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Case Study: Launching Inventory Control System with Commerce 8.x-2.0-alpha4 on Drupal 8.1

One of our clients recently became interested in taking their inventory control system to a next level. They were offered a solution to go with an out of shelf ERP system. However, it's a requirement that the client has to change the business operation in order to meet the workflow and implicit technical requirements of the ERP system. Moreover, the solution was lack of integration with existing websites and very popular 3rd party mobile platform like WeChat in China (WeChat had 697 million MAUs at the end of December, 2015).

We were brought in to the project to offer an alternative solution. So, we started with reviewing the scale of the business first:

  • One young fashion brand
  • 4 physical retail stores with the 5th one opening within 2 months
  • 1 Magento powered eCommerce site
  • Retail stores, warehouses and manufacturing factory in different cities and countries, such as Shanghai and Hongkong
  • One 4 years old inventory control system which required the manual labor to enter the orders made by Magento
  • 60 products with 8000 SKUs
  • 500 product attributes among Style, Color and Size

We set our goals below for the first phase of the project:

  • Make data complete and rich; this is the foundation for any future analytics and predictions of manufacture and sales. In short: Full stock movement tracking cross the whole business.
  • Centralized stock management for physical stores as well as online Mangeto store. In other words, we need a integration between the inventory control system and Magento stock
  • Offline-Friendly Point of Sales system for physical stores
  • Bulk operation for managing stocks at warehouses
  • Easy but dynamic reporting for different roles at operation to see stock as well as movements
  • High availability or redundancy

We quickly decided to use Drupal 8 (at the time, D8.0.2 was just released) with the understanding that we might need to do a lot of develop within Commerce 2.x. After 3 months, we have met all of our goals, and now we are lunching the project with Commerce 8.x-2.0-alpha4 on Drupal 8.1. In the past 3 months, we have contributed below back to the open source communities:

Below are some screenshots from the project:

(Offline-friendly dedicated page to bulk manage inventory)

(Stock movement page built with Views)

Special thanks to bojanz at CommerceGuys for the great work on Commerce on Drupal 8