If you have spent much time using Magento in a production environment then you will know that the order management facilities (Back Office screens) could be better.

They are fine for a few orders a day, but when you get more than 20 it can be difficult to manage. Never fear – because with the addition of a few modules you can really get the most out of the back office platform, and prevent frustration, confusion and poor customer service .

Here are a few of the most useful and best value:

Print Order

It sounds simple – but printing off an order without going into individual orders and creating an invoice can be a bit of a bitch. Step forward the Admin Order Printing extension. This is totally invaluable (yet free!!) little module from piotrn. Have a look at www.magentocommerce.com/extension/1054/admin-order-printing-extension .

Simple Order Export

This is great if you don’t need to get into the depths of Magento Webservices – and just want a CSV export of your orders – so you can manipulate the data yourself. You can find it at www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/slandsbek/extension/1350/simple-order-export. The module is free, but if you don’t mind paying then there a number of slightly more sophisticated options out there – including modules from xtento.com and magestore.com.

Invoices And Packing Slips

The standard Magneto invoices and packing slips are tiny – and it can be really difficult to redesign them to your specifications – not to mention that any modifications can get lost in the Magento upgrade path! This module not only gives you much more flexibility in invoice design but also allows you to print on integrated labels. It does cost the princely sum of $59 – but as your developer will charge you at least twice that to even look at your invoice layouts it is money well spent. Have a look at http://store.fooman.co.nz/extensions/magento-extension-pdf-customiser.html.

Ship And Invoice

One click ship and invoicing – means you don’t have to go into each order to invoice it, and then again to ship it – something that can get annoying if you are trying to get through a large amount of orders efficiently. The module also allows you to do your orders in bulk. You can get more information at http://store.fooman.co.nz/extensions/magento-extension-order-manager.html
A further quirk of Magento is that it assigns separate numbers to orders, invoices and shipment notices and credit memos – which can cause unnecessary confusion – so step forward another neat little module from those guys at Fooman – and this problem is solved – take a look at http://store.fooman.co.nz/extensions/magento-extension-invoice-order-number.html

Add Additional Order Statuses

Having the ability to add custom statuses means that you can provide your customer with a richer information flow, while at the same time having a suitable categorization internally to be able to handle the multitude of stock situations that any business might face. It costs $59 – but it’s worth it! http://amasty.com/order-status.html

Conclusions

By adding all these modules you have the beginnings of a useable and scalable order management platform. Of course, once you get to a certain size you are going to outgrow the Magento order management facilites completely, and once that happens you need to talk to somebody about the right order management/logistics platform. At Flint Technology we have provided small scale custom solutions as well as developing a complete integration to the ORDERactive platform from MNP (which you can get more information on HERE) .
If you need help then please GET IN TOUCH.