How “Little” Feature Improvements add up to Big Time Savings

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BY PreconSuite

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “Small things add up to a big thing”. This is true when selecting a software tool. One small time savings feature that saves a few clicks may not seem like a big deal, but when you add up 15 seconds here and there, the total savings can be hours or days per year.

When evaluating software, pay attention to the little details in your workflow process. Add up the number of clicks to achieve each task, or how far you have to move your mouse for each step, or better yet, the time in seconds. Compare your existing method with the new software you are evaluating.

PipelineSuite® Bid Management Software has been listening to its customers’ “little” feature requests since 2002. Let’s take a look at a few of them and tally up the time savings:

In-line editing. This feature allows users to change a company name, contact name, email, or phone number on any list just by clicking on the data field and start typing. Moving the cursor out of the field automatically saves the update for that company everywhere in the database.

With other software, users must click on the company, wait a couple seconds for the company to load, move the mouse to their data field(s) and edit, then move the mouse to the Save button, wait for the data to save and then for the page to reload.

I just turned on my stop watch on my phone and did a time test for the two scenarios. Here are the results:

In-Line Editing = 9.69 seconds Other method = 21.86 seconds Total Savings = 12.17 seconds

Estimated number of data edits per day = 20 Total time savings per day = 20 x 12.17 seconds = 243.4 seconds

Resend a Bid Invitation in just two clicks. From the Bidders List or any Email Log, PipelineSuite® users can (1) click on the Company Name, then (2) click “Send Invitation” (or any Addendum/Notice for that matter).

Time test on my stopwatch again…. Two-Click Method = 3.52 seconds Other Method = 16.41 seconds Total Savings = 12.89 seconds

Estimated number of emails resent per day = 25 Total time savings per day = 25 x 12.89 seconds = 322.25 seconds

Invite a Subcontractor From their Record and Send an Invite. PipelineSuite® has a feature that allows users to add a new subcontractor to their database, then invite them to one or more projects in just a few clicks using the “Invite to Projects” button.

Let’s count the clicks after creating the company… (1) Click on the company’s “Projects” tab. (2) Click on the blue “Invite to Projects” button.

(3) Click the “+” next to the project to send. (4) Click the star icons next to the trade you want to invite them to. (5) Click the green “Send Invitation” button.

Notice users can add them to other projects within the same screen by clicking on the “+” next to each project.

In most systems, users can only invite subcontractors from the project, not from their record. The steps are several more than the (5) above and involve first searching and finding the project (a few clicks), finding the subcontractor/company (a few more clicks of filtering and searching), then a few clicks to Send, then find scroll and find the one company, then click the Send button.

Time test: Invite and send from a sub’s record = 9.48 seconds Other method = 65.49 seconds Time savings = 56.01 seconds

Estimated number of new subcontractors to add and send per day = 5 Total time savings = 5 x 56.01 seconds = 280.05 seconds

Conclusion Adding up just these three “little” time savings features: 243.4 sec + 322.25 sec + 280.05 sec = 845.7 sec/day

845 sec/day = 14.095 min per day 14.095 min/day x 5 days/week = 70.475 min/week 70.475 min/week x 50 working weeks per year = 352.375 min/year 352.375 min/year / 60 min/hour = 58.73 hrs/year

58.73 hrs x $40/hr = $2,349.20 savings per year, just from these three “little” time savings features.

So little things DO add up to a big thing.

Oh, and here’s another saying… Time is money.