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Warehouses Addon (Beta) - Aka Stores & Pickup Points Rate Topic   - - - - -

 
  • remoteone
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 03:05 AM #1

Starting a thread here to discuss CSCart user's functionality requirements for the New Warehouses Addon. So I'll kick it off.

First look at the Demo, I could not find the Menu item to access Warehouses. Had to check the Docs to find it.

My first thoughts...

1. There are Stores (online domain) and there are Stores (Pickup Points)!

- Might be a good idea to change at lease one of these to save confusion.
ie :  Change Stores (online domain) to something like Channels . Then you can put future eBay and Amazon addons etc under Channels.

 

2. "Stores and warehouses are based on pickup points". ..

"pickup point" means if a customer decides to pick up product personally.

"Store" Physical offline store,  is that not the same thing as a pickup point?

"Warehouse" Distribution point.

So if a particular supplier is both a Dropshipper, has Physical storefront, and is a pickup point,  we would need to add 3 different store locations for the same supplier?
A lot of thought has obviously gone into this, but would it not be better to centre this around Suppliers,  and allow the Supplier to be set as a "pickup point", "Store" and/or "Warehouse"

 

3. No integration of Suppliers with Warehouses (aka Stores & pickup points).

Would it be good to merge the two?
We have some products that are available from up to 4 different suppliers. We actually need a "Multiple-suppliers-per-product" addon or if  Suppliers and  Warehouses merge this might solve our problem.

 

4. Its always been a bit odd that the Suppliers menu was located under "Customers"
Maybe group Suppliers and Warehouses as submenus of a new Parent menu like "Inventory Sources".

 

Well thats a start. Looking forward to an excellent,  intuitive addon.



 
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 03:20 AM #2

Looking at the Docs further:

If a product is in stock only at a warehouse that doesn’t ship to a rate area, then a resident of that rate area will see the product as out of stock.

To have customers see "product as out of stock" is a very bad if it can be avoided.

This is applicable to several of our suppliers that don't ship to other countries. Thus would we need a  second  (virtual)  "warehouse" for this supplier, which would have our warehouse address. Assigning a moving time,  so the supplier ships the order to our own warehouse,  and we then ship it to our international customer?
Can we assign a "Moving Cost"?
Would the supplier receive the PO notification with the Ship-to address being our Warehouse or the customers address?

Currently,  a product's Stores & pickup points are completely independent of its Suppliers. Is there ever a case where a Warehouse caters for more than one supplier?  Hmm.. thinking...



 
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 05:15 AM #3

There's no email address field. How does a particular warehouse receive PO notification, distinct from the product's supplier  contact email? Even if  I set up a separate supplier profile for each Warehouse,  a product is limited to only one supplier.



 
  • ikoshkin
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:46 AM #4

There's a lot to cover here, but I'll try to be brief. Some background and history will be needed here though.

------------------

For quite a while, "Pickup points" used to be an add-on exclusive to the Russian version of CS-Cart. It allowed you to set up a few places where customers could pick up the order, and offer this choice at checkout.

- Inventory at each pickup point couldn't be tracked. The prices for shipping a product to this or that pickup point weren't flexible.

In version 4.10.1, the add-on was renamed to "Stores and pickup points" (to symbolize that it was meant to represent your offline brick-and-mortar stores too), extended to allow different shipping rates depending on the location of the chosen pickup point, and added to the international version.

- Starting with this version, you can emulate a real-time shipping method with pickup points, if you specify correct shipping rates for the rate areas.

We received many requests to have separate inventory tracking for various locations (be it a brick-and-mortar store, own warehouse, supplier's warehouse, etc.). That's what we added in 4.11.1 as "Warehouses [Beta]" add-on:

- Those who have offline stores can now show how many products there are in this particular store. Those who don't have offline stores benefit from being able to keep track of items at different customers and letting customers know if there will be a delay in shipping (when the product needs to be delivered from a particularly remote warehouse).
------------------

Now, to the points brought up so far.

1. I agree that some confusion it's possible. Though personally, I'd rather have "domains = storefronts", "brick-and-mortar stores = stores", and "CS-Cart installation = online store".

2. A pickup point is a place where you don't store goods, but customers can have them delivered there and come pick them up (like a post office or shipping company office).

A store is a brick-and-mortar store (it is offered as a pickup point at checkout, but also has separate inventory and appears on the product page in the list of stores).

A warehouse is a place where you keep inventory, but where your customers can't come and pick up the product (that's why customers don't see how many warehouses you have, or where they are). So you only need to create one "store location" and choose the most fitting type.

