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5 Tips for Launching New App Features

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5 Tips for Launching New App Features

Plan the release. 

While you’re still in the planning phase for a new feature, it’s a good idea to also think about how you will release it. This is something often done within the design process.

Things you should incorporate into this include: 

-Who will see this feature first? (Are there internal or external beta groups?)

-What is success for this feature?

-Who will see the feature once it’s in a steady state? (Is this for VIP customers or everyone?)

-Is there important timing tied to this release, such as an event or special time of the calendar year?

Tools that will help you with this include product delivery and tracking tools

Build awareness.

Awareness around a release is important for both internal and external groups. Within your organization, do teams have the support they need to be successful? Think about what your sales, marketing, customer success, or any other team will need in terms of understanding the feature being released, and how to answer any questions they might face. Externally, awareness should be tied back to how you will measure success. 

Tools that will help you accomplish this include go-to-market plans, centralized information repositories, and any other tools that will help your teams (and customers!) stay connected, informed, and collaborative. 

Measure your release.

After the release has happened, how will you know if it was successful? Because you already thought about success metrics in the planning stage, you should be ready to measure whether or not it was successful. 

Tools that will help with this include those that surface sales and ops metrics. Also, it’s important to consider these together—look at performance and monitoring metrics, support requests by volume, and qualitative feedback from customers and prospects.

Celebrate and recognize.

Take time to celebrate your wins. Shipping software is like a muscle, the more frequently you do it, the easier it is to execute. If you ship less frequently, the process begins to atrophy and the action becomes more difficult. Celebration (even for small wins) provides motivation to continue practicing the act of shipping, and results in more stable services and products.

Reflect and iterate. 

Software is never done, and neither is a process for software delivery. After the release has occurred and you’ve paused to enjoy the moment, now it’s time to reflect back on what went well and what didn’t. Reflect on both process and product.

Tie process back to culture—consider the tools that you use for process, what enabled you to do more and what was a hindrance? Use this feedback and apply what you learned from measuring success in the planning phase for the next release. Learn how you can adjust and improve upon what you shipped.

 

Adam Zimman, VP of Product and Platform, LaunchDarkly

Adam has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of roles from software engineering through to technical sales. He has worked in both enterprise and consumer companies such as VMware, EMC and GitHub. Adam is driven by a passion for inclusive leadership and solving problems with technology. One additional objective is to be a part of a diverse and equitable company. Not simply an organization that accepts diversity, but one that actively pursues a more diverse and inclusive team as an imperative for building better products and services. Adam is also an Advisor for a number of startups and nonprofits. His perspective on life has been shaped by a background in physics and visual art, an ongoing adventure as a husband and father and a childhood career as a fire juggler.

Secrets to Talent Retention & Recruitment

The big question in the minds of business managers –  in warehousing, manufacturing, transportation, and beyond is not only how to retain a solid workforce, but how to attract a variety of skillsets and ages within the worker population. It’s not a surprise to imagine that old-school approaches are becoming a thing of the past. As Gen Z workers continue to increase representation in the workforce, employers are faced with the reality of adopting more innovation, technology, and mindsets to successfully cater to both older and newer generations of workers. If the current strategy is limiting recruiting capabilities, companies are setting themselves up for failure and limiting their full potential in operations and employee expertise.

What some companies might not realize is the amount of visibility provided with modern technology and the capabilities enabled through automation. As the workforce changes, so does the method of recruiting and the level of technology needed for successful staffing. Completed.com is a great example of how automation and technology take recruiting one step further through real-time, reliable feedback on employees seeking work in any industry.

“We saw a need to create a platform where one can review anyone in business. One of the reasons employers haven’t had a successful platform like this before, is because it’s inherently at risk of being used improperly. The technologies we’re starting to talk about are one potential and significant source of solution for that,” said CEO Michael Zammuto.

Completed.com at its core includes machine learning-driven technology which looks at and develops an internal credibility score for every reviewer and every review. This is one of the more important things that companies – like Yelp, have been working on, but it’s a difficult challenge. It starts with things like technology where the talent is validated, making it more credible. In addition to that, there’s a lot of pattern matching and sediment analysis that’s done to develop an internal credibility score. This is important because constructive, professionally-focused reviews.”

So, how much is technology really changing the pace for employee recruitment? According to Zammuto, quite a bit. He adds that the human element is still very much needed, just for a different role. It’s not about eliminating the human element in recruiting, but reallocating it.

