Jump to content

Is anybody REALLY using Advanced Stock Management on a working ecommerce site?


Recommended Posts

Hello everybody,

 

I've read a lot about Advanced Stock Management these days and in the past weeks and I've also set up a 1.6.1.9 installation to test it by myself. It looks like the initial idea was good but as I realized, this feature can't really replace existing stock/inventory management software or our accounting. also a lot of users reported bugs and that the feature isn't actually working.

 

I would be really glad if anybody could share (publicly or privately) his story with inventory management on his eshop. By eshop I mean 500+ products and few orders a day. I mean a really working business with all stock movements.

 

Can Advanced Stock Managment really be used in a money generating shop? If not, what exactly do you guys use? Any modules or third party sync solutions? If third party, than what modules or solutions? What are the advantages or disadvantages of these solutions?

 

Thank you very much for any stories, tips, solutions or insights!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for notifying me about this subject.

 

I have been selling online since 2005, and used Prestashop since 2009(?). Versions 1.3 and 1.4 did not have advanced stock management. 

During that period, I was actively searching for ways to integrate Prestashop with some accounting software. Most promising was Erply, but that time they were unable to create reliable data sync. Maybe now they have improved, but when I looked into it again in 2015, I found their monthly fee too high for me.

 

During 2013- 2015 when I also had a brick and mortar store, I used Estonian accounting and inventory software with POS that had some kind of webstore add-on. My accountant loved it, but website was invisible to Google and other search engines and killed our web rankings. 

Now I have been using Prestashop 1.6.0.14 again for 1,5 years.

 

This webstore is my full-time job. Last month I had on average 20 orders per day.

There are some special order items, but 99% I have in stock for immediate delivery. Correct number of available products is crucial. I use Advanced stock management and it is the only inventory software I use. 

 

I have learned to use ASM and work around its problems. All the necessary information is there, but you need some help to get it out of the system. Prestashop partner agency veebipoed.ee (https://addons.prestashop.com/en/61_veebipoed) has helped me to generate reports for taxes, orders, and stock movements that my accountant needs. Also they have created specific modules for tracking batch numbers and best before dates. I also re-pack some products and all the pricing info for stock movements of these items can be tracked as well. 

 

Some things I have learned:

 

  • I do not use combinations. 
  • One cannot copy products if they have ASM activated. I have worked around it by setting "I want to specify available quantities manually", then copy product and set ASM back.
  • One cannot have some products using ASM, and some not. When you have different setting, Prestashop sees it as two separate warehouses and separates order into two with two shipping costs.
  • Pretashop stats that use wholesale price are all incorrect, because ASM takes wholesale price from a different table. 

I would say whoever made ASM (or Prestashop in general), does not know much about accounting or what data accountants need. But for me, with all the special development work that has been done on it, it is still a lot cheaper than trying to integrate two (accounting software and  Prestashop) detailed and very differently structured softwares. There is still a lot of work ahead though. 

 

Veebipoed,ee says that using ASM like we do, is rare, and most of the sellers use accounting software for their inventory, and  do not have stock data in prestashop at all. I assume many of them are also doing wholesale or brick and mortar, but I sell online only.

Edited by HelenI (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much for you info! You mentioned that you use ASM in a rare way but I think most of the sellers have they own ways how they do business. We have the problem that we have a lot of different products from different categories and we use offline accounting system. We have simple products, combinations, we manufacture products from existing products, we have product packs. We sell online and in the physical shop. We use online eshop and offline accounting system.

 

Physical shop is not a problems because I can drive all shop sales through Prestashop via POS solution and sync with accounting software (from Presta to accounting, one way). But what complicates my life is the actual accounting solution. It was made by accountants for accountants and we would like to use is as a business solution. For this scenario the accounting software is too complicated and you need to do a lot of manual inputs and you can't automate a lot of things. Moreover I need license per user and it can get expensive when users only use it for inventory.

 

The main problem is that when we get stock, I would like our brand managers to stock the products and calculate the prices. But now it is done through accounting software and I need to pay for more licenses than I really need. Previously we had less licenses, but colleagues needed to wait until the other user logged out and finished his work. This caused delays of course. This setup also caused delays when adding new products - they needed to be manually added into accounting system and then again to Presta eshop. Od course we needed to pair these products (EAN or UPS couldn't be used because not all products had it) for sync.