3. Since the main intended purpose of the Warehouses add-on was different, it doesn't cover dropshipping at the moment. We have the idea what needs to be done for this add-on to replace suppliers. I've listed you among other people who have requested this functionality. If there are enough interested people to warrant the development of warehouses in this direction, it'll happen eventually. But first we needed to make sure that we got the basics right (hence the Beta label of the add-on).

4. If warehouses go into the territory of suppliers, they'll probably end up replacing suppliers entirely, while taking on some of the suppliers' functionality.

 
  • ikoshkin
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:57 AM #5

This is applicable to several of our suppliers that don't ship to other countries. Thus would we need a  second  (virtual)  "warehouse" for this supplier, which would have our warehouse address. Assigning a moving time,  so the supplier ships the order to our own warehouse,  and we then ship it to our international customer?
Can we assign a "Moving Cost"?
Would the supplier receive the PO notification with the Ship-to address being our Warehouse or the customers address?


If a product can make its way from a supplier's warehouse to other countries (even by getting to your own warehouse first), then technically, the quantity from that supplier's warehouse is available in that country. So, you must configure that your supplier's warehouse does ship to other countries. Specify the moving time (the time it takes to deliver the product from the supplier's warehouse to your warehouse), and tick the "Warn about delay" checkbox if this time is too long and customers need to be informed about it on the product page and in the cart.

The "Ship to" setting isn't about internal logistics. It's about whether to offer the quantity of products from this warehouse as available to people from this or that location.

Moving costs aren't a thing right now. We may implement them one way or another if we merge suppliers into warehouses.

In the end, the "Warehouses" add-on is currently all about informing the customers if they can come and buy the product right now, or if there is a delay in shipping, and how long it is. The add-on can be configured to reflect almost all logistic processes (except for dropshipping), but doesn't reflect the inner works of your logistics.

 
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:04 AM #6

Ikoshkin, so am I right that this addon should cover cross-docking scenario?

 

1) If I have 100 different suppliers should I create separate warehouse for each of the supplier and assign the products to it?

2) What about logistics minimum? E.g. the supplier will ship to me for free if I exceed $500. In its offer, the supplier has following products:

A - $10

B - $30

C - $40

D - $550

E - $600

 

I want to create a rule that the delay in the shipping of the products below $500 is 14 days and that the products >= $500 will be shipped within 2 days.

 

Is it possible?



 
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:53 AM #7

I dont think this Warehouses addon will provide a solution for us without Suppliers integration and some serious additional Suppliers functionality. One reason our main store is still using csc v2 is that we have a custom addon that allows each Product/combination to have upto two suppliers. The dev did a great job as the Shipping Mechanism needed to be altered with process flow to decide which supplier(s)would fulfill the order based on stock, shipping cost and supplier priority.

Moving forward we need (for csc v4) to have upto 5 suppliers for some of our products and be able to set values to each Product Variation such as: SKU, Stock, Priority and a checkbox for "ship to store if no method found".
Its about automating the order process with suppliers and coping with multiple supplier warehouses.



 
  • ikoshkin
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:49 PM #8

1) If I have 100 different suppliers should I create separate warehouse for each of the supplier and assign the products to it?


Technically speaking, if you have multiple suppliers, and each have their own stock and CSV/XML that they regularly give to you, then yes. You can create a warehouse for each of these suppliers to show the combined stock.

But the answer to whether you need to create that many suppliers actually depends on your business, circumstances, and current workflow. Without that, it's hard to give the best advice. Here are the questions I'd consider:

1. Do you have an offline (brick-and-mortar) store? Do people use your site to check what's in stock before coming and making a purchase? If the answer is yes, you'll benefit from creating at least one point with the "Store" type.

2. Are there any suppliers who ship with a considerable delay which you'd like to notify customers about? If so, then creating them as warehouses may benefit you.

3. Do you want to show different quantities available for different countries/regions, depending on what suppliers have the product in stock? If so, warehouses can also help.

4. How did you update and show quantity with that many suppliers before warehouses were released? If you just summed the quantity and don't need anything of the above, then it might not be worth to spend the time and create that many suppliers.
 

2) The supplier will ship to me for free if I exceed $500. In its offer, the supplier has following products:
A - $10
B - $30
C - $40
D - $550
E - $600

I want to create a rule that the delay in the shipping of the products below $500 is 14 days and that the products >= $500 will be shipped within 2 days.


I think this is something that should be done as a custom modification.

 
  • ikoshkin
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Posted 11 December 2019 - 01:03 PM #9

One reason our main store is still using csc v2 is that we have a custom addon that allows each Product/combination to have upto two suppliers. The dev did a great job as the Shipping Mechanism needed to be altered with process flow to decide which supplier(s)would fulfill the order based on stock, shipping cost and supplier priority.


