Buy online, ship from store: Order flow for “Check first” warehouses

About this article

This article will guide you through the process of a “Check first” ("CF") order flow. This flow allows you to ship orders from physical stores and it requires to use a third party integration (POS system - i.e. Sitoo). Note, that throughout this article we will use the abbreviation "CF" which stands for “Check first”.

Prerequisites

  • Brick and mortar: Read through this article to learn more about how to create a Brick and mortar
  • Connect the Brick and mortar to a “Check first” warehouse: A Brick and mortar can be connected to a warehouse through two different ways:
    • Brick and mortar level: See step 4 in this article (Section: Connected stock, setting: Link to Warehouse)
    • Warehouse level: See step 4 in this article under “Link to Brick and mortar”
  • Connect the Brick and mortar to an Allocation rule: A Brick and mortar can be connected to an Allocation rule by following:
    • Brick and mortar level: See step 4 in this article - Section: Connected stock, setting: Link to Allocation rule)
  • Add the warehouse to an Allocation rule: In this article, under the “Adding Allocation Rule Geography Priorities” section, follow the instructions in step 4

General overview

The “Check first” order flow can be used through the regular Allocation rules setup in your Centra or with the help of a Shipping entity (i.e. Ingrid). The two diagrams below showcase the steps of the flow in each respective case. In both, the general concept of the order flow remains the same: An order is placed and an allocation happens towards the “Direct” warehouse to ensure that the ordered items will always reach the customer. A request is sent to the Brick and mortar and then the store staff can choose to accept or reject the order. If no response is received within the set timeframe, the request expires and the flow is the same as in the reject scenario. The following flowchart includes information about the regular flow:

When a Shipping entity is involved, the delivery experience can be regulated in more depth. Taking into account the proximity of available Brick and mortar stores that can fulfill the order (adequate stock levels), the end-user receives a set of shipping options to choose from. These could include express delivery options. Once the end-user selects one and the order is placed, the Check first order flow and its respective accept/reject/timeout alternatives could take place. See more details below:

What does the order flow look like?

Depending on the Allocation rule setup the order flow could behave differently. Note that you can read more about Allocation rules here. Let’s explore some scenarios of Allocation rule setups and the way the order flow changes:

Scenario 1: Single “Check first” warehouse in Allocation rule

In this scenario, the Allocation rule contains one "CF" warehouse and one "Direct" warehouse, as seen below:

The order flow would be as follows:

  1. Once the order is placed in Centra, it will automatically be allocated to the "Direct" warehouse of the Allocation rule
  2. The order will be put on Hold and the following information will be available on the Order summary:

    • Order status will be “Waiting for Check first allocation”
    • The “Check first allocation status” will be set to “In progress”
      • If you click on “In progress”, you will see the "CF" warehouse where the request was sent to, along with the timeout
    • You can see the Allocation rule in the Order summary to get an overview of the warehouses
  3. A request will be sent to the "CF" warehouse to see if there is stock to allocate to this order from this warehouse. Next, there are three possible scenarios:
    • Accept: The "CF" warehouse could accept the request. The stock allocation will change from the "Direct" to the "CF" warehouse. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence
    • Reject: The "CF" warehouse could reject the request. Here there will be no allocation change. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence
    • Timeout: The timeout of this "CF" warehouse could pass which would make the request expire and the stock allocation change no longer possible. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence
  4. The “Check first allocation status” will be set to “Not in progress” and the Order status will change to Pending, Confirmed or Processing depending on the state of the order

Scenario 2: Multiple “Check first” warehouses in Allocation rule [same priority]

In this scenario, the Allocation rule contains two "CF" warehouses that share the same priority and one "Direct" warehouse, as seen below:

The order flow would be as follows:

  1. Once the order is placed in Centra, it will automatically be allocated to the "Direct" warehouse of the Allocation rule
  2. The order will be put "on Hold" and the following information will be available on the Order summary:

    • Order status will be “Waiting for Check first allocation”
    • The “Check first allocation status” will be set to “In progress”
      • If you click on “In progress”, you will see the "CF" warehouse where the request was sent to along with the timeout. In this scenario, you would see both "CF" warehouses
    • You can see the Allocation rule in the Order summary to get an overview of the warehouses
  3. A request will be sent to both "CF" warehouses to see if there is stock to allocate to this order from one of the two warehouses. Next, there are three possible scenarios:

    • Accept: One of the two "CF" warehouses accepts the request. The stock allocation will change from the "Direct" to this specific "CF" warehouse. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence. The other "CF" warehouse can no longer accept or reject and its timeout is no longer valid

    It is not possible for both "CF" warehouses to accept at the same time, as accepting an order happens in sequence. Therefore, the warehouse that accepts as last will receive an error response that this action is no longer available

    • Reject: One of the two "CF" warehouses rejects the request. The “Check first allocation status” will still be “In progress” showing the other “CF” warehouse and its timeout. Then we need to wait for the other "CF" to accept, reject or time out:
      • If it accepts, the allocation changes, “on Hold” is removed and the order proceeds with this warehouse
      • If it rejects or the time out passes, there will be no allocation change. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence
    • Timeout: The timeout of one of the two "CF" warehouses passes. The “Check first allocation status” will still be “In progress” showing the other “CF” warehouse and its timeout. Then we need to wait for the other "CF" to accept, reject or time out:
      • If it accepts, the allocation changes, “on Hold” is removed and the order proceeds with this warehouse
      • If it rejects or the time out passes, there will be no allocation change. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence
  4. The “Check first allocation status” will be set to “Not in progress” and the Order status will change to Pending, Confirmed or Processing depending on the state of the order

