I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I'm running my site & business, and having had several months to see how things are working, I see a number of areas needing improvement. Things are pretty inefficient right now, and to do what I aim to over time I need to streamline things a lot. I'm trying to plan well ahead and need as integrated a solution as I can construct (and afford). I'm planning to use mySQL & PHP. My brother is very versed in SQL (oracle) & the logic behind a well structured database, and he spent a lot of time this past weekend getting me familiar with the concepts and structuring table relationships.
So far, I think I've settled on Mambo for CMS and dynamic website creation. I think it probably also makes sense to implement a php based cart and drop the service I'm using with the goal of further integration. It could also make sense to integrate inventory management as a part of my database ... but here's my problem.
I'm currently using QuickBooksPro to manage the inventory as well as keep my books. I'm trying to integrate systems, and I don't like the idea of separating my inventory management from my accounting (or my site management from my inventory). I'd like to keep transactions in QBP because it is so seamlessly tied into my merchant account, and because w/ an upgrade I can use QBPs new UPS shipping integration. Also, I like the way QPB handles the accountant interface, and most accountants use QBP.
How do sophisticated retailers do this? If I add a product, I'd like to do that once, with my site, inventory tracking and accounting sourcing the same data. If set up right, I should be able to flick a switch and a product will be displayed as on sale on the site, and in my sales receipt interface.
My long term plans include more than one site which will only be possible with highly refined data management & very streamlined order processing. I could use a little insight from those w/ experience in this area.
Edited by arlen, 31 January 2005 - 11:02 PM.