Order Fulfillment module: Call for ideas

Based on Ryan Szrama's first comment on this issue: https://drupal.org/node/1901528, Commerce Guys is (are?) punting on order fulfillment for now, because the big sites they work with all outsource it. Unfortunately, for smaller sites and non-profits, that's not really an affordable option. I'm considering creating a module to manage basic order fulfillment, but I could use all the input I could get. I've never used a commercial order fulfillment service, but I've spent a little time browsing the docs at http://www.shipwire.com/ to get ideas. What we need is not nearly so elaborate, but I'd like to plan for expansion.

The biggest unmet need that our organization has is a way to track shipping, especially when different items in the same order are shipped separately. It would also be nice to have an easier way to print packing slips than what I've managed to set up so far. If someone were to create an order fulfillment module, what features should it have? How should information be managed? For example, should you store information about whether or not an item has been shipped in the Line Item object, maybe with the default for an Order being that all the associated Line Items are shipped together?

Any thoughts?

Posted: Jul 30, 2013


Mark P on August 2, 2013

I have looked for an integrated OMS for DC for ages but managed to get around it using very manual processes. A fulfillment process integrated with shipping companies with printing and automated customer account updates with emails and reports would be awesome. We want to start fulfilling our own orders rather than outsourcing and this would solve that, although we are in Canada and I expect no one will write some that integrates with Canada couriers. Shipwire does look pretty awesome so a lot could be learned there. The real question is it better to integrate with a cheap system like OrderCup or to do it all from scratch? ShipLark is less than $50 per month also and integrates with Drupal Commerce apparently.

I dream one day about these things:

- Allowing a customer to edit their order up until a certain point in the picking process post purchase would be good.
- Out-of-the-box order processing emails with embedded tracking numbers to customers would be good. (Currently doing this with rules but a pre-set module would be nice that is tied into shipping).
- Easily printing packing slips for any courier with split tracking/parcels.
- QR Code or similar for scanning during the picking process to verify/match products to picked item.
- Real-time tracking delivery date estimates for both admins and customer shipping pages.

I am sorry if this is way off the mark from what you are thinking but I'm just throwing it all out there.