Connecting ChannelAdvisor and Odoo Part 1 - 3 Points to Ponder When Integrating Odoo with ChannelAdvisor

...or any ecommerce platform/hub

Connecting a hub for eCommerce orders like ChannelAdvisor to Odoo is a bit like connecting an eCommerce store such as Magento to Odoo. For example, a Magento store could be made up of multiple stores, one per country, region or language. One CA integration with Odoo could also have multiple stores or accounts in CA. CA accounts can share distribution centers (fulfillment warehouse locations) and can have their own unique DC's as well. Thus, orders can come from multiple accounts and be shipping from multiple fulfillment centers (distribution centers). One must decide which system will be master and which will be slave for customers and products. There is also the whole question of how do we record and account for taxes paid on the order. Do we assign taxes to states and if the order ships to that state, apply taxes on all lines?

  1. 1. Which system will be the products master and which will be slave?
  2. 2. Do you need to assign taxes to orders?
  3. 3. How will you keep inventory counts between the 2 systems in sync?

1. Which system will be the products master and which will be slave?

Ancillary question: How do you plan to keep your product lists synchronized between the two systems?

Many companies consider Odoo the master for products and their 3rd party ecommerce hub or platform to be master for orders and customers. That means that when a new product is created in Odoo, an automated sync mechanism should wake up, query the ChannelAdvisor API and create a new product. There should also be a mapping of products so that another process will go out and find new products in ChannelAdvisor and add them to the mapping flagging them as found in Odoo or not. Customers and orders are different because they originate in the other eCommerce system. We have a mapping that stores the CA product ID, the Odoo product ID and whether it needs to be synchronized or not. If it does, it pushes the new product and data we have chosen to CA and creates a new product.

2. How will you handle taxes?

Taxes. What is your company required to charge and therefore pay? If you are like most of us, you are required to pay state sales taxes to every state to which you ship products. If so, how can you have your system identify taxes in Odoo. How about by looking at the taxes that come in from a CA order and noting the ship-to state and then having taxes pre-assigned to states so that the appropriate tax will be inserted into each sale order line?

3. How will you synchronize inventory counts?

The first question to ask would naturally be: Are you going to keep Odoo inventory synchronized with ChannelAdvisor inventory counts? If you are, then the way you synchronize inventory will depend greatly on which system is the master for products. Master for products should be master for inventory counts as well. One feature that ChannelAdvisor has that has proven useful is the ability to have kits and bundles and keep a 'how many kits can I make with my current raw materials' quantity we call Kit Quantity. If you use bundles in CA, you will also need your connector to be able to handle them in way that makes sales order lines make sense. We used a service product as the bundle product so that our accounting settings could be pulled from it. We set the entire price of the bundle on the service product and then each subsequent order line was that of the components in the kit. That is not the only way to do it. One could create kitted bills of materials in Odoo and sell the finished kit. Odoo automatically explodes a kit bill of materials on delivery orders so your warehouse team will know what to pick when you sell a kit.

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