“Everybody in every industry has the same issue: finding and attracting the right talent. We got to see it from the other side – the client’s issue about how they were represented online,” he adds. “We realized that hiring people has become complicated because of technology, but the important part of this topic is that one can automate 99 percent of something that’s content-driven and has a subjective element to it, but you do need people to review things that algorithms determine problems with.”

This insight confirms that technology is becoming more involved within the logistics world, creating even more of a dynamic between connectivity, visibility, and efficiency. The secret here is: employer and company information are just as valuable to recruiting the right kind of talent as is the available employee information. Just as company’s want to learn about the candidates sent their way, employees are looking for an environment that offers more than just a paycheck.

If a strong candidate is subjected to a miserable climate, outdated practices, and lack of recognition, they’re more likely to visit with competitors that meet their expectations. In the modern workforce, competing companies are willing to offer tempting salaries with promising career incentives to win over another great employee. Recognition is just as much of a factor as the dollar amount on the paycheck.

“Part of this process is ensuring great employees receive recognition they seek while others are held accountable. This gives you a chance to hold people accountable and celebrate the employees and managers that do great work, and you can take it at face value,” Zammuto adds.

Taking it even further, regular internal reviews are highly encouraged to successfully maintain talent retention. Not only do these regular checks reiterate accountability for management and the employees, skills development is evaluated and encouraged, ultimately eliminating the mundane aspect of a job.

Workers are encouraged with feedback and become motivated to polish their skillset while voicing concerns and addressing redundancies. This is a critical element that goes beyond recruiting and retention as it impacts all aspects of company operations. At the end of the day, your employees are the backbone of the company.

“Most of the traditional methods have either disappeared or been weakened in some way. The remaining method that’s useful is direct referrals to jobs. This is the only remaining valid strategy for getting good candidates to your company but it’s very slow and doesn’t always scale very well. Companies are having trouble finding people because of the mechanisms for doing so have weakened a lot. With people being more mobile than before, but the information about that mobility shielding the good from the bad performers, how is anyone supposed to hire the right candidates?” Zammuto concludes.

Technology is the common denominator in solving this problem. As companies learn about automation integration for maximizing workflows, this same method should absolutely be considered for selecting the best and preferred types of employees. This approach challenges the old-fashioned methods and takes a granular look at the talent pool, saving time, money, resources, and energy invested. The bigger picture shows that recruiting methods are changing and directly impacting retention.

Any company can fill a position, but retaining that position is where the challenge is. What benefit is it to hire a candidate if they don’t contribute and end up leaving? There is no benefit. A company that fills three roles but only retains one isn’t fulfilling its bottom line. Something is missing and technology is the answer to solving this issue. Preserve company resources and time by investing in technology that can identify the best candidates that are looking for long-term careers. The investment upfront will pay off in the long haul.

4 Limitations of the Three-Way Match You Need to Consider

The three-way match, which cross-references invoices, purchase orders, and receiving documents before issuing payments, has been considered the industry-standard procedure in accounts payable departments for years—until now. As businesses become more sophisticated, there are far more data points to confirm the validity of an invoice. Does it include all early payment discounts? Are the payment terms (net 30, net 60) enforced? Unfortunately, many accounts payable departments don’t have the time or resources to manually check these items, and are unknowingly being overcharged for services that they didn’t receive, or products that aren’t for the negotiated rates or terms.

Below are four reasons the three-match is no longer enough to prevent overpayment or fraud.

1. The three-way match can’t check multiple data points

Again, the three-way match only verifies price and unit numbers across invoices, purchase orders, and receiving documents, but it doesn’t check critical information like volume discounts, payment terms, delivery times, transport conditions, chain of custody, service-level agreements, and more. These data can affect your bottom line: longer payment terms help you improve cash flow and maximize profits.

2. The three-way match doesn’t confirm that services were actually performed

Because of its limited sources of data, the three-way match doesn’t integrate with business systems to verify key fob swipes, messages sent, or software licenses. This data is important for creating a profile of contractor and service provider activity levels so you can make sure you’re actually receiving the work you’re paying for.

3. The three-way match still leaves you open to fraud

And outright fraud is a big problem. Aware of the sheer volume of invoices many business receive, clever criminals can thwart the three-way match by creating fictitious companies, enacting phishing scams, billing for products that were never delivered, overcharging for products, or inflating shipping charges. The three-way match won’t catch fake merchants, billing errors, or violations of payment terms.

