Coloured Envelopes

Some stories are particularly capable of inspiring us and enlightening our employees and customers alike. The story you are about to read is the tale of a man burdened by an inefficient system who decided it was time to seek the advice of a software company. It was recently shared with our software engineers as a prime example of professionalism in our field:

There once was a customer whose organisation had serious paperwork problems. In order to overcome the challenges this posed to his business, he promptly turned to a software company, believing a workflow automation program would finally put his troubles to rest. The software engineers listened to the customer explain that sensitive documents were often lost or did not even reach their intended destinations, and this had been a source of many headaches through the years. And so they agreed to help solve the customer’s problem.

The next day, the software company analysts went to the business in question to conduct a series of interviews with the customer’s employees. And later, after carefully studying their findings, proposed a rather unusual solution — coloured envelopes. The plan was astoundingly simple: each department at the customer’s organisation was to be assigned a specific colour and given appropriately matching coloured envelopes. In this way, paperwork migrating from one department to another would first have to be placed into the correct envelopes. This made it easy for recipients to be identified and meant that misplacing documents would become a much rarer occurrence.

The customer was surprised by the proposal, and even more taken aback when the software engineers told him they required no compensation at all. But the solution worked, and so the matter was settled with a friendly handshake. The software developers had been able to quickly, cheaply and efficiently get to the root of the customer’s problem without ever writing a single line of code.

Most software companies naturally resort to technological solutions, even when they are completely unnecessary. At Software Planet Group, however, we are first and foremost problem solvers, and aim to always be practical and inventive, just as the software engineers in this story.

John Feathers

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