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Order Status Management
 
vadimc
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I just made a new feature suggestion that will further simplify order management/accounts etc - http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/32162/

 
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Niek Jannink
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Hello,

We need to add an additional step in the order processing.

After a purchase order has been created in the frontend this order needs to be accepted or rejected in the backend before further processing of the order is allowed.

Is it possible to add this step to the order processing workflow?

Thanks in advance

 
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jwoods
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As I know how frustrating it can be to keep up with a thread of this importance and see little progress, I feel obligated to update you all on how we’ve solved this problem.

Our real issue with order processing was the inability to print a packlist before marking an order shipped. We solved this by creating a new action which prints packlists from orders that are only in the Processing state. This allows us to batch print packlists for orders that have come in and been auto-invoiced by the Authorize.NET payment method.

The next step for us was to create a MySQL VIEW to consolidate many of the attributes of an order into a single row for integration with the FedEx shipping terminal our client is using at their fulfillment center. This view shows what you’d expect; shipping address, city, state, weight, carrier method, etc. The FedEx software scans a barcode of the order ID we put on the packlists mentioned above, prints out a label, then writes this info to a temporary table. A CRON job runs every 15 minutes, looks at the contents of that table, creates shipments and shipment packages, sends customers emails with tracking numbers, and marks the order as shipped/complete.

Using this structure, we’re able to completely bypass the actual order management flow that we disagree with in Magento. Granted, this is a very specific implementation that relies on several things (Authorize.net charge capture, FedEx integration, simple packing, etc), but hopefully this helps someone. I intend to reuse at least the packlist functionality for future Magento implementations, so maybe that alleviates some concerns for others. Good luck.

 
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JessicaAM
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My client uses Paypal to process all his orders.  Here’s his workflow (he thinks it sucks btw):

1.  Go to magento backend, enter in name & password
2.  Sales < Invoices
3.  Click View (on right hand side)
4.  Click Print (on top right hand side)
5.  Select open when the message pops up, print from the pdf that has been created.
6.  Go to Paypal and process the order.
7.  Go back to Magento and click Sales < Orders
8.  Click view (on right hand side)
9. Click Ship
10. Scroll to the bottom and add comments if needed.  Select “Email Copy of Shipment”, and if comments were added, click “append comments”.
11. Click submit shipment

Meh.  I’ve taught him how to “deal” but I hate telling him there’s no options.  Maybe someone can enlighten me to a better way for him to process his orders....?

 
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taikahn
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I just finished a website only to find this thread.

Shakes head in dismay.

 
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jwoods
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Taikahn,

All is not lost… i speak from experience. I suggest creating a new PDF generator to replace the old one for pack lists. The reasons why packlists can’t be printed until the order is “shipped” are silly. Basically, start from a duplicate Batch Invoice PDF generator and remove the financial information. With that you can speed up the packing phase.

As i described above, our FedEx software writes back to a table we created in our database, which we parse every 15 minutes with a Magento-based cron. This function does almost exactly what the “Ship” button does when viewing an order, except much faster than you can and in batch format. Even if you don’t use FedEx, i see it is quite possible to create a custom module that mimics the functionality - putting information into a table [Order id = 100000170, Tracking Number = 176919741].

Now, why all of this work is necessary AT ALL is the frustration. And the complete lack of response from Magento. And the complete lack of documentation from them regarding how they expect us to do it, if it isn’t this way… oh well.

Joe

 
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ecurtin
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Okay, I’m a little concerned as I share all of these views on how poor the order processing is on Magento. The frontend is so sophisticated and the backend is just a real let down when it comes down to order processing. OsCommerce allows you to add your own statuses without too much trouble. Also, it would be good to edit an order after it has been completed - say it has been returned.

I have just watched Roy Rubin’s keynote video from their tour - he mentions that they will NOT be doing order fulfillment (amongst other things). This worries me. Does this mean that this is the best we are going to get?

 
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taikahn
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What really sucks is their complete lack of communication—makes me want to jump ship.

 
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Eyes2Design
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unexpectedly - 31 December 2008 07:02 PM

davidlef - 31 December 2008 05:54 AM
I just wonder how these firms that have made the switch do it?

Heh, I’m thinking the same thing. We are averaging only about 6 orders per day (meaning that we ship 3 to 15 per day) and I am limiting our advertising so that we don’t get too swamped. 10 orders a day is a pretty full workload, but then add 10 more drop ship orders and we need more workers, as our current work flow process is a hodge-podge of connectors and quickbooks.

davidlef - 31 December 2008 05:54 AM

Not having any experience with Magento I wonder if anyone call tell me if our order fullfillment would have problems with Magento. 

We process between 10 to 100 orders a day. We are never out of stock as we are the manufacturers so that’s not an issue. Everything ships the same or next day. We handle any credits through Authorize.net. Our shopping cart is an order taker only and we rekey into Quickbooks the order(love to get rid of that step). Once an order is done we change its status to complete. So you can see we don’t have a very sophisticated method, I can’t see why Magento shouldn’t be able to handle that at least.

I saw over at Stone Edge that their software slows down Magento to a crawl in its current Beta version, sounds like a great joining of bloat.

