|How to become more efficient|
My situation now is that I need to become quicker and more efficient in the orders that are coming in to my store. Orders are starting to come in more frequently - and it gets harry to manage everything. What gets shipped out, what is drop shipped, entering in each order into Quicken, etc...what do you do to speed up the process, and automate some of the tasks?
Right now I am using Zen-Cart. When an order comes in, PayPal processes the payment - and I get an email of what needs to be shipped to that customer. I then send an email to my drop shipper - they send out some of the products, I send out some of the products. Once the order is shipped and I get an invoice from the drop shipper for the product - I manually put each fee that I paid into quicken. The PayPal fee, shipping, and invoice for product. I then manually enter in how much that customer paid me for that order.
It's complicated - and not a very good system. Right now I only get a couple orders per day, but as this increases, this system is going to be unmanageable.
Hmm... never used ZenCart. While once faced with complex logistical process, we had to program a lot of integration with remote systems, to minimize manual work.
For your situation, I'd offered the following (do not know what's already handled with ZenCart):
- You need to be able to assign a separate "status" to each product you have sold. These statuses might be: "PayPal payment rcvd", "Dropshipper notified", "Dropshipper has sent", "We have sent".
- Copy-pasting from e-mails is a bad practice, since involves a lot of habdwork. For example, PayPal IPN can notify your cart when a product is paid -- then your cart should automatically set its status to "PayPal payment received". Probably, your dropshipper has a sort of API that can be integrated into your cart -- for example, when you change status to "Dropshipper notified", API could automatically send API request to dropshipper (or at least an e-mail to them).
- Have a separate "Dashboard" page in your administrative interace, where you can see statuses of all products currently on order, to have an overview what's happening.
Hope this helps a bit...
It sounds like you need an order management system. This will help you with managing the flow of orders to drop ship vendors and for orders you ship out. You will also be able to track customers, inventory and more all in one spot. If you google "order management system" you will see some options.
ZEn cart, thats an OScommerce clone isnt it ? Isnt there and order management module somewhere ?