The History of Rosie the Report Robot
Tom Wrensch is an Arryved Co-founder, Engineer, and resident doctor (in Computer Science, that is!) He is also the creator of Rosie and the author of this post, which details our beloved Report Robot’s inception and evolution. Read on to discover how our team came to increase efficiency with automated customer reporting. Rosie has been …
Tom Wrensch is an Arryved Co-founder, Engineer, and resident doctor (in Computer Science, that is!) He is also the creator of Rosie and the author of this post, which details our beloved Report Robot’s inception and evolution. Read on to discover how our team came to increase efficiency with automated customer reporting.
Rosie has been one of Arryved’s top performing team members since the day she began. Her day starts at 5am when she sends our customers their daily email of POS reports, and her day doesn’t end until after 11pm, when she sends an email to the Arryved team regarding any problems with customer data.
But Rosie’s real job is to send out those 5am reports. Thousands of them. Frankly, the amount of work involved is inhuman.
But then again, Rosie isn’t human.
2016: The Birth of Rosie
Years ago in the fall of 2016, Arryved was a tiny company with just 4 employees. As the only early bird in the group, I spent every morning checking the previous day’s tabs and payments for any problems, running POS reports, and emailing my findings to all of our customers. This usually took less than an hour, and was done while sipping a cappuccino at a local coffee shop.
This was a problem. Not the early hour, the time involved, or even that my cappuccino tended to be cold by the time I was done. The problem was scale. At the time, Arryved had 3 customer sites, and we were planning on launching over a dozen more in the first few months of 2017.
I brought the problem to Rob Culp, our Portal and Reporting expert. In just a week or so, he created 2 amazing things:
- Rob combined the code with the reporting system, so we could email out POS reports to anyone.
- More importantly, he gave those emails a name and a personality.
Thus, Rosie the Report Robot was born.
2017: Becoming Our Trusty Sidekick
Initially Rosie had just 2 parts: the clever report generation and email system that Rob created, and a script that told the system which POS reports to run and where the email should be sent. Every morning, I still sat at the coffee shop, but now I just ran the script and watched to make sure nothing went wrong. Every time we added a customer, we just extended the script.
Rosie acted as our sidekick, sending out report emails under the direction of myself or one of the other senior engineers. As she grew into a trusted colleague, she needed a few updates in the following months:
- Rosie got her own email address
- Any responses to a Rosie email went to our wonderful support crew. (They’re much better at handling customer requests than surly engineers.)
2018: Who’s the Boss Now?
A major upgrade to Rosie’s responsibilities happened in late 2018. Up until then, each morning an engineer checked for any data discrepancies—things like credit cards that didn’t charge correctly, rounding errors when shifting sales tax to individual items, and, of course, open tabs and the associated reminder emails.
We decided to add to Rosie’s workload. This was a real breakthrough because it meant Rosie wasn’t a sidekick anymore. Rosie woke up at 5am, checked for open tabs and any other discrepancies, sent out the necessary email reminders, and emailed the engineers telling us what discrepancies to fix.
If you’re thinking that Rosie telling the engineers what to do rather than the engineers telling the robot what to do made us the sidekicks, you’re not wrong.
2019: All Aboard to Automation Station
The next step in Rosie’s evolution was to make her more efficient by getting rid of the gigantic and ever-growing script that told Rosie which POS reports to send out. Essentially, we needed to automate the tasks for our already-automated robot.
Slowly we began feeding her information that the support team could set up and manage. Eventually Rosie was able to grab that information each morning, and those POS reports were sent with no input from engineering or customer support.
Yay! Now I could sit at the coffee shop in the morning and not worry at all about reports.
2020: The Year That Must Not Be Named
I’ll just skip this year.
2021: Rosie’s Future is Bright
Just recently, Rosie started sending POS reports out at different times. Morning reports can be sent as early as 5am Mountain Time (7am Eastern, 4am Pacific) or as late as 9am Mountain Time (11am Eastern, 8am Pacific). If a customer wants to change the time they get their reports, they just let support know.
Rosie isn’t done growing. She already fixes a few problems during her 5am shift, so making her smart enough to handle even more problems would be a big help. I’m sure we’ll find other jobs for her as time goes on.
Rosie may not be human, but she’s more than just a collection of software. She’s Rosie the Report Robot, and we love her.