I’m really thinking the only way to get what you want is to roll your own solution from start to finish. How is Varien suppose to know what everyone needs or wants and put all of that in an easy to use and understand package that isn’t bloated up to its neck?

I’m a software engineer and pretty good at php/mysql/html and there’s no way any company can hand-roll a full solution. It took me almost a year working part time to convert our catalog from flat files to something database driven. Sounds real easy, but the devil is in the details. IF you used Magento for the simplest of tasks, it should be able to handle that load. My web specialist says that we would mirror the website install to an in-house server that we can optimize to the Nth and make performance a non-issue for the admin side.

The real key is what are real companies who are using Magento to handle CRM (post sale support) and ERP (track the money, but link it to customers and sales) ?? We’ve got a tool that connects to quickbooks pro, but its performance is miserable, sometimes as much as a minute per “thing” within a task. We were going to write an invoice manager and then have it import to QB, but gave up on that due to speed. Now, we’re looking at Quickbooks Enterprise to see if it’s fast enough at data exchanging. I’ve got Gigabit, Quad core processors, and tons of RAM in house, there’s no excuse for a task to be so slow as to be noticed, let alone go-to-the-bathroom slow.

If I had 5 of me on full time staff, it wouldn’t be an issue and it would be ready in 6 or 7 months… rasberry But we’re stuck with me, the boss-man, working part time to code things with the occasional few hours from my web guy. If we embrace this, I’ll definitely contribute what I learn to the forums, including if we roll our own TransFirst gateway module.

Thanks,
Chris

TransFirst Payment module is on magento connect now.

 
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tjscgroup
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ecurtin - 10 March 2009 02:06 AM

I have just watched Roy Rubin’s keynote video from their tour - he mentions that they will NOT be doing order fulfillment (amongst other things). This worries me. Does this mean that this is the best we are going to get?

I heard that as well…

taikahn - 10 March 2009 05:19 AM

What really sucks is their complete lack of communication—makes me want to jump ship.

...it’s a shame but it looks like I won’t even be boarding!!

 
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unclek
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We’re using the ZenPrint autoship module with UPS (great module btw), and came across this exact issue. Auto-Ship doesn’t change the status to Complete.

I discovered that the status+state seems to be changed using

$order-->setState($state$status false$comment ''$isCustomerNotified false);
e.g.
setState('complete'true'This text is saved in the comments field for the order.'true);

which in turn calls:

addStatusToHistory($status$comment$isCustomerNotified);

which then builds a status object, sets its attributes:

$status Mage::getModel('sales/order_status_history')
            ->
setStatus($status)
            ->
setComment($comment)
            ->
setIsCustomerNotified($isCustomerNotified);

And then calls addStatusHistory($status) with the status object.

In doing so, a Shipping Update transaction email is generated, but at no point in time is the $comment value which was set in setState(), and last seen in setIsCustomerNotified() ever included in the Shipping Update email that is sent out. It goes out as though $comment was null.

Anyone have any idea what I’m missing? Might this be a bug?

 
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tilzinger
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Comment withdrawn after reading some documentation.

 
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ecurtin
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Is there any documentation that makes your comment exempt and explains the whole status situation? Please let us know!

 
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tilzinger
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I haven’t tested it much yet, but I found out about “Authorize and Capture” via http://www.magentocommerce.com/wiki/welcome_to_the_magento_user_s_guide/chapter_8, which I’m assuming actually doesn’t mark the order as payment received until it’s captured, so clicking Invoice on an order does what it’s supposed to do (so you don’t invoice and ship an item that you haven’t received payment for)

And also the “Capture Online” option, which I’m assuming “Authorize and Capture” does for you, says “When the Invoice is submitted, the system will capture the payment through the third party payment gateway. You will have the ability to create a Credit Memo, or Void the Invoice.”

This was my concern… that my client would be shipping items that they hadn’t actually received payment for, and it sounds like these options will avoid that. The rest of the fulfillment process could use some refining, but at least my client won’t be losing money.

If I’m misunderstanding these options someone please tell me.

 
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Shine Marketing
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Thought I’d add my weight to this for what it’s worth.

We’re currently trying to work out how to implement Magento for a number of SME clients, as well as some drop-ship projects of our own and whilst we have the actual build time down to levels similar to Interspire or Actinic sites, our issue now is how well inexperienced clients will be able to handle the back-end without us having every minute of the day soaked up in support calls.

The pick-pack-ship process is currently the deal-breaker for some of them

The whole thing reminds me of when I ran an eCommerce operation for a business run by a bunch of ex auditors who couldn’t get their heads round high-volume B2C transaction processing and insisted everything be entered into their ancient version of Pegasus accounting software.  Whilst the theory held up OK and the bean counters were happy, it eventually led to us needing three times the number of data entry staff to keep up as the business grew.

So the practice in place is sound in one respect - financial records, but very weak in another - operational efficiency.
We really need something that a Christmas warehouse temp can be trained on in under 20 minutes to create a pick list of paid orders, create packing slips, box up and mark orders as awaiting despatch, then someone else to add tracking numbers and mark as despatched.

If we can get over this I’d be delighted. Can’t offer much in the way of skills until we get some more staff on board but there is some budget there for development as long as it suits the small business end of the market.

 
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