Pretty awesome when business areas come together

So as mentioned below, we are doing an inventory project for badger that’s pretty extensive. Basically it will keep recent books in one area sorted by week, and then older books in another area collated together into one mass inventory. pretty simple.

Here’s the trick. I just created a universal order pull list application. Basically you can select any number of orders, click generate, and a list will be created for every item that needs to be pulled. pretty simple hey? It gets even better. This list generator will check the last five weeks and individually flag items for the week they came in if they happened to arrive (either in a new order or a reorder) that week. But we’re not done yet. It color codes them based on a coding system involving color sorted boxes and cycling the oldest colored box into inventory and replacing its contents with books from that week. whew.

But this isn’t really to talk about the workings of the inventory system. This is to talk about how cool (and interesting) it is when something you are really good at (programming in my case) perfectly coincides with something you have only a little experience with (business logistics and physical asset management in this case). I ended up creating a basic physical location based inventory system and programmed a picker application that can work within this system. Most reading this are probably saying “So what?”, but when you look at where I started this whole experiment from and where it’s arrived at now it is really an interesting road. This is something I wouldn’t have even realized I needed two years ago, but now here we are with a full custom built physical inventory management system.

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BadgerComics.com updates

So I figured this place would be as good as any to start keeping a log of changes made to Badger. I really do update the site considerably and (currently) without a newsletter this seems like a decent public forum to make mention of those changes (at least the ones I can make mention of).

Searching by date has been fixed. Previously (and unbeknown to me) searching by date had been broken due to incompatibilities with our url system. This has been fixed.

On-sale items are also now broken out in search results. Search results previously listed the item’s on sale prices, but you can now specifically look only at results that are on sale.

Upcoming (hopefully soon) is also the ability to have your summary search results (the first page) constantly on the same page as the actual search results. This will let you jump to different sections as desired much more easily without having to go all the way back to your results. This includes both the summary results as well as individual title results.

Verbage was added to the confirmation screen of subscription/pre-orders. This is, judging by the sheer number of emails received, the single most confusing and unintuitive portion of the site. A new confirmation screen explains in much more depth what it means to confirm, what emails you can expect, where you can find your subscription/pre-order history, etc.

Along those lines, your Subscription Management page is now linked to from your My Account page, located directly under the order history link. Hopefully this will work to further differentiate subscripions/pre-orders from store orders.

Also along those lines, a new info box has been added on the subscription product info pages for prior months informing users that particular item is no longer available for pre-order. I wasn’t taking into account the amount of traffic that would be generated from google searches and forum links to past months’ products.

AND ON THAT NOTE (:P) product notifications are now working properly for subscription items. Previously they just didn’t work, at all. I apologize to anyone who was subscribed to a pre-order product’s notification before. But as of now, they will work and the customer will be notified when that product arrives. Of course Badger doesn’t order every item from Previews, so there are still plenty of products that a customer wouldn’t be notified on. However at least in some instances, like where there’s a hot designer toy, if we happen to get extras in notifications will be sent out automatically.

Some previous updates from the past month or so include:

Better layout on Product Info and Subscription Product Info pages, including larger images on these pages and a more logical and intuitive layout.

More frequent updating of product specials .

A system to more promptly deal with weekly damages and shorts allowing our weekly inventory t be more up to date.

As well, we are currently under taking a tremendously large physical inventory sorting and auditing that will also allow our inventory to be increasingly accurate. One thing I don’t think most customers are aware of is that our inventory system that catalogs our books is the same inventory system that drives the site, in real time no less. So if one customer added book A into their cart and another customer checked out with book A before the first customer could, the system would kick the first customer back out to the shopping cart screen saying there was insufficient inventory. Thus it is VERY important for our inventory system to be on top of everything. Once this physical inventory management is done, we should head even further above our current 99.8% fill rate, not to mention we will continue to eliminate the number of large orders that are not shipping within the same day.

That’s all for now. More info as updates are published to the site.

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