Post by rotaryracer » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:38 pm

Hi all - I've been using OpenCart 1.5.4 for a year and business has been growing nicely. The challenge I now have is improving efficiency so that we can scale larger. Currently I use OpenCart for my webstore, eBay for additional sales (some but not all products), and QuickBooks 2013 Pro for accounting. I am continually having to manually re-enter orders from eBay or OpenCart into QuickBooks, then re-enter the same info for shipping, then try to keep inventory straight between QB, OC, and eBay. While order accuracy has (thankfully) been good, my inventory management needs help.

I've done some searching and it looks like eCC by Webgility and OneSaas are the primary two providers of applications to tie this all together. eCC will be somewhat limited due to how OpenCart handles (or, more accurately, doesn't) multi-option variations, and I expect the same would occur with OneSaas. Anyone have experience using one or both of these products that can provide some real world experience? Both have case studies that make this seem like the solution to all my problems, but would also like to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. I will probably do some trials of both products but need to put up a test server and duplicate copy of my Quickbooks file before I risk blowing up the production copy!

OneSaas seems to have a less expensive pricing structure than eCC, and no upfront license fee. You can also integrate up to 5 stores (I would only have two - my OC store and eBay) versus two with eCC.

Any other solutions I may not have come across in my research besides these two? I'd like to test over the next few months with plans to implement at the start of the new year.

Thanks in advance,

Jason


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Post by rotaryracer » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:11 pm

I'll assume by the deafening silence that everyone just likes typing in triplicate? ;D

All kidding aside, I've had some discussions with Webgility and it sounds like it will be a no-go for full automation based on how OpenCart handles product variations/options and the various configurations I sell. I can't imagine OneSaas, Atandra, or some of the others will be much better. I've also looked at various OC extensions such as Options Boost, OpenStock, etc., but although they create a SKU for options, Webgility (most likely) can't use it as everything is still keyed off the primary model/item.

Anyone know of an extension that dynamically changes the model number based on options selected? Using a clothing example, if I have a green shirt in Large with a yellow logo, that might be model 123-L-Y, while a green shirt in Small with a blue logo would be 123-S-B. If there was a way to return that updated model number to Webgility (or OneSaas, etc.), it could be matched to the item in QuickBooks and would allow inventory sync, auto-entry for sales receipts, etc.

Thanks...

Jason


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Post by allenmcb » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:09 am

I just saw your post.

ECC works okay integrating OC with QB POS. It will integrate about 80% of the POS inventory fields into OC. Some tings, such as pulling in SKU, price, description, etc. all work okay, if you don't have any special pricing.

For example, ECC will pull only the regular price from POS. The problem this creates is this: If you are using special prices in Opencart (which I do, so each product will show list price parked through, and the selling price beside it), the only the regular price will show. You will have to manually go into each OC item listing, change the price to the list price, and add the POS regular price as the special price. Tedious, but doable if you don't have a lot of listings to maintain.

If you have a lot of items, say, 500 or more, then you will spend endless hours updating prices each year. As manufacturers and vendors change their prices (usually in January, all at the same time), I cannot just tell ECC "synch OC prices based on POS", because that puts the wrong price on every product I have. All my list prices in OC become the selling price, and all the special prices (actual selling prices) in OC are not updated.

I requested this be corrected in ECC, and was told I would have to pay the developers extra to make this happen.

ECC does do some things well, and some of these are very important things. For example, it will synch your OC quantities to match your POS quantities on demand. ECC has this also as an automatic function, but the atomization doesn't seem to run reliably.

ECC will also look at your POS inventory, and tell you which items there don't show as items in your OC inventory. This is very helpful.

ECC is a useable product, and it does a lot to help streamline to integration process between OC and POS. However, it has the feel of a product that is 80% complete. What it does, it does pretty well, but it has the feel of a product that was developed to be all things to all people, and tweaked to make it work for OC, and once the basic parts of it worked, they passed over making the details work.

I am guessing here, but my guess is Webgility spends most of their time working on the products with the most interest displayed. They are frequently offering new products, when some of the current products still need development.

ECC does not work with JCart installations, which I learned after turning OC into a JCart install, only to find that JCart and ECC don't hold hands at all. It's not on Webgility's radar to do, according to the Webgility folks I spoke with. That's a real disappointment.

I like ECC, and subscribe to it. I do use it. Is something else better? I don't know.

What I do know is this: If Webgility would spend a few hours with one of their OC/POS end users, such as me, and see the shortcomings that need to be addressed, they could spend a relatively small amount of time making the needed changes, and have an absolute killer product. As it is, they have an okay product, but the potential is there for it to be the be-all, end-all OC integration tool. Hopefully, some day, we'll see that happen.

