Feedback for New Inventory Calendar Experience

I already sent some feedback using the "feedback" button on the new Inventory Calendar page, but since this is now a public announcement, it is useful to have a common place to share everyone's opinion.


https://support.checkfront.com/hc/en-us/articles/360052837353

The new, improved experience provides the following benefits...

  • A fresh modern look. As with other recent improvements, the new look and feel provides ease of use and a consistent experience throughout the app.

—> indeed, the look is in par with the latest series of updates.


  • Improved performance.  Spend less time waiting for pages to load.

—> yes and no.

Yes the page initially loads faster, because no items' availability is loaded/displayed.

No, because it requires to click on every category and/or item you want to see its availability. (the "Expand Row" button is helpful, but this is still a tedious task if you want to check many items/categories)

—> could we have a "Expand All" button as well ?

—> could we have a "Expand All Parents" button too ?  (see my comment below about serialised items)

—> also, when scrolling quickly through the list, the refreshing of the display is pretty slow, which wasn't the case with the previous version (and I have a pretty descent computer…)


  • More information upfront including smarter default settings. Calendar view now defaults to six weeks instead of two.

—> luckily for me, the 6 weeks is what I use. 

But maybe it is not the most suitable for every users ?

Could this "option" be included in the "Profile / Remember last-used filters" setting ? 


  • A more complete picture of availability. See how much inventory is left per date and time, the base availability prior to any bookings, and the number of bookings consuming that inventory.

—> this is where it hurts the most for me: while the color code (grey/blue/yellow/red) is a great idea, its implementation is not the most useful:

using font colour changes on a single digit number makes it very to distinguish!

—> at least it should be background colour changes. or even the entire cell background colour.


—> Since CheckFront does allow for serialised items, the only work around (to my knowledge) is to have 1 item for each serialised product, and make them children of the standard product (being the parent).  In this case, all items then have a quantity of 1….

But in the new version, the number of available items is not shown for the parent anymore!


—> also, it now takes 2 lines to show the availability of an item; meaning there is half of the items displayed on the screen!
Taking into consideration my Parent-Children structure, I can only 5 to 8 items at the time (on a non zoom-out page).


As you can see on the 2 attached pictures, while not perfect, it was a lot easier to have a global view of availability with the old version vs the new version (zoomed-out on this pic):







Thanks for listening.

Comments

  • BrittanyBrittany Checkfront
    edited November 18
    Hi @Dedric,

    It’s great to hear from you and thanks for posting about our recent Inventory Calendar update.

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve found the new look to be easier to use as well as more consistent with the rest of Checkfront.

    1. Improved performance.  Spend less time waiting for pages to load.

    We’re currently looking into ways of having categories and/or items expanded by default so we’re looking forward to having a solution for this soon.

    I really like the idea of an  “Expand All” button and have passed your thoughts over to our Product team -- please keep an eye on the in-app updates for this improvement.

    I can’t seem to reproduce any loading issues when quickly scrolling. May I ask that you send us a screen recording of this behaviour to support@checkfront.com

    2. More information upfront including smarter default settings. Calendar view now defaults to six weeks instead of two.

    We’ve made sure to include the Inventory Calendar in the recent Profile & Remembered Filters update.

    3. A more complete picture of availability. See how much inventory is left per date and time, the base availability prior to any bookings, and the number of bookings consuming that inventory.

    I’ve made a note of your colour prominence preferences for the Inventory Calendar and we’ll let you know if we end up making any of these suggested changes.

    Please note that using a Parent item for inventory values is not the intended use of them. Child items are intended to host the availability and the Parent is intended to simply organize those Child items into a dropdown.

    By default, when making an item into a parent, its inventory is switched to ‘unlimited’ for this reason. While we could certainly improve this and avoid confusion in the future, Parent items are not intended for this.

    For your Parent-Children structure and new view limitations, this is something on our radar also. While it’s not something we’ll be improving immediately, I’d like to learn more about what is essential to you on the Inventory Calendar. Does anything come to mind whereby if it were removed from the view that it could give you more space back? Or, are you hoping to have everything in view just with more space?

    Thanks again for taking the time to chat about this update and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,
    Brittany
    Technical Support Specialist & Operations Lead
    Checkfront | www.checkfront.com/contact | Email: support@checkfront.com
  • Hi Brittany.
    Here are my additional comments: (in bold)


    I’m glad to hear that you’ve found the new look to be easier to use as well as more consistent with the rest of Checkfront.

    1. Improved performance.  Spend less time waiting for pages to load.

    We’re currently looking into ways of having categories and/or items expanded by default so we’re looking forward to having a solution for this soon.
    —> great

    I really like the idea of an  “Expand All” button and have passed your thoughts over to our Product team -- please keep an eye on the in-app updates for this improvement.