Scenario 3: Multiple “Check first” warehouses in Allocation rule [different priority]

In this scenario, the Allocation rule contains two "CF" warehouses that do not share the priority and one "Direct" warehouse, as seen below:

The order flow would be as follows:

  1. Once the order is placed in Centra, it will automatically be allocated to the "Direct" warehouse of the Allocation rule
  2. The order will be put "on Hold" and the following information will be available on the Order summary:

    • Order status will be “Waiting for Check first allocation”
    • The “Check first allocation status” will be set to “In progress”
      • If you click on “In progress”, you will see the "CF" warehouse where the request was sent to along with the timeout
    • You can see the Allocation rule in the Order summary to get an overview of the warehouses
  3. A request will be sent to the "CF" warehouse with Priority 1 to see if there is stock to allocate to this order from this warehouse. Next, there are three possible scenarios:

    • Accept: The Priority 1 "CF" warehouse could accept the request. The stock allocation will change from the "Direct" to the "CF" warehouse. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence
      • The "CF" warehouse with Priority 2 will not receive a request in this case since the "CF" warehouse with Priority 1 accepted the order

    The “CF” warehouse with Priority 2 will receive a notification to inform that the request is no longer available

    • Reject: The Priority 1 "CF" warehouse could reject the request. A new "CF" request will be sent to Priority 2 "CF" warehouse. The “Check first allocation status” will still be “In progress” showing the other "CF" warehouse and its timeout. Then we need to wait for the other "CF" to accept, reject or time out:
      • If it accepts, the allocation changes, “on Hold” is removed and the order proceeds with this warehouse
      • If it rejects or the time out passes, there will be no allocation change. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence
    • Timeout: The timeout of the Priority 1 "CF" warehouse could pass which would make the request expire. The “Check first allocation status” will still be “In progress” showing the other “CF” warehouse and its timeout. Then we need to wait for the other "CF" to accept, reject or time out:
      • If it accepts, the allocation changes, “on Hold” is removed and the order proceeds with this warehouse
      • If it rejects or the time out passes, there will be no allocation change. The “on Hold” will be released and the regular order flow will commence
  4. The “Check first allocation status” will be set to “Not in progress” and the Order status will change to Pending, Confirmed or Processing depending on the state of the order.

Good to know

  • Split allocations are not possible on Check first warehouses. This means that the whole order needs to be fulfilled from one "Check first" warehouse. Otherwise, "Direct" warehouse(s) will be used instead.

    • Also note that in a case where a “Geography Priorities” section is configured in a way whereby a “Direct” warehouse precedes a "CF" warehouse and there is a split allocation scenario, the "CF" flow will not be triggered. Example: The “Geography Priorities” section includes the following warehouses: “Direct A” (prio 1), "CF" (prio 2), “Direct B” (prio 3). An order is placed with 5 items; “Direct A” has 4 items and “Direct B” 1 items, so there is a partial allocation according to the specified amounts. The items will be allocated to the Direct warehouses, and the "CF" flow will not be triggered.
  • If you are using Primary/Virtual warehouses in the Order API, please refrain from using "Check first" warehouses. This flow is not supported by this setup and you will not be able to use the Virtual warehouse functionality.

  • Placed an order that uses the "CF" flow but you want to cancel the "CF" request? Go to the order and click “Resume”. This will cancel all requests sent to any physical shops. The same will happen if you click “Cancel order” and the status will change to Cancelled.

  • The only way to trigger a "CF" request is to create a selection either through the website (Front-end) or from the admin panel in Centra. Find out more below about other actions on an order/shipment:

    • Allocating to a "CF" warehouse is not possible once an order is created - only Direct warehouses are available in the warehouse dropdown menu when clicking Allocate on an order.
    • Unallocating to a "CF" warehouse is only possible if the order was originally allocated to a "CF" warehouse, and the “Release items back to warehouse” (Auto) option is chosen on the unallocate action. If you choose “Send items to a different warehouse” the dropdown menu will only show Direct warehouses.
    • Cancelling to a "CF" warehouse is only possible if the order was originally allocated to a "CF" warehouse, and the “Release items back to warehouse” (Auto) option is chosen on the cancel action. If you choose “Send items to a different warehouse” the dropdown menu will only show Direct warehouses.
    • Returning to a "CF" warehouse is possible if the order was originally allocated to a "CF" warehouse, and the “Release items back to warehouse” (Auto) option is chosen on the return action. If you choose “Send items to a different warehouse” the dropdown menu will show both Direct and "CF" warehouses.
  • Once an order is rejected or timed out and the order flows continues with a "Direct" warehouse, the shipping method will change to the “Default shipping” selected in the Pricelist setup selected on the order. For example, if an order is to be fulfilled through a “Check first” warehouse with a 2h shipping method, but the store rejects it, it will then instead be fulfilled by the “Direct” warehouse. The “Direct” warehouse would use a different shipping method (i.e. 2-3 days, standard shipping).

  • In cases where a product is on preorder, or backorder is enabled and the product is out of stock, the “Check first” flow is skipped. Overall, it is not possible to create demand towards a “Check first” through preorder/backorder.

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