Assistant or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Field Ops

Buying and selling cars isn’t easy. Not only is it a large transaction, it’s a highly regulated one. To top it all off, here at Shift we believe you shouldn’t have to complete it at a dealership. You should be able to buy a car on your own turf whether that’s your home, your office, or your SoulCycle. Luckily we have a crack team of Car Enthusiasts (CEs) to make this possible. To make their job possible we have Assistant. Assistant is the internal iPad app used by our field teams on all types of appointments. Throughout the development process we keep three core tenets in mind. Continue reading “Assistant or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Field Ops”

Knowledge-Sharing with Design Docs

Shift’s engineering team has always had an informal process around design docs for new systems, but the process has varied from team to team and engineer to engineer. We’ve had the assumption that if a project or feature is expected to take more than a week or involve more than one engineer, it probably makes sense to document your design in advance so you can get feedback.

A few engineers from our infrastructure team recently formalized the process to add some consistency with the main goal of streamlining the process–we want the term “design doc” to mean the same thing to everyone and to prevent engineers from feeling like they have to reinvent the wheel every time. We also think design docs can be used for mentorship because they allow junior engineers to get feedback faster than through code reviews.

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Logistics at Shift

At Shift, a foundational belief is that the used car market is local and that customers need to see, feel, and smell a car before they are comfortable buying one.

With this belief in mind, one of our core value propositions is we will meet you where and when you want us to, and when we meet we are able to do all things a traditional dealer needs to do in order to sell you that car from the comfort of your driveway.

Delivering this core value proposition may seem simple — companies have been doing field sales for ages — but to do it delightfully, efficiently, and at scale with vehicles is a tough problem. Here at Shift, we call the system that coordinates all of this the Logistics Platform, and its main responsibilities are to:

  • Model customer demand and manage our availability
  • Monitor and adjust operational schedules
  • Enable the field sale

We’ve built parts of the system so far, and have grand plans for the rest, so let’s dig in and see what these responsibilities really entail.

Continue reading “Logistics at Shift”