Monitoring product availability and informing staff about this

2 months 49 minutes ago #198740 by testernl

We're a small chain of fresh produce shops. We need to better monitor product availability in our shops. Using the regular approach (enter a starting quantity of product A, B and C; subsequently substract each product sold) is really complicated and time consuming for shop staff. So we've come up with a LimeSurvey based idea:
* every other day shop staff will enter a form with the quantity of products available for sale. This will be at bucket level (containing a variable number of products.
* this form requires shop staff to enter available numbers for products and colours (let's say 5 different ones and an other category)

> I thought to use a matrix form to do this: two axes (products and colours). Responses are values. This is possible I believe based on my testing so far

Next comes the tricky part (?):
Forms are completed every other day and should be:
* stored for future reference
* sent by email to procurement for assessment of what is needed. Preferably on daily basis for all shops combined (quantity per shop and total number per product and colour)
> is this possible? I thought of using evently's zapier extension, if possible

Due to budget constraints we intend to selfhost on our external webserver. Likewise, consultancy services for development may also be beyond the same constraints.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

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1 month 4 weeks ago #198790 by gabrieljenik

Sending individual responses by email is out of the box.
Aggregated reports are not and you will need a croned PHP script to do that.

What was the use case you were thinking for the zapier extension?


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1 month 4 weeks ago #198810 by holch
Assuming that from each shop you are only getting one form per day, then you could just create a Admin Notification email and send the number of products to procurement. What would be missing is the overview for all stores. But as procurement needs to store the needs of each store anyway (because at the end you need to send the right products to the right store), you could take the numbers for each store, save it in an Excel sheet and create a formula that calculates the total numbers automatically.

Now this works fine when you have few stores, for a big number of stores this is a lot of work. But then, if you have a big number of stores, you should also have a certain budget for something like this and would probably go for a solution especially targeted to your use case (I am sure there are softwares out there that are specifically designed for this). Because yes, it might cost money, but if it saves your employees a lot of time and headaches, this money will be well spent.

So I will continue the assumption that you are a very small chain of stores.

Another solution could be that procurement logs in into Limesurvey and gets the latest results as an Excel for download and goes from there. I am sure that one could create a nice excel sheet with some formula. Just copy the results into a tab and then get some results in another tab via the formula.

Of course there are more sofisticated options thinkable, e.g. creating a script that fetches the results via API, etc. but this would require some custom coding outside of Limesurvey and you don't have the budget for this.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #198912 by testernl
The way Zapier that extension was described it seemed like it could forward information to Office 365. There I could generate Excel reports that I need. Since I haven't used cronjobs before, that seemed like the easier option.

We have 5 shops that produce 1 report every other day (near future 1 report per day max). Our ambitions go beyond those 5, but those are ambitions. As and when our scale and resources go, I'll look into professional software indeed. However, for that one needs to assume 10000s of euros as most inventory management software counts down rather than see what's available. Counting down requires a complete overhaul of the way we work.

Thank you! I have downloaded XAMPP to explore LimeSurvey further and build a prototype. I'm sure I'll be back.

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