Part II: Fun, Smart, and Completely Useful
While the first ten features discussed were more comprehensive and, perhaps, “more serious”, the following are equally as intelligent and thoughtful, but they can also be a lot of fun (and we’re all about fun here at TPI!):
1. VIN Decoder (Steven Aleong, Developer):
The VIN decoder is a feature that is actually fun: pop in that crazy, seemingly random combination of letters and numbers and you will find out a lot of useful and just plain interesting information on a vehicle: all of the details on the original engine, the basics on the truck (make, model, etc.), it’s horsepower, and more. You will also find out where it was made, and even the assembly plant. It is extremely useful for a salvage yard when a customer is looking for a part and is missing certain key details that will determine the best fit. It is also extremely fun to take the VIN from your own car and those of your friends and see what you find out!
2. Action List as an Editing Tool (Tracey Booth, Parts Receptionist):
The Action List is a rectangular red button found at the bottom right of your screen in the Sellers section, and it works like a basket, allowing you to collect different items as you go along (up to a certain maximum, depending on the task) and then giving you different ways of working with them. In this case, you can use the tools to quickly edit info on multiple posts instead of going back and forth between parts, starting over each time.
3. Transparent Truck (Paula Wade, Content Writer):
The transparent truck is an unexpected and totally cool feature that can be found on the Parts Request page and which allows the non-truck expert to determine where the part they want is located on the truck. For example, if you hover the mouse over Differential, you will see where it is located on the truck and its general outline.
4. Reminders (Adam Relland, Senior Developer):
Reminders can be set up in the CRM section of TPI or under the Reminders bell itself, and they are great because they prompt you or other users with regard to quotes, invoices, etc. When you are in the Sellers Account portion of your page, you will see a small golden bell in the top right-hand corner. If you click on the bell, it will give you a list of any upcoming reminders you have as well as the ability to add any new ones.
5. Autofill on Search Bar (Christina Persson, Bookkeeper):
When you begin typing in a search term in the Search bar, the closest match appears, and fast. This helps save time by speeding up searches.
6. Use of the Map under Proximity (Christina Persson, Bookkeeper):
When you drop the marker on the map (under the Proximity tab on the public side of the site), you can find a company within close proximity of your location, and from there you can look at their inventory, etc.
7. Share Feature on the Parts Page (Martin Mercer-Deadman, Sales):
On the lower right-hand side of any parts description, you will find a blue action button that says, “Share this Part.” When you click on this, there will be a pop-up screen where you will fill in your name, the destination email, and a short message. The parts info (including photos) will then be sent, making the sharing of parts information much easier.
8. Search Filtering (Adam Relland, Senior Developer):
TPI’s search filtering lets you find what you need with as much precision as possible due to its facet drill-down, giving you several different ways of searching. The “searchability” of the site is impressive.
9. Multiple Photo Upload (Adam Relland, Senior Developer):
When you are posting a part for sale, this feature allows you to upload multiple images at a time, saving you time and frustration, and making that mountain of parts you need to post seem not so much like Everest after all.
10. Locations (Paula Wade, Content Writer):
Last but not least, there is the quiet little feature known as the Locations field. When you are posting a part for sale, you have the option of entering the actual physical location of the part in your yard, thereby saving yourself the hassle later of trying to remember exactly where it is when a customer calls in asking about it. You don’t have to run around on a scavenger hunt, looking for something you know exists but you just don’t know where.