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Order Status Management
 
tjscgroup
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OK, so I was hoping to start using Magento in a live test environment (was planning on launching a small shop just to discover want needs working on before moving main shops to Magento in nine months or so) but I just cannot figure out how I can due to the way Sales/Invoice/Credits is currently working.

I know this has been mentioned before but none of the forum comments seem to help me so I thought I would start another topic…

From my understanding…

Orders are set as “Pending” if automatic payment has not been received (i.e. an offline payment like purchase order). However, orders are set as “Processing” if an automatic payment has been received (i.e. an online payment like Protx Direct)

So far so good…

First problem:
- the [business] customer who selected purchase order wants an invoice before sending payment...but if I create an invoice via admin, admin assumes payment has been received. I just want admin to allow me to print an invoice that I can post, then put customer into a status called “awaiting payment”, after customer has paid, then I need to go back into the admin and tell the system payment has been received in part/full.

So, lets forget about offline payments for the moment and assume that all customers pay straight away (if only)…

I click ship and send the item, status changes to “complete”...I’m happy

Second problem:
- the customer calls me up and says “it was delivered late blah blah blah, I don’t want to pay for shipping”. I say no problem, I’ll refund the shipping charge...off I go to the admin, click credit memo and find that there is no way of part refunding the customer! Even if I wanted to fully refund them, the order status stays as “complete” rather than changing to a more sensible “Refunded” or similarly named status. 

How is everybody getting around this problem in their live shops at the moment?  Also what use is the “On Hold” status?

Basically, I feel more statuses need to be added, such as:
Pending (offline payment selected during checkout)
Verifying (online payment selected during checkout but order is awaiting approval)
Awaiting payment
Ready to dispatch when stock arrives
Ready to dispatch
Ready to dispatch - Picked
Ready to dispatch - Packed
Part dispatched (rest to follow) and payment received
Part dispatched (rest to follow) and awaiting payment
Part dispatched (rest to follow) and awaiting return
Part dispatched (rest to follow) and part refunded
Dispatched and payment received
Dispatched and awaiting payment
Dispatched and awaiting return
Dispatched and part refunded
Returned
Returned and refunded
Returned and part refunded
Part returned
Part returned and refunded
Part returned and part refunded
Cancelled

I could obviously get my developers to hack a fix together but this seems like a fundamental flaw of Magento that is bound to be fixed in future releases so I am loathed to spend time thinking and fixing this just for the Magento core team to release their own solution.

Many thanks in anticipation

Toby

 
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tjscgroup
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I notice even one of the companies Varien decided to focus on in its blog also found the current order statuses too limiting…

 
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oshipper
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I am also finding the statuses very limiting. Anyone address this on their own installs? Has Varien posted a typical workflow they expect stores to use?

Thanks

 
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Shimi
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I process all orders off-line, need to assign my own order status, was hoping to move to Magento but have to keep my old cart until this type of functionality is added.

 
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SeL_
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Hi,

Thanks for this feedback.
Magento Team plans to write a wiki article (or in knowledge base) about order flow. This is not expected before next release, so please be patient.

Thanks again

 
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wsj3
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This is really surprising. How can the folks at Varien expect merchants to use their system if there is not adequate documentation on how to use the order management system? I really love Magento and was excited about starting to use the order management aspect. It would be great to hear more from Magento about where it is at today with order management. Does it work and is it usable? Is it a matter of just understanding how to use it? Are there bugs which are limiting the current functionality? Please full-disclosure and transparency?

 
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tjscgroup
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SeL - 13 November 2008 03:19 AM

Hi,

Thanks for this feedback.
Magento Team plans to write a wiki article (or in knowledge base) about order flow. This is not expected before next release, so please be patient.

Thanks again

I look forward to seeing your documentation but frankly I suggest you fix/improve/change the way statuses are handled before you write the guide!!

 
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craichead
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@tjscgroup - Totally agree.

 
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jwoods
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All,

We’re in basically the same situation. We’ve done a very extensive front-end rewrite of Magento complete with animation, drag and drop, AJAX, and more. We’re wrapping up this part of the project and have moved on to the back-end edits we need, including custom reports (which is a whole conversation in itself) and order processing procedures.

I’ve started looking at sample orders and order processing to create a bit of a guide for our client’s employees at their fulfillment center. I just don’t follow the terminologies and flow set out in Magento for orders.

I gather now, after thinking about this for a long while, that Magento sees “Orders” as a different type of object than all other eCommerce applications. An “Order” is not the entire transaction. An “order” is simply a request for products. With Authorize.net, we’re authorizing and capturing at the time the request is placed. Thus, all orders come into the system with an invoice already filled out and the requests include payment information.

