Sharing product lists & inventories among suppliers

In Canada, suppliers for the food hubs interested in OFN tend to be smaller scaled, and spread over great distances. Right now, in most of the food hubs I work with (who are not yet using OFN), suppliers can see each others product, price and stock details in the hub shop. They like that because it gives more of a sense of being a community versus being competitors with each other. They can put more stock on offer if they see another supplier’s stock is ‘sold out’. AND, they can contact each other after the cycle closes and help each other by trading off deliveries of each others products to the hub.

So - I wonder how OFN might facilitate this community building among suppliers.

  1. Could we make it an option for suppliers to see each other’s products (and prices) in a given order cycle? @MyriamBoure has raised this idea in relation to consumers sharing contact info, but here I’m wondering about suppliers.

  2. Are there any open source tools (maybe distinct from OFN right now) that might help producers (or consumers) to coordinate pick-ups/deliveries after an OC closes? I’m guessing there must be something (route planning? or tools used for ride sharing?). Even if it was not ‘integrated’ with OFN - we could link to the tool and suggest it to suppliers/consumers. I think even suggesting this kind of cooperation signals the kind of ethics that set OFN apart from proprietary and more corporate platforms.

I think suppliers can see each other’s product and price details in the shop? stock would be a different thing, but could potentially be considered in the inventory overhaul (allowing visibility of inventory lists to other enterprises)

re. transport - we did some work on this in a hackathon a few years ago and got to something reasonably workable, that enabled people to see what food needed to move where and send email if they could take it. originially envisioned with a bidding system, but probably that wouldn’t be needed

the code is here - and I think @oeoeaio did have another server running it, but was just before I went on mat leave and have lost track of where we left it.

so something like this could easily be done, building on what’s already there. and developers wouldn’t need to be fully fledged ofn - it just works off a csv import of one of the reports (can’t remember which one but could work it out)

Rob - do you have any idea if/where a working demo might be?

Hm, it def wasn’t me who set up a server with this on it. To the best of my knowledge we never got around to it, but I could be wrong…

sorry @Kirsten - I wasn’t very clear in the post. Quite right - suppliers can see each other’s products now. But in the hubs I’m showing OFN to right now, the software they are using shows how many units are available for each product and this is what producers like - they can see what is selling and what is not. I understand that all hubs don’t have such a group of community minded producers - some might be more competitive and not want to see each others stock amounts. But it could possible be at the option of the cycle coordinator or something?

FYI - here is a link to the hub I’m meeting with this week - they are quite a large hub. One of their members built the software for them years ago - hasn’t been maintained - and they are looking at OFN. I’m setting up a pilot for them (some suppliers, some customers) and they’ll run that for a month or so to see if OFN meets their needs. I think they might have some funds to contribute to new feature development - esp some of the work we have in the pipeline.