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The e-commerce.



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Hi, I was hoping I could get some feedback from the community on possible solutions to problems I'm facing right now, maybe integrated into OSC, maybe something else you have experience with.


My situation:


We started selling snowboarding socks online last year. We had bought an overstocked batch and thought we'd unload the at Ebay. One thing led to another and now we're creating our own brand. I'll be using OSC for the ecommerce and was hoping to integrate some kind of communtiy and customer relationship management (CRM) with OSC, but I've found myself in desperate need of solutions now.


My problem:


I'm sourcing the manufacturing of our product to mills. I have a couple problems here:


1) Right now I still work a 9-5 schedule, so I'm doing business the best I can from mulitple locations. My Inbox is literally flooded with emails and I find myself getting up at 5am to respond to them and staying up until 12am (to respond to them).


2) I'm communicating with literally 75 - 100 mills. It's difficult enough to organize all the email, but even more difficult is figuring out the status of negotiations with any given mill (i.e. whether I mailed them a sample, whether I received a sample, whether they've submitted a quote, what that quote is, etc.).


Basically, I'm looking for an online solution where I can respond to emails, organize them by company, and show a quick status of negotiations with that company. I'm not sure whether there is a solution out there for this, or something that could be customized to meet the need.


The flip side of the problem:


We have a dozen or so customers that have agreed to help us and give us feedback on our products, image, etc. I had organized a mailing list, but it doesn't seem sufficient. Is there a bulletin board system integrated with a mailing list from which I can communicate with these customers and send them files. Something similar to the PMB (Private Message Board, I think???) system the Elance.com has set up. The PMB posts messages to a bulletin board and emails the other party. Other party can respond at the bulletin board or just repond by email, with attachements, which are both posted back to the bulletin board. Taking that even a step further having the choice of posting on a public or private basis.


We will be working with a business solutions company to (hopefully) integrate all of this into OSC, but that is still months down the road and I was hoping to find a solution within the week that will hold us until then. On the integration note, I'd hope that we can come up with a strong enough solution to post these applications/integrations back to the community. I'd be interested whether anyone else has challenges like this.



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I have no idea what interbikes said, but censorship? Come on, that's not very open source like. It must somehow be related to OSC or it wouldn't be posted. I would think any ideas presented could and would eventually benefit the community and the project. Censorship like this makes me question whether to go with and/or contribute to OSC.


Help us out here, you're in a position of power in the communities. We understand the purpose of the censorship and the need to keep on topic, but like I said ideas are the currency. Forums are for support and brainstorming. Let it ride.


That would be cool.





P.S. Read "The Cluetrain Manifesto"...

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Its because I gave an external and helpfull link, apparently not able to do that here.


Goto www.sourceforge.com and search for oscommerce. You will find a project called ossuite. Try that.


PS - The information I gave had everything to do with osc and the problem at hand. I doubt It would make much difference to osc.

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