Imagine you’re building a satellite. You need to know, without a doubt, that all the circuit boards will be completed on schedule because you’ve booked a launch date - and there’s no wiggle room when it comes to rockets.
These are the high stakes Cofactr customers trust them with. The startup is leading innovation in procurement and inventory management automation for industries like aerospace, defense, medtech, and robotics.
Recently, we chatted with CEO and Co-Founder, Matthew Haber, who shared how they ship mission-critical features fast and make sure they’re always working, even faster.
Unblocking engineers to ship fixes in a product that changes every 30 minutes
One of the things that makes Cofactr such an incredible product is also what makes troubleshooting a tough challenge: their complex data model, which self-corrects in real-time.
“We need to have detailed bug reports when we find stuff. Our product has significant real-time data, so the symptoms can change out from under you - even 30 minutes from the time a person reports a bug.” - Matthew Haber, CEO and Co-Founder, Cofactr
Cofactr ingests real-time price, availability, and lifecycle step data across millions of components and distributors, constantly maintaining an evolving data-set ‘on the fly’. Because the system state is always changing, issues are challenging to reproduce. To fix them, engineers need to know exactly what happened in the original state the bug was spotted.
“If you don't have a screenshot of what the state looked like when it was wrong, clarity on where in that screenshot you're supposed to be looking, and the network and console logs to help reinforce… it’s virtually impossible to figure out what's going on. And, that ticket ends up in a sort of block.” - Matthew Haber, CEO and Co-Founder, Cofactr
Matthew needed a way to flag and reproduce issues with all of the original context for engineers to fix. He had tried the gamut of bug tracking and reporting tools in previous companies, and knew he wanted something that didn’t require valuable engineering resources to implement.
‘Can you Jam that?’ Bug reports with automated dev logs
Jam checked all of Matthew’s boxes since day 1 of building the Cofactr software:
✅ Instant Replay with dev logs for engineers to get all the relevant context in the exact moment the bug was spotted
✅ Linear integration for their product management and engineering workflows
✅ Browser extension anyone can quickly install and use without engineering help
“Having a way to be able to capture the information we need quickly was super important to have any shot at fixing the problem.” - Matthew Haber, CEO and Co-Founder, Cofactr
Back then it was just Matthew and his Co-Founder squashing bugs, today Cofactr’s QA process is robust and thorough. Besides outsourcing a dedicated QA team from QAWolf, the Cofactr team is always “dogfooding.”
This happens in two ways:
1/ Partnerships with customers: Cofactr runs supply management for customer partners - this way they can experience their product’s use-cases first-hand.
2/ Cofactr’s own warehouse service: The team working in Cofactr warehouses also uses their software.
These two groups are the ones who ‘Jam’ the most, they found it so convenient it’s now a verb!
“It’s like ‘hey can you Jam that?’ You know a product has really become a huge part of your workflow if it gets ‘verbbed’.” - Matthew Haber, CEO and Co-Founder, Cofactr
With Jam, anyone on the Cofactr team can send engineers everything they need to debug:
- A visual of what the issue looked like
- Specific context on where to look
- Full rundown of network and console logs from the time when the bug was spotted
Hours of eng time saved per week + incredible customer support
Cofactr maintains an insane level of customer responsiveness — 60-second SLAs type of level. As Matthew put it, “our customers are really relying on us, we have an obligation to not betray that trust.”
With Jam, they’ve been able to achieve this level of support, while saving precious engineering time.
“We save somewhere between 15 and 60 minutes per ticket. We're dealing with several dozen tickets a week. That’s several hours of engineering time per week, that adds up quite a bit.” - Matthew Haber, CEO and Co-Founder, Cofactr
An unexpected benefit? Jam’s shareable links have become Matthew’s preferred way of flagging external issues with their suppliers.
“I often Jam bugs to software companies that we use. Informing our suppliers where their software needs a fix has been really key.” - Matthew Haber, CEO and Co-Founder, Cofactr
Jam enables everyone on the Cofactr team to send detailed bug reports, saving engineers the hassle and frustration of attempting to reproduce bugs or hunting down the information they need to fix them, like network requests and console logs.
By giving everyone the power to create detailed bug reports, Jam has helped Cofactr ship technology that’s changing the supply management landscape. Soon, they’re launching predictive capabilities to enable their customers to make long-term purchasing decisions.