    In the mean time, it would help if the categories were initially collapsed. then it's easier to click on the expand button of each category (which expands all items in that category) without the need to scroll (and find!) the next category.


    I can’t seem to reproduce any loading issues when quickly scrolling. May I ask that you send us a screen recording of this behaviour to support@checkfront.com

    —> here is the speed diff between the 2 versions when scrolling up and down through the inventory:
    https://p17.f3.n0.cdn.getcloudapp.com/items/bLu0Y0Yx/Inventory%20Calendar%20Speed%20-%20Previous%20vs%20New.mov

    2. More information upfront including smarter default settings. Calendar view now defaults to six weeks instead of two.

    We’ve made sure to include the Inventory Calendar in the recent Profile & Remembered Filters update.
    —> great!

    3. A more complete picture of availability. See how much inventory is left per date and time, the base availability prior to any bookings, and the number of bookings consuming that inventory.

    I’ve made a note of your colour prominence preferences for the Inventory Calendar and we’ll let you know if we end up making any of these suggested changes.
    —> the colour shades were so helpful in the previous version...

    Please note that using a Parent item for inventory values is not the intended use of them. Child items are intended to host the availability and the Parent is intended to simply organize those Child items into a dropdown.
    —> since CheckFront still doesn't offer a way to track serialised items, this is the only option.
    I even tried the Beta version of your Ressource Management, and it still doesn't work (but this is a separate discussion - see my ticket 242117)

    "intended" or not (which is just a subjective interpretation anyway), as a matter of fact, it would be helpful to see the count (avail/total) of Children, as it was in the previous version.
    (
    By default, when making an item into a parent, its inventory is switched to ‘unlimited’ for this reason. While we could certainly improve this and avoid confusion in the future, Parent items are not intended for this.
    —> From your own published documentation 
    https://support.checkfront.com/hc/en-us/articles/360007155334-Inventory-Calendar-Classic-Product-Grouping-Display
    Product Grouping Inventory Display
    If you are using product grouping with any of your items, the behaviour on the inventory calendar is a little different in that it displays the total available inventory for all the child items combined.

    I see in the New Calendar Experience release documentation:
    The sum of availability is no longer displayed on the parent so that you can focus on what is actually bookable at the child-level.
    while for some business this may be true, it's possibly a very important piece of info for others.
    Could the display of the sum be an option then ?

    For your Parent-Children structure and new view limitations, this is something on our radar also. While it’s not something we’ll be improving immediately, I’d like to learn more about what is essential to you on the Inventory Calendar. Does anything come to mind whereby if it were removed from the view that it could give you more space back? Or, are you hoping to have everything in view just with more space?
    —> I don't need the "Base availability: x" after each item, as for each booking slot you see the avail/total.
    —> On items bookable "per day", there is no need to expand. further. the availability could be displayed on the same row as the item's name (instead of the line under). For businesses like me where most items' booking unit is "per day", that would save half the [vertical] space, allowing to display twice as many items on the screen.
    This would probably require the 1st column to be less wide and trunk the item's name if too long.

    —> with my inventory structure, since I have to account for serialised items, almost all of my [Child] items have an inventory of 1, and are grouped in a Parent item (describing the product).
    I therefore, don't need the count of avail/total for each item. I'd be happy with just a colour! (and the sum for the Parent)
    (now of course I understand this doesn't apply to all businesses model).

    With the new Side Panel, all info about the related booking/availability are nicely presented.

    Thanks again for taking the time to chat about this update and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

    I hope this all makes [some] sense, and helps.
    Thanks
  • BrittanyBrittany Checkfront
    Hi Dedric,

    Thanks for your quick follow up!

    Category collapse default

    I can certainly see why having categories collapse by default would be helpful for ease of use especially in accounts with many categories so I passed this idea along.

    Scroll load times

    Thank you for the screen recording! I have included this for our Development team to investigate.

    Parent inventory

    I do apologize for the confusion! This Knowledge Base article includes inaccurate information and I’ve since reported this to our Knowledge Base team. That said, I understand that the workaround you’ve implemented has become an important aspect for managing your inventory. I submitted a feature request that suggests the sum of the children be displayed similar to the old Inventory Calendar.

    Product grouping format improvement suggestions

    These are great points which I have relayed as well. I agree - day and night items could benefit from not having an expansion since there are no specific times involved so the inventory could be more upfront.

    Individual SKUs

    Eventually, I do believe that V4 will become more suitable for you given that you SKU your items and we’ll continue to keep an eye on your previous feature requests related to that.

    Side panel

    It’s so great to hear that the Side Panel has been a helpful addition when you’re managing inventory.

    As always, please let us know if we can assist further or if you have any additional insight.

    Have a great weekend,
    Brittany
    Technical Support Specialist & Operations Lead
    Checkfront | www.checkfront.com/contact | Email: support@checkfront.com
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