This sounds like a great add-on indeed. Something like this probably wouldn't have made it into CS-Cart core, because from the sound of it, it's highly tailored for your business specifically. But it is great that a v2 store still serves its purpose after all these years, especially with the ever-changing third-party APIs that force us to update payment and shipping integrations sometimes.
 

Moving forward we need (for csc v4) to have upto 5 suppliers for some of our products and be able to set values to each Product Variation such as: SKU, Stock, Priority and a checkbox for "ship to store if no method found".
Its about automating the order process with suppliers and coping with multiple supplier warehouses.


Priority for warehouses (depending on the customer's rate area, i.e. location) is already a thing. The rest is something we'll keep in mind if we go for merging suppliers into warehouses. I've linked this topic in our internal tracking system.

 
  • remoteone
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Posted 17 December 2019 - 08:55 AM #10

Suppliers and Warehouse management mean different things to different merchants. For us, the focus is on managing Suppliers.

Its not about "pick-up-points" but  "Dispatch-points". Every item ordered is sent out,  never picked up. A few of our products are available to be shipped from 4 different suppliers,  all with different SKU, stock levels, cost-price, shipping cost and dispatch-from-location. Many product we list,  can be shipped from our own warehouse or from another 1 or 2 Suppliers.
Given the ever increasing percentage of retail sales being to online shoppers each year, a eCommerce platform that can allow merchants to easily manage product suppliers (dropshiping)  is going to be in a good position to itself gain a bigger market share.

Look at the stats,  why is CSCart one of the "Other" on any pie chart .
Basically,  a warehouse IS a supplier,  whether a supplier has multiple warehouses or not.
There is one eCommerce platform,  not considered as "other" that has out-of-the-box support for Multiple-Suppliers-per-Product.

Unfortunately,  its not Multiple-Suppliers-per-Product-Variation,  which is what we need.
Edit: Can set the SKU,  currency, Cost per variatio,  but not Stock level,  which is important to remove a supplier from a particular variation .
 



 
  • tbirnseth
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Posted 17 December 2019 - 07:53 PM #11

IMHO, warehouses are shipping origins whether they are manged by the merchant or another entity.

A supplier is NOT the merchant, but another business relationship to the merchant.  A supplier can be someone who A) supplies inventory to the merchant for distribution or can be a B) classic drop-shipper.  The two are managed differently given that for 'A' the cost of the product and shipping to the merchant's distribution point are part of the cost of goods sold.  For 'B', the shiipping just needs to be calculated from the 'suppliers' distribution point.  Obviously it should also be possible for a supplier to have multiple warehouses as well as the merchant themselves to have multiple warehouses and also brick-and-mortar locations where a customer could "pick up" an item for no shipping cost.

 

The above should account for 95% of the scenarios that exist in a real business world.  The 'suppliers' need to account for import duties and special taxes/tarrifs when a supplier is from a different country.


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  • remoteone
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Posted 17 December 2019 - 11:46 PM #12

Yep,  that pretty much sums it up. Except that most of our suppliers are both dropship and inventory supplier, and we can also be considered a supplier since we are also importers direct to our own warehouse.

 

We may be in the 5% of merchants that needs the extra functionality, it will be a case of selecting the best eComm' platform before getting any addon developed.



 
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Posted 18 December 2019 - 12:08 AM #13

I too am in a position where I Purchase product A

From suppliers X Y and Z

 

Each supplier has a different code for the same product form the Manufacturer.

 

I sometimes dropship, and also hold stock in my warehouse.

 

There is an addon here I seen posted probably 3 weeks or so ago, stating it could handle this scenario, Ill try and find it 

 

 

hhhmmm, slightly different

 

https://forum.cs-car...ndpost&p=321651

 

I thought Id seen an addon, I think thetool mentioned an addon he had created


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Posted 18 December 2019 - 01:24 AM #14

For example,  another leading cart software's Product > Options > Suppliers settings  for one of our test product with variations :

Still needs Quantity per Supplier/Variation but at least it can define multiple suppliers per Product and set different  supplier SKU's for each PV. I did request this functionality when "New Product Variations" was in Beta,  ignored as usual.....

PS_suppliers%20per%20product.png



 
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Posted 18 December 2019 - 04:32 AM #15

Webkul attempted a similar addon but when I tested it, it didn't come close to doing anything I needed.



 
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Posted 18 December 2019 - 05:39 AM #16

Needs to be included in the core!