They said you won’t grow, unless you face up to your pain points and then actively address them.

Well, this is certainly our case here. For many years, kindlemalaysia.com has been running happily on woocommerce, with the initial assumption that we are an online store, so woocommerce should be fairly adequate.

But woocommerce is never good at counting stock when it comes to Variations. When you sell a kindle it’s easy; woocommerce can just deduct the quantity from the inventory. But let’s say if you are selling a kindle with a black case? Then you need to deduct the quantity from both the kindle and the black case.  This, woocommerce can’t handle well.

Compounding the problem is the offline sales. Woocommerce is designed for online sales, and although you can key in offline sales manually, but the process is cumbersome. Won’t it be better if we can just scan and the quantity updated?

All these problems can be easily tolerated when you are small, but not when you get bigger. The hassle and the time spent in keying in and correcting the stock control is just not worth it, for a small team such as us. Why use human to do something that computer can do well or a lot better?

So here we are, looking to leverage the collective intelligence of the Kindle Malaysia Fans. Our problem statement:

We want a cloud based Inventory System with Barcode scanner, that integrates nicely with woocommerce as the online sales platform.

Requirements:

Some specific requirements:

  1. It must be cloud based, and not PC based. We don’t mind paying a monthly subscription fee, as long as it is reasonable
  2. We can key in the stock counts for each SKU, and then the system should be able to deduct the quantity from there
  3. The System should be able to handle the case when the products are bundled together. This means that for online sales, the system must be able to deal with woocommerce variations.
  4. For offline sales, we want to capture the additional customer information such as his name, email address and phone number. I’m not too sure how to do this well with barcode scanner technology though.
  5. It must be able to connect to different ecommerce store– we also supply kindles and accessories to kindleindonesia.com

(Optional) Requirements for the purchasing inventory part:

  1. No need to be able to pull data automatically from Amazon. We can do the manual stock key-in when we buy from Amazon
  2. Should allow us to specify the FOREX rate ( or have it pulled from an online data source) with regards to purchase value, so that we can immediately know the actual cost of purchase.
  3. The existing links must remain the same because of SEO values
  4. Able to calculate the goods value on the fly, depending on stock availability
  5. Allow us to track the availability of the purchase: eg, whether it’s still in transit ( and what’s the FEDEX tracking ID), or not yet released by Amazon, or already safely in our warehouse.

How about migrating to other ecommerce store?

Yes, provided that you fulfill the following conditions:

  1. The ecommerce store can fulfill the above requirements
  2. kindlemalaysia.com and kindleindonesia.com look and feel will remain roughly the same
  3. The backend features remain more or less the same to avoid learning curve
  4. Maintaining our existing payment gateways ( like ipay88, billplz, and paypal), instead of the other payment gateway.

Do you have any suggestions? Do let us know!  There are a lot of online solutions, but we feel that they are not exactly addressing our requirements. Hence if it’s possible, please come to do a live demo ( remote or onsite, doesn’t matter) for us to see, specifically on how your system can solve the above requirements. Seeing is believing!

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