Author Topic: Sharing orders - some preliminary thoughts and suggestions  (Read 3051 times)

Offline Wendy

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Sharing orders - some preliminary thoughts and suggestions
« on: September 23, 2011, 05:24:41 PM »
I originally suggested that if people want to share packs, that they organise this between themselves and one person takes responsibility for ordering the whole pack. This was mainly to ensure a more equitable sharing of the workload involved in sorting out the shared ordering.

Now we've got the first order under way, I'm seeing just how complex this sharing business can get, and what enormous potential there is for errors in trying to keep track of it all. It also makes things potentially difficult if we have to split a delivery charge. The fairest way to do this is by the total weight of each person's order, but if people are ordering bulk packs on behalf of others, then they're going to have to split the delivery charge attributable to those bulk packs between their sharers too. Messy, and a potential nightmare.

I think this is one of those instances where it makes much more sense to centralise the effort and do the sharing accounting once all orders are in and being collated, especially since not a lot of people are using the forum yet and what appear to be no-go shares on the forum turn out to be possible when other orders come in. This means the forum can still be used for arranging shares, but that people put on their orders the weight that they're taking from the bulk pack in the quantity column. The final column will then automatically pro-rate the cost.

So here's my suggestion. With the shares that I know about from the forum, I'll order the bulk pack on the combined order, but split the cost pro-rata between declared sharers. That way, nobody will need to keep track of what they owe to whom and pro-rating the delivery charge according to order weight will be a non-issue. I know there are other privately-arranged shares, but you'll need to sort these out yourselves unless you want to give me details of them all.

That means that all this administrative work will fall on whoever's collating the order, but it IS much simpler and if one or two others are prepared to help, it needn't be too onerous.

There are going to be quite a few instances of potential order savings once the lot is put together, but often some sorting out to do if there are several close variants of the same item - see the Oats 25kg post for an example. I'll post these on the forum, but until more people are joined up and participating, there might be some texting to do on order day. In future, it might make sense to have an extra column in the order form where people can indicate with letters where they're NOT willing to be flexible - eg. N for non-negotiable, O for organic products only, etc. Otherwise it can be assumed that something equivalent will do.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 05:30:21 PM by Wendy »

Offline Sophie

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Re: Sharing orders - some preliminary thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 03:09:12 PM »
Don't know if this helps or not but the wholefood co-op I used to be part of in UK had this exact same problem - sharing bulk orders can get really complicated! 

Our solution was to have a meeting once a month to which we all brought a list of what we wanted to order and discussed sharing things we couldn't use a whole bulk purchase of individually.  I'm seeing the same discussions here on the forum, but posts are being missed and people don't seem to know what others are ordering.  At a meeting everyone can discuss what they want to order - anyone who can't attend the meeting can send their list with someone who is going, or email it beforehand.  Then, after the meeting, one person would send in the whole order for everyone (in this case I assume it would make sense for Wendy to be that person). We found that this worked really well, and I hope I've explained it so it makes sense!

x Sophie