Hub's suppliers can prepare the invidual orders for the hub's customers

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kind of related to this, but an aside – I don’t really know excel at all. But I’m guessing its possible to print labels directly from excel? Do you know how? I’d like to share the process in a little ‘help sheet’ because I’ve been asked a few times how to go from an excel packing sheet (downloaded from OFN as CSV) to labels. ??


I think the notify producers button is more convenient than using the reports - in PCFC’s case a notify producer button would save 10+ producers from needing to login and filter the report correctly - notify producer seems easier and less error prone, to the extent that I can imagine PCFC continuing to email producers, to remove this room for error/miscommunication.


Here’s an example of what the packing labels look like for CLFC now with OFS. In our producers panel, there is just a link to “Print Labels” that pulls this up: (the blurred out lines are the customer names)

And when they print, all the page formatting is stripped away, leaving just the text data. So they get the hub location, member number (which we would enter in OFN under ‘code’), the producer name, product number/name/quantity, and the [NON] is for [REF]rigerated, [NON]-refrigerated, [FRO]zen. At our hub, the information is compared to the invoices to ensure the correct items are put with the correct orders.

There are options to print one label per item, or one per customer - so our producers can package everything for one customer together if they wish.

I’d imagine something similar could be easily accomplished with the data returned from the packing report. I’m not sure what the best way to do that from a CSV file would be. It would be a simple loop statement on the server. Maybe I could mock up a csv converter in PHP to test it out, since I’m not at all skilled in Ruby programming.


my thought was to just have a help sheet for users - and this would be outside of the OFN platform. I think there are a number of such sheets using the CSV data that we could develop. It would be more flexible than doing it inside the platform I think, and it could be done more quickly. We just need an excel power user to do these tip sheets, and then can share them widely. Do you know someone who would do this?


I think this would need Mail Merge in Word to work. I’ll play around with it and see what I can come up with.


my initial thought was mail merge too - and if someone set up and shared the word file so that all you had to do is:

  • download a csv (probably can use an existing report that has all the necessary info but could tweak if needed)
  • tell the word doc to use that csv and merge
  • print

but then I also did a quick google and this might be even quicker -

@CLFC do you want to have a play with that and see if it works? would save a couple of fiddle steps?


I had looked at the Avery label stuff too. My only issue relying on a 3rd party platform is they are subject to change without notice, or any sort of control. It wouldn’t be great to have a hub log in one day to find nothing works anymore. At least with a Word mail merge, there’s some relatively guaranteed consistency.

I’ll take on testing out a mail merge and post the file so others can test it too. Once the basic form is working, it would be easy enough to customize for individual shops/hubs as needed.

There seems to be a way to do it with Google Docs too. Maybe I’ll investigate that first, since it’s freely available to all, without needing an Office license/subscription.


if there’s a way to do it with google docs then it’s more likely that something relatively simple could be built to send the info directly to the google doc from OFN?


wow sync brain. I just finished my slack stalking with a quick check in to the UK and found that @lin_d_hop has got zapier sending info from OFN UK into a google doc, so it seems that this might be quite doable . .


I did a test with what appeared to be a free Docs addon (Smartsheet Merge), but turns out it’s only a 30 day free trial. Too bad, because the first test almost worked flawlessly.

Oh, even better! Found a free addon - autoCrat. Pulled the csv into Google Sheets, ran the addon, and it generated THIS lovely label doc. And the template is a really simple Google Doc with the field names in << >> double brackets. You can also add exceptions on the import, so that it will skip lines conditionally. IE: the csv has lines for total items, but the hub column is blank, so it skipped any rows with blank hub data. I should have also tried a test where it skipped anything with “Membership Fee” since those don’t need labels. (Actually, tried that, won’t work … buuuuuuut just deleting those rows from the spreadsheet does the job just fine!)

So that’s a possible solution, but I’m not confident that a lot of our producers would have the knowledge to do this themselves. We do have some who aren’t what you’d call tech savvy. It would also hinge on producers being able to see customer information from their hub orders in the packing reports.

We’d need to figure out a much more automated way to make that happen, even if the results are quite good. Otherwise it’s an extra job that would fall on our hub co-ordinators that would be very time sensitive, and require a separate merge for each individual supplier. Workable, but not exactly ideal.


So given this discussion @sstead it seems to me that the report fixing is the way to go as the usage possibilities of the data are much broader than the notify producers email. We can see later on if we want to improve producers UX by changing the email content.
Your label sheet looks awesome @CLFC!

This icebox item has been prioritize but only in 6th position in the priority list

As you were not here to pitch in our “pitching session” in Barcelona @tschumilas , if you want to propose changing the priority of this need I guess you can make a proposal. We sized the feature as “small”. I’ll open a thread for our “evolving top10 priority list” so that there is a space to propose evolutions of the list over time, we’ll see if that meets our need for agility here :wink:


So where and when do I make this ‘pitch’? Happy to do so. But my mind is to a larger discussion I recal from our Australia meeting and am looking for thoughts @MyriamBoure @Kirsten. I remember a discussion about reports where we were imagining the possibility of (I have the language wrong here) a system where a user can customize their own reports, rather than having OFN pre-made reports (or a combo). So as a user, I would go in and choose the data categories I wanted in a report and generate whatever I wanted. We did not prioritize this. But now I’m re-visiting because there are a couple of report-related issues looming here - the fees report, the above issue, there is another issue from @CLFC re: combersome way of using existing reports to generate customized producer invoices… So - all these 3 issues would be solved (?) if we went down the customized reports route - no? Is this worth a re-visit? (I LOVE the way you’ve taken on this syncing work @CLFC and this kind of thing could surely solve some of our challenges short term.)