 

I would like to push more the eshop sales and focus more on eshop. If the inventory and price management could work in Presta, we could save some time when managing stock and purchase prices. We could also save some money on licenses. Also we would not need to add the basic product data twice and just export the necessary movements from Presta to offline accounting system. The business side would be done in Presta, the accounting side would done in accounting soft. Syncing with 3rd party is also not a best solution solution but we could live with it until a certain amount of orders.

 

I think a good inventory management or stock management module could save this but I haven't found any yet. The problem is that from my point of view most of the apps and modules (of course there are exceptions) are made by coders and programmers who know how to make the actual app or module. But the design or idea behind the apps/modules should be done by sellers or other professionals really using those plugins in a real life. Theory and real life situations are very often different.

 

If any of you have a tested solution, I would love to hear about it. Please share a link.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What data is transfered from Prestashop to accounting software?

If you already have a connection, then it would make sense that you will enter data into Prestashop and it gets transfered into accounting system.

Product packs will not work with ASM as default (stock movements are not correct). I have seen a product pack module that fixes this, but cant remember the name.

This works with ASM:

https://www.prestashopmanager.com/useful-articles/additional-features/advanced-stock-management/set-up-advanced-stock-management-and-track-inventory-with-it/,

but I have not tried it. There is a 30 days free trial.  But it is also based on personal licences, so if you need many, may not be feasible for you.

 

What would you like to do with ASM?

We use FIFO method for stock value

Supply orders- partial orders cannot be entered. There is a bug and it does not work. If your order comes in two parts, you have to make two separate entries.

If you need to divide shipping cost and add it to product price then this is a separate development. We have done it.

All stock movements (sold, removed from stock etx) and their cost is visible in Stock-Stock movement

You can use different labels and remove or add manually stock at Stock-Stock Management for example expired, damaged, wrong item sent etc. This will all be visible in stock movements and reflected your stock value. 

Edited by HelenI (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Atteso, Helenl,

 

I'm Guillaume, product manager at PrestaShop. 

 

Recently I asked the User Club (http://www.prestashop.com/club/) about ASM usage. Out of the 64 respondents, 50% declared they use ASM. Digging a bit deeper, I've seen most of them only use a few features of ASM : stock overview, stock movements and manage supply orders. Many respondents also reported bugs with multi-warehouse, packs and stock decrements. Also 11 people said they use another tool in addition to ASM.

The other half declared they use tools like an excel spreadsheet, an ERP, a catalog management software (like store commander or store manager). The most common ERP was Odoo.

 

We're currently working on a new stock management interface for 1.7. As you may know, ASM was removed from 1.7.0 because of its lack of stability and clunky UX. With the above-mentioned problems in mind we're designing a better user experience that focuses on stable and essential features of stock management. In that process, user feedback is crucial and we're iterating with prototypes to create something that fits merchants' needs.

 

I believe it would be very interesting for us to get in touch and discuss this stock management topic ! And if you're interested you may also participate in the next test session : it is done remotely, lasts 30 minutes and you test an online prototype.

 

Here's my email : guillaume.bruere@prestashop.com

 

Thanks

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What data is transfered from Prestashop to accounting software?

If you already have a connection, then it would make sense that you will enter data into Prestashop and it gets transfered into accounting system.

Product packs will not work with ASM as default (stock movements are not correct). I have seen a product pack module that fixes this, but cant remember the name.

This works with ASM:

https://www.prestashopmanager.com/useful-articles/additional-features/advanced-stock-management/set-up-advanced-stock-management-and-track-inventory-with-it/,

but I have not tried it. There is a 30 days free trial.  But it is also based on personal licences, so if you need many, may not be feasible for you.

 

What would you like to do with ASM?

We use FIFO method for stock value

Supply orders- partial orders cannot be entered. There is a bug and it does not work. If your order comes in two parts, you have to make two separate entries.

If you need to divide shipping cost and add it to product price then this is a separate development. We have done it.

All stock movements (sold, removed from stock etx) and their cost is visible in Stock-Stock movement

You can use different labels and remove or add manually stock at Stock-Stock Management for example expired, damaged, wrong item sent etc. This will all be visible in stock movements and reflected your stock value. 

 

Hello Helenl,

 

Thank you for you reply.

 

The connector mainly sends order data into accounting software e.g. customer address, products and some other small details. The problem with products is that you need to generate some pairing codes to match the products in Presta and in accounting - mainly because half of the products don't have EAN or UPC. But the sync is also not the ideal solution but better than nothing.

 

Product combinations do work with ASM? You don't use the combinations at all or because they don't work?

 

I have Store Manager so I will test it but I think it will use the same features that Presta has and not add new features. But I will try it and will see.

