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Using customer groups for batch ordering

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Using customer groups for batch ordering

Hi,

 

I am planning a community buying site that can source from multiple suppliers i.e. the same brand of baked beans from 2+ different suppliers. My idea is to use customer groups for each community and to batch orders to wholesalers for delivery to that community on a regular basis (weekly/fortnightly/monthly etc.) Each community can then prepare each of its customer's orders for collection to minimise delivery costs and eco-impact. (Suppliers are not set up for dropship - this is a sort of 'community dropship'). I have several questions I hope someone can help me with:

 

1. Are customer groups the best way to go about this?

 

2. Can Magento work with multiple product sources to determine which supplier is best placed to supply the community based on supply/price/margin so that community orders can be fulfilled by each supplier?

 

3. Is there a better way to address my scenario within Magento?

 

4. Is there an extension that does all this? :-)

 

Many thanks, Darryl

-- Darryl