4. The three-way match doesn’t check employee expense reports

Even if the three-way match works fine for your purchasing department, it won’t catch employee expense reports, which are processed through their own system, completely separate from AP. The average enterprise deals with thousands of expense reports each quarter, often overwhelming human auditors who may miss high-risk expenses and common misconduct like duplicate charges and mileage padding. The three-way match offers no visibility into questionable employee spending.

Address the shortcomings of the three-way match with artificial intelligence  

The good news is that there is a solution for the limitations of the three-way match: Star Match, which uses artificial intelligence to cross-check the accuracy of documents and transactions—including expenses, invoices, —against AP systems, contract management, and expense reporting software; internal business systems data; and external signals from online sources.

To help ensure that you’re receiving the products and services you paid for, Star Match cross-references business data from email, messaging, badge access, sensor data, and system logs, as well as external online data to verify work activity, software license usage, shipping documents, and more. We match these data points to your contracts, invoices and any other documents to verify everything is correct. Because AppZen integrates with your expense automation system, Star Match matches across expense reports as well—the only solution to do so—helping you spot errors, waste, and fraud.

With AppZen and our AI platform powered by Star Match, you can enforce contract terms every time you receive an invoice, helping you better manage contracts and control spending.

Josephine McCann is a Senior Marketing Associate at AppZen, the world’s leading solution for automated expense report audits that leverages artificial intelligence to audit 100% of expense reports, invoices and contacts in seconds.

MapsPeople & Maven Wave Partner for Workplace Navigation Platform

In an effort to reduce wasted time for employees seeking available space around the workplace, Google Cloud Partner companies Maven Wave and MapsPeople initiated a strategic partnership to further develop and perfect efficient workplace navigation.

“Office employees waste valuable time hunting for available office space to work, collaborate, or simply take a phone call,” comments Stevie Grossman, Regional Sales Manager U.S. Northeast at MapsPeople. “By combining Maven Wave’s custom mobile solutions with our indoor wayfinding platform, we provide customers with a clear overview of their office space, available rooms and desks, and turn-by-turn navigation in the palm of their hand.”

Maven Wave’s mobile applications combined with MapsPeople’s wayfinding solution will create a custom, strategic solution capable of integrating with almost any type of third-party platform. This partnership will add more value and development efforts for MapsPeople’s “MapsIndoors” solution. Both companies bring an added amount of expertise and knowledge within the Google Cloud and Google Maps platforms.

“Improving the end-user experience is the key and should always be top-of-mind,” adds David Hackett, Central Region Sales Lead at Maven Wave. “What’s exciting about our partnership with MapsPeople is that it allows us to customize a visual solution that eliminates inefficiencies and simplifies clients’ ability to identify, locate and navigate within a building, complex, or campus. Not only are the use cases countless, but equally importantly as a partner of MapsPeople, we are excited to work with a like-minded company that puts user experience and innovation first.”


Maven Wave Earns Google Cloud North America Services Partner of the Year

Google Cloud Premier Partner, Maven Wave, now boasts its second consecutive title as Google’s North American Partner of the Year following recognition during this year’s Partner Summit at Google Cloud Next ‘19. The consulting and technology firm’s outstanding ability to deliver digital solutions to customers served as the focal point of the recognition. Maven Wave is known for developing these solutions through the utilization of Google Cloud innovations.

“It is an incredible honor to receive this award for the second year in a row. This achievement recognizes the extraordinary efforts from our teams who, together with our visionary customers and valued Google Cloud partners, have been able to realize remarkable success in enterprise digital transformation,” said Jason Lee, Partner and Founder at Maven Wave.

Maven Wave has served as a Google Cloud Premier Partner for nine years with specializations in areas such as Application Development, Cloud Migration, Data Analytics, Enterprise Collaboration, Infrastructure, Location-Based Services, Machine Learning, and Marketing Analytics.

“Google Cloud provides industry-leading, cloud-native products that allow us to accelerate the development of innovative enterprise solutions, from modernizing infrastructure to creating intelligence from data and enabling work transformation. We remain absolutely committed to our Google Cloud partnership and look forward to continued success for our customers in 2019 and beyond.” 


Supply Chain Communications Streamlined with Riege + Chain.io Partnership

German digital logistics provider, Riege Software, confirmed its partnership with cloud-based platform Chain.io to support efforts increasing speed, accuracy, and visibility for supply chain stakeholders communicating
data between multiple internal and external systems.