@tschumilas here it is TOP10 priority needs evolution process

Whatever this “hidden” thing needs to be worked on before you get any data in your reports so it needs to be done first @tschumilas :wink: Then about reports if you think it is more prioritary than split payments (the other big job as rewritting reports and generate a big one will be a big job I guess) you can still share your arguments in the other thread. Apart from Split payment the other things are not big big things, we don’t want to have many big things at the same time as it becomes unmanageable. Especially for now that we have the Spree upgrade…


I’m a fan of that idea @tschumilas. Having customizable reports that give shops/hubs access to all the data OFN offers (which is a lot, and that’s awesome!) - but letting them choose the data they need - would be great.

I also agree with @MyriamBoure though, it’s a major overhaul of the reporting system, and that’s a big job. Not just from the coding perspective, but also from the design perspective. How do you make the UI simple and understandable … and turn that into an easy to read/use report with so many variables. It can certainly be done, but it’s not a small task.

The coder in me wants to dig into it and try to make it myself. But I’d have to learn a couple of new languages and frameworks first, and that takes too long. lol


Both are important here and in fact users use 3 different methods for packing their orders:

  1. Notification emails
  2. Order management
  3. Reports

A solution should take all three into account otherwise it will only be a partial solution satisfying a subset of users.

Enable to identify customer on orders view
Notify Producers email to include customer details

I’d like to propose that in this issue we package three different issues that continually are raised:

  1. Reports: Hub's suppliers can prepare the invidual orders for the hub's customers
  2. Emails: Notify Producers email to include customer details
  3. Order Management View Enable to identify customer on orders view (this is a different issue but there is overlap)

The packaging of these three issues solves a often raised UX issue for producers in a complete way and gives a level of consistency to the UX which would be missing if only one of these was tackled.

In defining potential solutions to this issue there is a forth step to include, mentioned in many places:

  1. Create a UI that allows Hubs to share customer permissions with Producers.

This final step is important for GDPR reasons as stated by others above. The UI should allow sharing for customer details on a producer by producer basis.


So if I read you properly @lin_d_hop you are starting to do some inception and share reflexion about the scope of this feature :slight_smile:

So the need remains to enable producers to easily prepare the orders for the individual customers. For that you suggest that there should be multiple stories:

  • the producer needs to see customer name in reports
  • she needs to receive the customer details in the notify producer email ? (I would personally discuss that, I disagree, I think if we include all customers detail the “summary” email of what was ordered is going to be huge, I would rather redirect to the reports for customers detail, but I agree that we can at least review the template of the email)
  • she needs to have the authorization from buyer to have access to his/her personal details. For me this should be included in the terms of sales and might not require a specific UI. We need to check, but anyway that is part of the scope I agree.

Anyway, the three points above for me will be discussed in the inception stage where we brainstorm about the things to be done and how we do them, if we do all in one iteration or multiple iterations, etc. So I think prioritizing this wishlist will cover discussing those points. So as there are 6 votes I think we are going to do the inception very soon, and if you want to drive that inception you will be most welcome to :slight_smile:

About 3. As you say enable to identify customer on order view is a different story, even if as you say I see some connexion (linked to enable everyone to prepare orders, not only producers), I would rather prioritize two smaller features than try to pack them all in a big one that takes weeks and months to do… don’t you think ? If we prioritize 5 small things, then we can have another round of voting for next things earlier, that would be great !

Notify Producers email to include customer details

Yeah, basically starting inception based on the fact it has 6 votes and is likely to go through. It felt like between wishlists there was a bit of duplicate based on the actual user need (“Hubs Producers Can Prepare the Individual orders for the hub’s customers”).

So I thought I’d just link things together ready for the inception process so that we don’t miss anything strictly linked to the user need.

I agree that 3 is totally separate, but without 3 for producers this functionality does not satisfy the user need so I thought it was worth linking.

I agree to keep things small. Doing Enable to identify customer on orders view is a tiny issue alone so if that get’s voted as well it would make sense to do it first.


autoCrat is indeed nice option; another, more flexible one is to populate a single spreadsheet from external CSV (OFN report?), and then use other spreadsheets in the same documents to generate different views, report, tables, layouts… opt. with print page jumps, you name it.

The only thing the hub managers then needs to do is link the “template” to the data csv url (maybe with a unique token as security measure), open the template to trigger a data update, and export to pdf (or other).
OFN could then provide for a library of beautiful report templates, adapted by the community.

I adapted the script from


I realize we’ve prioritized this feature. BUT I also know we’ve put new issues on the back burner for at least the first half of the year (I suspect longer). I have 2 hubs where the producers need to know the names of their customers - and they need this now. Can you tell me - what is this Katuma hack referred to and is there a way OFN-CAN could apply this hack - as a temp solution - until the new feature is developed? I’m looking for temporary solutions here. (@CLFC)