the login credentials on the inner side of the back cover of the book, where he had written them (He was well aware of the security risks of storing user names and passwords on paper, but he did not consider the login credentials of an online platform where he occasionally published as something a thief would be after. Also, that notebook never left the house.). There were written details for more than one website written on the inner side the back over. These were all the sites which Travis had tried before settling on Penana.
He quickly scanned through the list. The first one was one of the more popular platforms used by amateur and professional writers. Beside the name, there was a small cross mark, which Travis used as a sign to indicate that the account was either deleted or inactive. Travis's hatred for that side had primarily been due to his having multiple issues with the site's design, the main being the inability to customise the home page (a UX fail of epic proportions, was Travis's opinion of it). There were a few others which he remembered he had not tried as some of them lacked a companion mobile app, while some others had little or no English speaking community members. These were simply listed without any mention of user id and password alongside them. Towards the end of the list, he found the details he was searching for.
He quickly opened the web browser on his phone and navigated to the Penana website. He entered the login details and was navigated to his home page. Granted, it was not much different than the others in terms of look and feel, but it was a lot better in some aspects, such as having the ability to filter stories by content rating. And it also allowed you to read stories without needing an account, which was a an added bonus. But again, like most other publishing platforms, the website provided a much better experience than the phone app with regards to creating content for the platform.
Now that he had successfully verified that the credentials in the book were indeed the latest, he logged off and exited the browser. A few minutes later, he was asleep in his bed.1045Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡzHdbgC1kJq