“It is no question that continuous improvement to the technologies we use is an essential component in the future of international freight management,” says Thomas Jorgensen, President & CEO of Green Worldwide Shipping. “By increasing the operational efficiency of our technologies, we are able to free more time for our freight experts to do what they do best – service the client.”

Green Worldwide Shipping is one of Riege’s U.S. customers that adopted
Scope integration with Chain.io, ultimately leading to cross-platform capability enhancements. Following the implementation of Chain.io’s platform, company’s can anticipate a simplified approach to supply chain integrations including Avanced Shipping Notices, Inventory updates, IOT data streams, Shipment status updates, eCommerce orders and deliveries.

The collaboration aims to provide transparent visibility experiences for shippers as it offers more options, capabilities, and connectivity through an innovative platform.

“As logistics providers move towards digitization, they’re being asked to connect to more and more systems across many technology stacks,” said Brian Glick, Chain.io’s CEO. “We’re excited to provide Riege’s customers with a fast, flexible tool to help automate both shipper and agent connectivity.”

“Scope is predestined to connect applications and therefore also entities, it gives our customers more opportunities for collaboration, transparency and the facilities to meet their shippers requirements,” added
Tobias Riege, PhD and CEO of Riege Software. “We are delighted for Green Worldwide Shipping to have undertaken this journey with us.”

Automated Route Planning in the Works for Hupac Intermodal

Hupac Intermodal announced the upcoming implementation of Nexiot’s software solution to its in-house cargo management systems for supporting efforts managing delays, traffic, and route journeys.

“Nexiot is providing its customers with the highest level of transparency across the supply chain, which enables them to differentiate their offering, increase efficiencies and unlock additional revenue potential,” said Marcel Scheurer, Chief Commercial Officer at Nexiot. “Our distinctly collaborative integration approach and operational industry experience help our customers to extract the maximum value out of the technical solution.”

Nexiot has provided solutions for Hupac for the last two years. The
European intermodal network operator currently employs Nextiot’s self-sustaining sensors for real-time visibility from device-fitted wagons. This device provides information such as location, mileage, and border crossings every five minutes.

“We began working with Nexiot two years ago when we applied the smart sensors to 1,000 of our intermodal wagons,” said Aldo Puglisi, responsible for Digitalisation and Business Processes Reengineering at Hupac Intermodal. “When we began to analyse the data generated by the sensors in collaboration with Nexiot, we realized that it could be used to identify and predict weak spots in the supply chain, helping us make more informed planning decisions in an optimal way.”

Following the full integration of the digitization offered by Nexiot, Hupac will ultimately reap the benefits of optimization, information sharing with partners, time and money savings, as well as an overall reduction in risks and errors.

Schneider Transportation Increases Visibility with Trucker Tools

Trucker Tools’ carrier management and shipment tracking software services has been officially selected by Schneider Transportation Management to provide additional support one of the industry’s largest freight brokerage operations.

The company will implement Load Track and Smart Capacity – two of Trucker Tool’s cloud-based software applications to support and improve operational processes while providing increased visibility to its carriers.

“We are growing our capabilities with Trucker Tools to deliver a better experience for carriers and easier access to the high-quality loads they expect from Schneider,” said Erin Van Zeeland, Schneider’s senior vice president and general manager of Logistics Services. “With Load Track, our carriers have an easy-to-use platform for delivering quality information on the progress and status of loads in transit as well as visibility to available loads.

“This allows us to more efficiently connect the right loads with the right carriers while enhancing the visibility shippers want. Trucker Tools is also a big selling point, especially with the small and micro-carriers, because of the popularity of its mobile app,” Van Zeeland added.

Additionally, the company announced the implementation of a predictive freight-matching tool for brokers called the Smart Capacity platform.

“We are honored to be selected by one of America’s most respected transportation companies to help them drive further efficiencies and quality improvements into its brokerage operations,” said Prasad Gollapalli,” founder and CEO of Trucker Tools. “Our goal is to enable our broker customers to leverage next-generation technology to improve their competitiveness and increase their ‘stickiness’ with carriers. Through Smart Capacity, Load Track and our mobile driver app, we’re giving them unprecedented, trusted visibility into where and when those trucks are available – today, tomorrow and into next week.”

 

Source: Trucker Tools