event - closing availability

hello.
i've been wanting to create an event that doesn't allow costumers to book items on certain dates but i do want the staff to be able to add or change bookings on those dates.
is that possible?

thanks.

Comments

  • I too, desperately need this functionality. My workaround at the moment is to disable the item event, edit the booking, and then re-enable the item event. Every single time.
  • Same here!

  • LenkaLenka Checkfront
    Thank you all for participating in this forum!

    You may find useful the 'Overbooking allowance' rule enabled for staff only. 

    If you'd like us to provide more concrete examples within your account, feel free to send our support team a message from within your account.

    Cheers,
    Lenka - Checkfront Support Team
  • edited April 4
    The "overbooking allowance" doesn't fix the problem. I need to be able to shut down bookings for a date that is full, but still edit and accept new ones on a case by case basis. I have multiple services so the business is staff-limited not inventory-limited.
  • LenkaLenka Checkfront
    Hello maggisam and parawing742,

    Thanks for your feedback!

    If an item's inventory is set to 'unavailable' it means that the stock never runs out and there's no need for an overbooking rule. You may want to set the item's inventory to a specific quantity, for example, 200, in order that you are able to adjust the stock for a specific date range on the inventory calendar. 

    parawing742, according to your comments, you may find useful editing the inventory calendar based on your staff's availability since there is an option to reduce/increase stock per each item/day/timeslot.
    For your information, we are currently working on a resource management that should solve the issues you are currently dealing with.  Feel free to follow our recently released improvements on our updates page.

    I hope this helps.  Feel free to provide more concrete examples within your account and send us an email to support@checkfront.com. In this way, we will likely be able to find a better solution for your specific needs.  

    Lenka
    Checkfront Support Team
  • edited April 5
    Let me explain the issue I'm running into: I have 10 different rental inventory products all of which are physically available. However, we can only book between 2 and 6 on any given date since there isn't enough staff to deliver/operate the equipment. What I'm doing right now is creating Item Events to disable further bookings once a day is "full." The problem I'm running into is it makes it a pain to edit or change reservations (which happens a lot in my business) because the Item Event prevents further editing even from the staff interface. So when a customer calls in to change something, I have to find the Item Event, disable it, edit their reservation, and then re-enable the Item Event.

    Editing the Inventory Calendar could be a workaround, but I tried that a few years ago before switching to Item Events and it got very complicated. If I edit out all the inventory to 0 when a date is full, we also have to remember to add back all the inventory whenever there is a cancellation (which is a frequent occurrence).

    Ideally, there would be a way to easily disable customer-facing bookings for a specific day while still allowing staff to make changes or even add new bookings without constantly messing with Item Events.
  • LenkaLenka Checkfront
    Hi parawing742,

    Thanks for clarifying.
    As per your explanation, I would suggest to set up the item's inventory to 2 and create an overbooking ruleset: 8 (staff only). In this way, you allow for booking up to 2 rental products (customer-facing) while still allowing staff to add new bookings (up to 8 additional products).
    When a booking is cancelled, the locked inventory is automatically released and your inventory calendar is updated. I would definitely recommend you manage your stock per day by using the inventory calendar instead of creating new item events, which sounds much more complicated to manage. 

    I would be happy to check your current setup and provide you with more concrete examples. Feel free to send me an email from within your Checkfront account directly.

    Lenka
    Checkfront Support Team

  • edited April 6
    I can't set an item inventory to 2 because there is only 1 of each item and I don't want to overbook individual items that don't exist. I want to be able to cut off customer-facing bookings on a day to day basis. Unless I'm missing something, Checkfront isn't capable of doing this so I'm left using clunky workarounds with Item Events.

    As I already explained, I used the Inventory Calendar several years ago and it is far more prone to errors because we had to update stock across 10 different products any time a change is made. I even tried using a dummy inventory item (grouped product) to control bookings that I could update on the Inventory Calendar so I only had to change one item, but that didn't work because the customer-facing calendar doesn't account for the availability of add-on products so it showed green across the entire calendar regardless of if the item was available or not (you can see a support ticket from several years ago about this if you look at my account). If that bug was fixed, that workaround would be usable as well.

    The Item Events is equally complicated, but it's less prone to inventory errors being introduced so that's why I'm using it. Once again, the real solution would be to have a way to suspend customer-facing bookings per day without locking down the admin interface entirely or fix the availability calendar bug.
  • RyanRyan Checkfront
    Hello parawing742,

    Thanks for clarifying this for us. It sounds like the way you are managing your rental availability is largely dependent on your staff schedule. 

    There is a way to manage staff schedules by creating an item to represent your staff (with an inventory of 2 in your case). You can then attach an item event to the staff item called Schedule. The Schedule item event could be set to weekly and have an overbooking rule that would allow overbooking only on certain days depending on your staff schedule.
    In the video below I set up a staff schedule so that for the month of May I have 4 staff that are available Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and the remainder of the week I have 2 staff available.

