It Turns Out You Can In Fact Buy Time
“…you can buy land, food, cars, even this tractor here, anything you want in life. The one thing you cannot buy is time…"
Back in the 1970s as a kid I remember sitting with my Grandfather one day on a break from working in the hot hay field on his farm in upstate New York. The skies were beginning to get dark with the ominous prophecy of a summertime storm about to unleash it’s welcoming rainstorm. This was a double-edged blessing because it meant it was about to get much cooler – and it also meant a mid-day trout fishing trip to the pond across the road. On the other side of the coin it also meant that the hay still in the field was about to get wet and there wasn’t a thing we could do about it. I remember saying, “it’s too bad we can’t just buy more time so we can get this finished up before we go fishing!" My Grandfather looked at me with a grin that told me I was about to hear something either smart-ass or life changing wisdom was about to be bestowed upon my young naive mind. Turns out it was the latter. He turned to me and said, “you can buy land, food, cars, even this tractor here, anything you want in life. The one thing you cannot buy is time. Once its gone, its gone and you can’t get it back – you can’t buy it back or buy more time. Even in life once our time in this life is done you cannot buy more time." I sat and thought about it for a few seconds and shrugged my shoulders and said, “Ok – let’s go fishing!"
While a younger me shrugged his shoulders and initially put off my Grandfather’s words as something old people say, it never left my mind. The older I got the more I understood what he meant by his “you can’t buy time" words of wisdom. While his words may be true in a universal sense – it doesn’t mean you can’t invest in processes that use time more efficiently. In effect – you CAN buy time. Let me explain what I mean by that. In addition to marketing and sales for PriceIt Software I also help manage orders at Perfect Image Screen Printing and Embroidery wherever I’m needed. Three of the biggest time sucks of the job are:
- Chasing Quotes and Deposits – 1 hour a day
- Ordering blank goods – 1 hour a day
- Artwork Proofing and Approval – 2 hours a day
Half the day is spent doing these things – or used to take that much time. Of course selling PriceIt and being an end-user as well has its advantages. One is that I get to play with new features before anyone else does. Here are my experiences both before – and after using PriceIt 9.1 for each of the tasks listed above.
Chasing Quotes and Deposits before: Get the list of open estimates. Make phone call. Ask if they received the estimate you emailed them. Get told they did but haven’t look at it. Call back again another day. Leave voicemail. Call again and finally get a hold of the decision maker. Get put off another week. Finally get the go ahead but now have to wait for them to come in with a payment, or take their credit card over the phone.
Chasing Quotes with PriceIt 9.1: Email the estimate with a link for estimate approval and a link for deposit. Customer interacts with email to approve the estimate and makes payment.
Ordering Blank Goods before: Open Vendor website. Log in. Print purchasing report. Refer to purchasing report to punch in item number. Click on color. Scroll down to warehouses. Find default warehouse. Check inventory. Type each quantity one at a time into the sizes. Click “add to cart." Go to cart, open it, and ask Brian or Ron to double check the order against the purchasing report. Make corrections if needed. Finish transaction.
Ordering Blank Good after PriceIt 9.1: Open purchasing report. Click “Send to Vendor." Finish transaction. Done.
Getting artwork proofs approved before PriceIt 9.1: Create Proof. Send in an email. Wait. Call customer to see if they received the proofs. Wait for call or email back. Proof eventually gets approved after several back and forth emails and a lot of frustration. Most of the time the proofs aren’t signed leaving legal burden in our lap in case of misprints. The acronym PIA comes to mind here.
Getting Artwork proofs approved after PriceIt 9.1: Create Proof. Send email with approval link. Customer clicks the link to either approve or deny the proof(s) with a digital signature. Back-and-forth communication is logged with history. Easy Peasy.
These are just three of the last few features developed to make these processes easy and less time consuming. Giving me more time to do thing like write this blog, tell folks about PriceIt, and go fishing.
It turns out you can, in fact, buy time. (No disrespect Grandpa!)