In my ideal system, the process would be this:
1. Admin selects the orders they want to fulfill and batch prints a packlist.
2. Admin walks around fulfillment center and fills the boxes with the proper products.
3. Admin goes to shipping station, clicks on each each order, adds tracking number, seals the boxes, prints labels and sticks them on the box. Magento or user marks the order Complete.

Magento, on the other hand, seems to follow this process:
1. Admin clicks on each order and creates a shipment . Magento marks the order Complete.
2. Admin goes back to Orders page and batch prints packlists.
3. Admin walks around fulfillment center and fills the boxes with the proper products.
4. Admin goes to shipping station, clicks on each order, edits the shipments to add tracking number, seals the boxes, prints labels and sticks them on the box.

So I have these questions:
1. Does anyone use Magento for daily sales quantities over 10 orders?
2. How do you discern which orders are Complete and shipped and which are Complete and need to be packed and shipped? The admin can’t print a packlist until a shipment has been created, but in creating a shipment they’ve eliminated the visible difference between Shipped and not-yet-Shipped. Are you specifying a date range?

I’m interested in hearing what you all have to say, particularly how Magento’s forced method of fulfillment works in practice. Thanks.

 
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Gochos
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Let me add my two pennies to this thread.
Ive been using oscommerce and creloaded ever since i started to venture in online businesses. I have a very successful online business running on creloaded with over 100 orders a day. As a company we decided to open a US arm of our company. I wanted a more advanced site and opted with Magento . I have to admit i am impressed with everything about Magento apart from the order processing part of it.

Here is my problem, we have started to get roughly 5 orders a day on it and i dread processing the orders. I’m trying not to advertise the site, so we don’t start increasing our traffic. Why is this you make ask.

Its a bloody nightmare processing orders.

When you process an order you have to create an invoice. What happens if one of the items is out of stock. You are stuffed. I would like to be able to change the status for this order as partial shipment or something of the like, so we can know which orders are still waiting some items.
I don’t whant the system to automatically pout an order in processing when a transaction is made.

The whole procedure confuses me and is a serious error in Magento design.

 
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tjscgroup
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Is there anybody reading this post who is shipping a good number of orders on a daily basis, if so, how do you keep track of what is going on?!?!

Varien...do you honestly believe you have got this right, if so, please explain what we should be doing!!

 
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cbsteven
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I haven’t switched to Magento yet.. planning/hoping to. What I plan on doing (which is what I do already in my current platform) would be to export all new orders via XML and import them into my local custom Filemaker database, which is where I do everything else - print packing lists, issue credits via Authorize.net, export to UPS software.

Would this be possible in Magento?

 
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Gochos
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Come on Varien, tell us what to do

 
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ShopGuy
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From everything I have read Varien is unwilling to compromise on this issue. I say that because people have been complaining about these issues for months and month and months without any indication that an error may have been made.

Even the most basic features of altering orders don’t work for real shops. For example, an order requires 2 shipments. A product is accidentally selected as going in the first shipment, but it actually wont be going out until the second shipment which will take place in two weeks. Sorry, you cannot change it now. Not only does the customer think it goes in the first shipment but all your records show it is in the first shipment and no way to change it.

Now, lets say you dropship. The dropshipper informs you an item is out of stock 3 days after placing an order. A magento shipment has already been made, since you need to keep track that an order was placed with the dropshipper. Now, the customer thinks they will receive that product. You call them and tell them they wont be even though it indicates it was shipped. That product will forever be indicated as shipped.

Since Varien insists that it knows best and since Varien thinks this is an accounting program and not a shopping cart (Why can’t an invoice be edited? We dont need an audit trail). The best solution is to write your own order management module.

 
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Jon Edwards
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I’ve been setting up my first magento site for a couple weeks, and am now finally running some test orders and trying to figure out how the whole order processing/fulfillment system works.  My shop is pretty simple, not a lot of orders per day, and not that many items, so I am just hoping for an easy solution that won’t confuse the hell out of my admin who will be filling orders. I’m disappointed too with how screwball this order fulfillment system is.  I just an easy way to batch print all the packing slips, and then batch update the orders to shipped.

After several weeks of loving/hating magento, it doesn’t surprise me that documentation on this is weak (like everything else!).  I guess that’s what we get for free software…

Hope things get better!

Good luck everyone,

Jon

 
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Teclance Enterprise
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We are now in the process of this issue as we launched 2 new sites with magento and this is definetly a section that could be worked on, we use oscommerce for our other site and the order process is a charm. Perhaps they should review their order system.

Any how we had a customer order and pay by paypal and their order status was upgraded to Processing and in the comment section it says
Customer Notified
Received IPN verification

When we look over to the right where it displays the Order Details, it shows the Total Paid as 0.00. Shouldn’t this be updated to what the customer paid upon verification from paypal or am I overlooking something?

Thanks for the assistance.

 
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