    Here is a brief silent video showing how something like this would look

    I tested this by making two test bookings on May 9th. This would take up the inventory of the staff for this day. Wednesday the 9th is unavailable for bookings because the two staff on that day are already booked. 

    I then also manually adjusted the Staff item in the inventory Calendar on Friday the 10th to a value of 0. This also displayed on the customer-facing calendar. 
    Here is a screenshot showing the customer-facing calendar on these dates. 

    Although this suggestion is a workaround, I hope this helps make the day to day process a bit easier for you and your team. Our product team is currently looking at improving the way in which Staff are allocated to items in Checkfront. I will submit this feedback to them so that they can keep this in mind as they work to improve features in Checkfront.

    I hope you have a great day!

    Thank you,

    Ryan
    Checkfront Support Team
  • Thanks Ryan. I'll play around with what you suggested and see if any better solutions emerge. I'm not sure this particular one you suggested will work though since the actual number of events that we can run on a given day is different every single day. There's no pattern where certain days have the same amount of staff available.

    Some of the other solutions I'm looking at have staff allocation where an inventory item has a field that indicates how many staff are required for that service so that the staff are not overbooked.
  • Hello.

    I've been using Checkfront for a couple of years or so and Resource Management is top of my wish list. So I add my voice to this thread. Please keep us informed and let us know when it will be ready.

    In the mean time this is how Kingfisher Journeys needs to use Resource Management:

    We have 10 kayaks and run only guided trips. These can be an hour, a half day, full day, two days, four days... you get the picture. So our trips are limited by the number of kayaks and guides - but there could be multiple other resources. When only one guide is available, Checkfront should allow just one trip to be booked at a time up to the number if kayaks. And when two guides are available we can run two trips etc.

    The inventory of each item should therefore depend on the allocations of the multiple resources that it depends on. And setting the availability of resources should be similar to creating an Event (ie you can say they are always available except when not or vice versa). Please, please do not require changes to resource availability to require changing the number on each day or time slot.

    Furthermore, Checkfront should also be able to optionally allocate a specific resource to each booking - which could be done automatically or manually. Then a report could show which resources were in use for each booking and if the resource is a person they should be able to log in (with their own class of login account) to see their own work schedules (and the other resources they should use for each booking).

    When developing Resource Management please also consider this use case: Due to safety rules we must always have One qualified leader for each trip. However if there are more than 6 clients, then we use either two qualified leaders or one qualified leader and one assistant leader. Note that in this case a qualified leader can also be an assistant leader.

    Please also consider that some resources will take multiple clients but others will be allocated one at a time. For example whilst a single kayak will take one person at a time, a double kayak will need two people to use it - but these two people may come from two separate bookings. 

    I hope that's helpful. Please keep us posted.
    This is urgently needed, so we're looking forward to hearing good news soon. 

    thanks 
    Steve
  • Steve, your solution would work for me as well. Although I have a completely different business, the human resources are the limiting factor that dictate how many bookings I can take on a particular day. Like you, I also have inventory items that use more staff than others so product/parameter settings simply don't work. If I could put in Checkfront that I have three staff available as a default and then a method similar to the existing Inventory Calendar where I could alter that staff number on a day to day basis, it would make using Checkfront far more simply that the clunky workarounds I've been using for years. Thank for you writing it out in such detail.
  • RavennaRavenna Checkfront
    Hi Everyone, 

    Great feedback, please keep the scenarios coming! I feel confident that the changes we have in progress will accommodate the bulk of these scenarios.

    It is important to keep in mind that we are creating a platform that needs to be flexible enough to accommodate many different business models while maintaining intuitive use. Often, daily workflow needs can vary, and depending on the complex flexibility needed for your business, we may not be able to accommodate the perfect automated solution for you. However, I believe we are pretty close to that mark. 

    I look forward to having an environment where we can sit down and test the needs of users against the solutions we are building. Please note that there will be different levels of testing (earlier testing may have less functionality) and limited spaces are available. If you've requested to be on that list, or have voiced interest within the forum, we hope to be in contact with you throughout the upcoming months. 

    Best, 

    Ravenna
  • News please. When is this coming? I have to do a massive amount of admin to balance all our trips, we keep getting double bookings and having to beg my staff to work when they have taken leave because Checkfront still does not have resource management. Please make it work very soon
  • RavennaRavenna Checkfront
    edited July 20
    Hi SteveV, 

    Thanks for reaching out. While I'm unable to provide you with a set date for this release, I can say that our team has made much progress towards it in the last quarter. Our immediate goal in the next quarter is to begin testing some of these core changes with our customers to ensure that we've meet the basic needs of these business models. 

    If you are needing/waiting for updates that allow you to control for assets and staff, please (if you haven't already done so) contact our support team to be added to our list of customers for feedback and beta testing. Please note: there is limited space for these discussions and not all customers will be contacted to participate in every step. 

    If you are not able to talk with us, your input is still incredibly valuable. We read and use every use case you send us, so please keep them coming! You can send these to our support team Attn: Product  

    Best,

    Ravenna
    Product Manager
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