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Post by rotaryracer » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:24 am

Thanks allenmcb - my turn to be tardy with a reply!

Agree with your assessment....Webgility got me close, but couldn't get me all the way, specifically with how it handles options. The sales reps recommendation was to move to UberCart (really don't want to do that) as it allegedly handles options better? Either way, there doesn't seem to be a good middleware application that can handle options from the various e-commerce platforms. That options problem didn't seem limited to OC; it was all stores with the alleged exception of UberCart.

OC doesn't seem to handle product "kitting" very well, so I can't easily break apart systems into the component pieces and the put them back together in the shopping cart.

Given the popularity of QuickBooks and multi-channel sales (eBay, Amazon, direct e-commerce site, etc.), I'm a little surprised by the lack of options. Makes me wish I studied harder in college and paid attention in those computer programming classes. :D

Anyway, the new year has come and gone and I'm still playing musical chairs trying to keep QB, OC, and eBay inventory in sync. QB is probably the most accurate (all inventory in and sales out go through there), but I struggle to keep OC and eBay both updated and in sync.

If anyone else has any suggestions, I'm open!

Thanks...

Jason


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Post by rotaryracer » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:52 pm

Wow....has it really been a year? :o

Another 12 months of manual data entry. I have researched a few new potential candidates, but am still coming up a bit short:
  • CartSpan - Integrates OC with QuickBooks, doesn't have modules for eBay or Amazon.
  • Atandra T-Hub - Have left multiple emails and voicemails...no return call. Maybe they are swamped with sales?
  • Teapplix - Spoke with their guy; this might be able to get me close, but still need to solve for variant products within OC.
  • eComDash - Pretty new company, may be able to use their generic API for OC but would require some development.
  • OpenBay Pro - This looks like the best solution to stay with OC, but doesn't have hooks back into QuickBooks.
It seems I can get most of the way there with many of them, but haven't found one complete solution yet that will let me:
  • Pull all orders into one summary from OpenCart, eBay, and (in the future) Amazon
  • Enter all orders into QuickBooks as Sales Receipts or Sales Orders
  • Allow me to create a PO in QuickBooks, receive inventory against that PO, and sync the inventory back to all channels
  • Manage inventory seamlessly across all channels to prevent overselling
  • Integrate with major shipping partners (UPS, USPS) and post tracking data back automatically
Despite really loving the look of OC 2.0 and the overall speed and responsiveness of OC, I'm considering moving to WooCommerce or Magento as it seems that everyone and their brother has integrations ready to roll for them. Anyone know of any integrators that offer an "all-in-one" solution for OpenCart, or am I asking for too much here?

Thanks!

Jason


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Post by rapidairguy » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:05 am

Hey Jason AKA rotaryracer,.. have you any updates on your integration choices or solutions since your last post?
Thanks JB


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Post by rotaryracer » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:47 pm

rapidairguy wrote:Hey Jason AKA rotaryracer,.. have you any updates on your integration choices or solutions since your last post?
Thanks JB
Hi JB - sorry I didn't catch this till now. I'm still fat-finger typing orders in manually, and bouncing between sales channels to manage inventory. I haven't checked all of them, but I don't think there are major functionality changes from the last time I looked at the "usual suspects".
  • CartSpan - Still doesn't have (nor has plans for) an eBay module. Their developer seems like a top-notch guy and I've heard good things about support. I think their licensing method is a bit better than the SaaS of others, but without eBay, it's a non-starter for me. If you don't have a need for eBay, it might be worth a look.
  • Atandra - Called and left a message again, still no call back. Probably off my list simply because if it fails, I don't have a lot of confidence I can get someone on the phone to figure out how/when it will be fixed.
  • Teapplix - This is most likely the solution I'll be going with....OC2 direct integration, good pricing methods, responsive support team, developer seems open to improvements/paid customization. The one gap here (and I think it exists for all solutions) is no dynamic routing of sales type based on inventory available. For example, if I have a flag on a product that says allow backorders, I'd like a Sales Order created in QuickBooks if no inventory is available; however, if inventory is available, just process as a Sales Receipt. Right now, all sales need to go through as one order type - either Sales Order, Invoice, or Sales Receipt.
I left off Webgility as their costs seem to have basically doubled (if not more so), eComDash (no direct OC integration), and OpenBayPro (no QB integration, and I don't think they still support OpenStock variant products in eBay).

Our sales have risen enough where manually entering orders and trying to juggle inventory is taking up way too much time - a good problem to have, but still a problem. I'm going to begin testing Teapplix in earnest after the holiday season and will hopefully have any functionality glitches worked out before the busy season starts in March.

If anyone else has a working solution they're pleased with, or recommendations on other solutions to investigate, I'd love to hear about them!

Jason


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