Tracking orders with Screenful and Trello

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We’ve always wanted to keep our product generic in a sense that it doesn’t dictate how your team works, or even what type of work you do. After all, the concept of tasks, boards, and workflow are quite universal and apply to many kinds of activities.

While many of our users use Screenful and Trello for tracking software development, there is no reason why you couldn't track any kind of of production work, such as deliveries of physical goods. Here’s how to do it.

First you need to set up an account at Trello so you can start inputting your orders. They have some sample boards to help you to get started quickly. You can configure your workflow by adding or removing lists on your board. Here's an example workflow for tracking orders or goods:

  • Request
  • Approval
  • Manufacturing
  • Build
  • Delivered
  • Invoiced
  • Paid

You’re not limited to these lists, you can add or remove lists to make it suit your specific workflow. Go ahead and tailor it to fit your needs. When creating the Screenful dashboard, you’ll be asked to map those workflow states to Not started, In progress, and Done. That’s the trick that allows Screenful to understand what all those lists on your Trello board mean.

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The cards on the lists Request and Approval contain orders that has recently come in and are waiting in line for someone to start fulfilling them. Those two lists are mapped to Not started.

Once someone starts working on a order, it goes through the states from Manufacturing to Delivered. Those lists are mapped to In progress.

Finally the order ends up Invoiced and Paid

Now you've done the workflow setup and you're ready to start tracking your process. The only manual task is that whenever an order moves from one state to another, the card on the Trello board needs to be moved accordingly. Based on these card movements Screenful generates the dashboard to help you track your order delivery process.
 

Visualising the delivery pipeline

In the Open Tasks chart you can see how orders are moving through your pipeline. In the top left overlay you can see the status of your pipeline right now. The chart on the background allows you to see longer term trends - Is your inventory flowing smoothly or piling up?

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Measuring the pipeline velocity

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Wanna see where your orders came from? The Completed tasks chart will show just that. If you’ve labeled your cards according to a country, you'll see a breakdown of where your orders came from and how much they contributed to the total.

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You can also group this data by employee, which shows how many orders have been delivered by each individual. 


Tracking the average cycle time of deliveries

Cycle time is the total time that elapses from the moment when the work is started on an order until it's delivered. Understanding the cycle time of your delivery process is critical as it helps you understand which type of orders are likely to be quick to complete and which are likely to take longer.

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You can get even more specific by looking at the cycle times of each step in your process separately. Do you know which step is taking the longest time? 

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You can dig even deeper by filtering this data by label. For example, if you're labeled your orders by product type, you can easily see how much product type affects the delivery speed. Playing around with the data can reveal new insights that help you detect anomalies and find bottlenecks in your process. 


Summary

Trello is great tool for visualising your work in a kanban board. Your cards can represent any kind of work, like deliveries of physical items. 

By measuring your oder pipeline with Screenful dashboard, you can see how well you’re doing and where the bottlenecks are. But more importantly, it helps you to find insights that improve your delivery process.

You can slice & dice data to find the report that provides you the most actionable information. 

You might want to set your dashboard on a big monitor at your office just to keep everyone on track of how things are progressing with orders! 

Let us know at hello@screenful.com if you have questions or feedback. To stay on the loop, read our blog, or follow us on twitter


BY SAMI LINNANVUO

Sami is the founder & CEO of Screenful, the company that turns data into visual stories. You can find him on Twitter @sl1nna