I switched to Bodek and Rhodes in January and have since done about $40,000 with them in the last 6 months. I even deleted all of my sanmar products and various other supplier products and simplified my offering with just bodek and rhodes products. My sales rep has accepted a position at Alpha and I'm pretty sure will continue to be my rep. I am extremely happy with Bodek and after the buyout I hope Alpha offers me the same level of support.
From reading the blog post it says that, "As of the 13th of June all Bodek & Rhodes products will need to be live ordered using alphabroder’s live ordering system"
I'm not really a fan of the live ordering system, its been available to us for a while now and I've chosen to abstain from using it, heres why:
I like to review each and every one of my orders before they are put in and my card is charged
Shipping - We get screen printing orders for as low as 12/pcs. I am not going to pay supplier shipping rates for 12/pcs, ($24 worth of shirts and $20+ in shipping) no thanks. I would hold that order until a larger one came through that broke the free shipping threshold and combine them. Sometimes we don't get a new order for a day or two when its slow.
Timing/Warehouses/Availability - If a customer orders a size run of a style/product like S x 24, M x 48, L x 72, XL x 24 and that style is completely sold out in XL at all shipping facilities across the board, I like to be able to catch it before the order goes in and convince them to choose a similar style with immediate availability. I see this all the time with brands like bella canvas and next level. Some big company like customink goes in and buys out everyone's XL's at every warehouse to replenish their on-hand stock. Putting smaller companies like ours at a disadvantage. You'd think these large companies would just order direct from the manufacturer but the reality is that on orders like that they would save a few cents on each garment but would have to wait until the textile factory loom actually produced an order of that size (months) so they just buy from a 3rd party supplier to have that particular style/size in a matter of days.
Misprints - We almost always order additional pcs per style/size in case of misprints. Putting in another order for 2/pcs can cost a lot (refer to "shipping", above). It can also lead to missed deadlines and POed customers. With live ordering it seems that it would just put in an order for the exact amount of pcs required.
Change Orders - For instance, a customer puts in a rush order for shirts and realizes that they forgot 2 people, they call you 6 hours later and request that you add those 2 extra shirts to their order. If the original order they placed has already been submitted to the supplier and they have already gone through picking, it may be too late to tack those on to your order. This results in lost profits because of additional shipping and handling charges. If you tell the customer that it'll cost $30-$40 more they are not going to be happy. I like to hold my orders for at least 24hrs before submitting to my supplier.
Available Funds - As a small business owner my bank accounts are a roller coaster. One day I can have $8k in my checking account and the next only have $400 depending on what equipment or supplies we had to purchase or lease payments, payroll, etc that we had to cover its a constant up and down scenario because the bills never stop coming. I don't like supplier credit because I prefer to just pay upfront for garments even on net-30 jobs it gives me a better view of my actual available funds. If I got an order for 350 shirts that cost $2/ea ($700) and it was live ordered and say my bank account only had $500 in it I could be looking at some overdraft fees, which is obviously not good.
Not sure if some of these already exist or not, but I would need to see some new features added to this before we could even consider using this.
1) Hold all orders for review before sending to supplier.
2) Merge or transfer items to different PO's.
3) Shipping calculator (based on your companies' free shipping threshold) with optional "Don't send until threshold is met" feature.
4) Live on-sale pricing adjustment (based on actual suppliers' daily/weekly deals).
5) Automatic + accurate supplier pricing based on your order volume (pulled from your supplier account credentials) - A lot of the time when I import a new product to my available products list the supplier price listed is wildly inaccurate, sometime much higher or much lower than what the blank garment actually costs, so this means I have to manually go in to each and every product and alter it to ensure we don't lose money or price ourselves out of a sale. This makes the supplier catalog import feature useless and forces us to import products one-by-one. Which isn't a concern if you've only got a few products but when you're dealing with hundreds like we used to its a major time investment. Side note:This also effects us in the "categories" section of product config because the standard "apparel" section DN set-up by default is very messy and clunky, we customize ours and place products in the correct categories so front end users can get to what they need quicker.
6) Closest warehouse ordering or a warehouse dropdown on PO's with accurate live available inventory, I don't want all of my products to come from different warehouses and I like to have full control over where they come from and when we'll receive them.
7) Order additional pcs box on PO's or a tick box that says order +1 or +2 all styles/sizes (maybe an additional for "exclude 2XL and Up")
Please correct me if I am wrong about any of this or if these features are actually available but this is probably why many of us are not using the live ordering feature.
you can already do a lot of the things you are talking about with live ordering. Just because you have live ordering enabled does not mean that it is going to place an order each time you enter an order in the manager. You still manually have to go in and create the purchase order for what ever supplier you have selected in your orders. We are a small company like you and I always wait to create a purchase order until I have enough items on the order to get the free shipping. Hate paying shipping... any way also on the purchase orders you can select which items you want to order extra for, they call it for stock and those items will up the count of the items that will be ordered. I like your idea of the check boxes though to order the +1 or +2 of each item. That would save a lot of time going through and entering the extra.
They do not however have the ability with AlphaBroder to select the warehouse it is coming from but they do with SanMar. Also if you are like me I only have AlphaBroder products in my catalog but I will sometimes place an order from a different distributor especially since Broder dropped the ability for me to get one day shipping from them. So I might place the order from TSC or someone else which will cause the live ordering to break.
But you can hold on to items until you have enough and you can order extra for orders. The other items you mentioned are not implemented yet.
As Brian said much of what you asked for is already there. You can add additional items to the PO by entering the quantity in the "Allocate for stock" field. Not exactly a +1 or +2 checkbox. What if we include a small [ + ] icon on the line item so you can click it as much as you want to add more/ Each click being a +1 added to the line.