 

My main idea with ASM was to move the stock management from slow offline accounting system into Prestashop to avoid sync, import/export and to allow all our colleagues to access stock management without paying for additional licenses of the accounting software. I would like to add stock into Presta via ASM, add the buying prices (calculated from the actual supplier invoice), manage the selling prices and to always know how much stock we have. These were the main reasons why I wanted to move to Presta ASM. I know there is no price calculations but those I would be able to do in Excel or Google Sheets.

 

I wanted to add also the supply orders into Presta but if it is not working 100% than I will not do it. I don't want to have mess in number due to bugs - I rather will do it the old way and save me some headaches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Atteso, Helenl,

 

I'm Guillaume, product manager at PrestaShop. 

 

Recently I asked the User Club (http://www.prestashop.com/club/) about ASM usage. Out of the 64 respondents, 50% declared they use ASM. Digging a bit deeper, I've seen most of them only use a few features of ASM : stock overview, stock movements and manage supply orders. Many respondents also reported bugs with multi-warehouse, packs and stock decrements. Also 11 people said they use another tool in addition to ASM.

The other half declared they use tools like an excel spreadsheet, an ERP, a catalog management software (like store commander or store manager). The most common ERP was Odoo.

 

We're currently working on a new stock management interface for 1.7. As you may know, ASM was removed from 1.7.0 because of its lack of stability and clunky UX. With the above-mentioned problems in mind we're designing a better user experience that focuses on stable and essential features of stock management. In that process, user feedback is crucial and we're iterating with prototypes to create something that fits merchants' needs.

 

I believe it would be very interesting for us to get in touch and discuss this stock management topic ! And if you're interested you may also participate in the next test session : it is done remotely, lasts 30 minutes and you test an online prototype.

 

Here's my email : guillaume.bruere@prestashop.com

 

Thanks

 

Hello Guillaume,

 

Thank you for your message. I would be interested and I will send you an email regarding cooperation. I am not sure if my approach, ideas or needs will be helpfull for the community but we can try it.

 

There are also some other topics or features in Presta that are not ideal for me so I mention them as well in the emai. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Regarding Barcodes and EAN:

When I was using my previous accounting software, we generated our own  5 digit barcodes (based on product ID in our system). They could only be used internally, but they helped a lot.

 

It is easier to track and  enter products via supply orders. It generates documents with list of products received (my accountant keeps those for documentation). If you use only Stock management you have to check them in stock movements where it will be mixed with all the other movements (sales) and much harder to track.

 

Supply orders are correct if you dont use backorders there. When confirming supply order you have to go through all the five order status steps. If you change your order straight to status "order received completely" then it will not be correct.

 

Main reason I do not use combination is the wholesale price. I actually have not checked how it works in the current version, but previously there was only one wholesale price field per product. Our combinations were mainly different weight products, like 200 g, 500g, 1 kg. As you can imagine the wholesale price is quite different. 

Edited by HelenI (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Regarding Barcodes and EAN:
When I was using my previous accounting software, we generated our own  5 digit barcodes (based on product ID in our system). They could only be used internally, but they helped a lot.
 
It is easier to track and  enter products via supply orders. It generates documents with list of products received (my accountant keeps those for documentation). If you use only Stock management you have to check them in stock movements where it will be mixed with all the other movements (sales) and much harder to track.
 
Supply orders are correct if you dont use backorders there. When confirming supply order you have to go through all the five order status steps. If you change your order straight to status "order received completely" then it will not be correct.
 
Main reason I do not use combination is the wholesale price. I actually have not checked how it works in the current version, but previously there was only one wholesale price field per product. Our combinations were mainly different weight products, like 200 g, 500g, 1 kg. As you can imagine the wholesale price is quite different. 

 

 

Yes, we do the same with barcodes - we generate universal barcodes with increasing number and assign a clean purchase to every barcode. This way we know exactly what was the purchase price for that particular product. We would like to keep this and move to Prestashop but I am not sure if we can achieve this easily. In our accounting software this is possible (after some modifications) but still it looks like we need to have more systems for what we need. And all of these systems offer far more than we actually need.

 

I was thinking to use Supply orders but very often be have backorders, partial shipments and if it doesn't work 100% correct we can get easily lost of have bad numbers.

 

Combinations would be great for me but the wholesale price should be for every combination. In our case the combinations have also different purchase prices so same as with you.

 

It seems that in the way ASM works now we can't use it. Will see if it evolves somehow in the near future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Cookies ensure the smooth running of our services. Using these, you accept the use of cookies. Learn More