Feedback for Inventory Calendar Improvement (release 27/01/21)

Hi,

This is a place to report feedback on the "improvement of New Inventory Calendar Experience", released a couple days ago:
https://updates.checkfront.com/recent-improvements-and-bug-fixes-180790

I'll leave this link to another related thread:
Feedback for New Inventory Calendar Experience
https://www.checkfront.com/forum/discussion/2572/feedback-for-new-inventory-calendar-experience/p1


here is some feedback on the latest version of the New Inventory Calendar:


  • EXPAND ROWS:

Very helpful, and a good start (see below)


  • POS UPDATES:

Very helpful feature.


  • SPEED:

this is a tricky one. What you see doesn't necessarily reflect what is happening in the background.

if you collapse all items of a category (little icon on the far right side of the category name), then the items' availability for this category is not loaded when changing the date/date period. The Expand/Collapse status dictates what is loaded or not (internet use).

If you just hide the items in a category (little arrow on the left of the category name), this doesn't impact on what is loaded or not. This is done on your browser side, with no use of internet.

So if you unhide all categories, but collapse them all, then no item availability is loaded on a date change. This is very quick.
But if you expand all your categories, all items will be loaded on a date change, even if you hide all categories. This can be very long !

In fact, in my case, changing the date takes at least 1,5 minute!!!

This is absolutely un-usable…

Could we have an additional "Expand/Collapse ALL" button at the very top of the page ?


  • AVAILABILITY DISPLAY (QUANTITY):

As explain in my feedback from the first change (see the thread above), displaying the availability numbers for each item is not necessarily the best option for all businesses.

For all businesses that have items with a quantity of 1, and a Parent-Child structure, the current display doesn't offer an easy overview of the availability. 

Anyone like me who need to identify items down to their unique serial number would have this structure, since CheckFront doesn't offer any other way to do it.

I can also think for instance, hotels, with Categories (Standard, Premium, Deluxe….), Parents (Double, Single, Loft, Cottage...) and Rooms (Double1, Double2, Single1, Single2, Single3, etc …..). They will want to quickly see how many Double rooms are available, without having to scroll through all room items!

Again, while the improvements you do may be beneficial for some, they may not be for others; or worse, they may be detrimental…

If would be great if we could have an option to display the availability on a Parent item as well. Each business could choose to use it or not.

And it could potentially (maybe) help reduce the loading time issue (explained above), by collapsing the Children items.

  • AVAILABILITY DISPLAY (COLOUR):

Please bring back to colour background!! to easily visualise availability levels

The grey/blue/yellow/red colour variation of the font on the quantity is not enough in my opinion.

If you don't want a colour background of each cell, you could use a colour data bar showing Avail/Total like this for example:




Thanks

Comments

  • Oh and I forgot one other thing: (that I had already suggested in my previous feedback)

    —> 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.

    like this:

  • BrittanyBrittany Checkfront
    Hi @Dedric,

    Thank you for your patience! I'm glad to assist with your feedback related to our recent Inventory Calendar update.

    SPEED

    We introduced the behaviour of the availability check occurring only upon expanding to help with performance since preloading would result in severe performance hits.

    This way, you can focus in on specific categories or items of interest and have a much faster load time than if everything was preloaded.

    Have you explored filtering by specific categories of interest at the time of reviewing the Inventory Calendar? For example, only selecting one or two categories could significantly help with load times.

    Additionally, changing the week view from 6 weeks to 2 weeks could significantly help.

    There is also, of course, a relationship with the internet speed.

    If there are aspects to how you manage bookings that I've overlooked that simply cannot be addressed by the above suggestions, could you please get in touch with us via email and perhaps provide visuals such as a screen recording? It could be really helpful for us to pass along to our Product team.

    AVAILABILITY DISPLAY

    While we don't currently have plans to include parent items in the new Inventory Calendar we're still collecting whether additional operators would be interested in this. I'd suggest creating a forum post dedicated to this specific improvement you'd like to see added in case others would find it helpful too. Then we can keep a close eye on any additional traction.

    AVAILABILITY DISPLAY (COLOUR)

    I can definitely understand how more prominent availability colours would be helpful in the new Inventory Calendar experience. It sounds like there are a few others interested in this as well so I've added your name to the request and we will let you know if or when any related updates are made.

    DAY ALLOCATION DISPLAY

    We do still have this feature request open as well to keep track of any operators who would find day/night inventory best displayed in one row rather than an additional one, separate from the name. So far, we haven't had much additional interest so maybe a forum post could help in this case too.

    From my understanding, it had been previously requested that the item name row be separate from the inventory rows so it sounds like this preference could vary business to business.

    Thank you for the continued feedback and involvement in testing our latest updates. Please reach back if any other questions come up.

    Have a great day,
    Brittany
    Team Lead, Technical Support
    Checkfront | checkfront.com/contact | Email: support@checkfront.com
  • Thanks for the reply.

    Here are my comments:

    SPEED:

    yes of course I've been testing with filters, and indeed, only selecting 1 category displays faster than all categories.
    But it's not loading faster: it's just loading less.
    There is a big difference between the "old" version vs the "new" version. To load all my items for 6 weeks, it takes:
    - about 20-30 sec on the old version
    - about 2 minutes! on the new version….

    Also, it used to be a lot faster not so long ago (up to maybe 6 months ago ?).

    I doubt that my internet connection is guilty here, as from the logs I'm looking at the browser spends most of its time being queued and then waiting for the server to reply, rather than downloading…. Also, totally downloaded size is pretty small (577KB)….
    as you can see on this example of an element:




    AVAILABILITY DISPLAY (PARENTS)
    well, that would certainly be very helpful


    AVAILABILITY DISPLAY (COLOUR)
    This is sooooo needed!!!


    DAY ALLOCATION DISPLAY
    again, it just makes sense, as it would simply avoid wasting space unnecessarily...

  • BrittanyBrittany Checkfront
    Hi @Dedric,

    Thanks for following up and for providing a screen-capture.

    I've looked into the loading behaviour alongside our Technical Analyst team and we did find that a collapse/expand all button could potentially help since you'd then be able to focus in on only the categories/items of interest at that time, once the page is loaded.

    Additionally, if the category '>' collapse also collapsed items in that category rather than merely hiding them, there wouldn't be as much initial fetching in the background.

    While I can't say if these specific ideas will be implemented, I've made sure to capture your experience with the loading times in the new Inventory Calendar vs. the previous version.

    In the meantime, I hope that the various filtering options can help you find a balanced speed that allows you to manage your inventory as needed.

    If this is not the case, we'd like to learn more via email at support@checkfront.com.

    Thanks, again!
  • Glad to see you are recognising the benefit of a "collapse all" button.

    As it stands, despite its nice/modern designs, the new inventory calendar is far from being as useful and user friendly as the "old" style, which is the one I'm using. 
    The main difference for me is that it offers a quick and global view of the availability of the inventory over a long period. (like a visual snapshot in the blink of an eye!)

    thanks


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