A lot happens before ideas become solutions.

At ElixWare we want to bring you more than just great, affordable software. We want to let you know how and why we do what we do.

Our Ruminations blog will bring you insights into how we got here and some of the things we consider when trying to help you run your business. We hope it gives you a better understanding of how we strive to better serve your needs.

Your Business - Pumice Stone

The right tool for the job

It's Your Business

Welcome to Your Business, our blog series that contains more advice and fewer metaphors. Each post will try to cover a subject that affects your business. You can find more of our Your Business series here.

The Takeaway

Though it may seem obvious, sometimes we all need to be reminded that the right tool for the job can really make a difference. Especially when it comes to software.


Pumice is an interesting thing. It's a volcanic rock that humans have found a variety of uses for. From early medicine to personal care, horticulture and even construction. Today I'm discussing pumice stone and its usefulness in cleaning.

Recently, one of my cats wasn't feeling well and he basically moved in to a bathroom. He stayed in there more than 23 hours a day for well over a month. And he spent a lot of time sleeping in the sink.

It turns out that the natural oils from his black fur discolored the porcelain a bit. I tried scrubbing it with my selection of household cleansers and brushes, but nothing really did the trick. Then I remembered that I had a pumice stone and gave that a shot. Voila!

What had been a bit of a frustrating undertaking was over in minutes. The pumice stone just happened to be the right tool for the job. I've had this same realization in the past when cleaning water stains from stainless steel and chrome with a small brass brush.

Having the right tool for the job is important in life and for your small business. Not just because it makes you more productive. But because psychologically it removes obstacles that may result in procrastination or delays. When one (or more) parts of a workflow have impediments, it can slow down the entire process.

Delivering Ease of Use

When designing software, we try to find ways to make sure the right tools are available for each customer. For example, for a food delivery project we put in two small features that made a real difference.

The first was a delivery summary page for the drivers. Not only did this page list all the orders assigned to a driver, but it also had the option to view a total of all items the driver needed to put in their truck and deliver. It made it much easier for everyone to make sure the drivers had the correct number of the correct items.

The second was a clickable address link in each order. When a driver selected the next order, the address was a clickable link that opened the address in their device's maps application. This allowed the driver to use the same device to make the delivery as they did to manage their deliveries. Once the order is marked as 'Delivered', they close the order page and return to their delivery list. The list refreshed when the page was viewed, and they could move on to their next delivery.

The features detailed above are small but beneficial. Every little bit helps when a driver is trying to make their deliveries. They knew they had the right items for their orders, and they were able to use an app that they were familiar with for more than just work. Usability that promotes confidence allows employees to work without unnecessary barriers.


Sometimes anticipating what the user needs is based on paying attention to their feedback. Your staff knows what they need and expect more than they're often given credit for. Their experience and institutional knowledge are valuable resources for your small business.

For one of our clients, their customer account screen automatically selects the appropriate tab based on the current status or recent activity of the selected customer. If their customer has an open order, the screen selects the tab related to that order. If they had a recent return or Customer Service inquiry, the screen selects the customer feedback tab. If the customer has no recent activity, the screen selects the general information tab. Other situations result in automatic selection of other user interface elements.

Like the delivery features noted above, this functionality is minor but beneficial. Not only does it select the desired tab in most cases, but it also makes training new staff much easier. They don't have to poke around trying to find what they are usually looking for.

Does It Really Matter?

I only mentioned two examples above. They don't really seem like a big deal, and by themselves they aren't. But building these kinds of details into a customer's system is what custom software is all about. And it can make a difference in productivity, workflow and employee morale in your small business.

For those wondering, my cat is doing much better now. This morning, he moved out of the bathroom on his own. That's when I broke out the pumice stone and was inspired to write this post. He's on his way to a clean bill of health, and thanks to the right tool, my sink is too.

more posts by this author

more posts in this section

Contact Us

ElixWare Software Solutions
P: (859) 644-2771


About Us

We are a small team with a lot of experience, specializing in software development, design, and workflow, process & project management. We are fiercely dedicated to helping you do what you do best — run your business — without getting bogged down in the mountains of paper and hours of screen time required to do it. We are equally dedicated to protecting your privacy and your data. Learn more about our privacy policy.