Autoprint / SMS / GPRS / Fax orders

WPPizza – A WordPress Plugin Support Discussions Autoprint / SMS / GPRS / Fax orders

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  • #8467

    Olly
    Admin & Mod

    somehow it appears to me i must be missing something fundamental, so i am starting this topic for people to chime in and tell me what that might be.

    as far as i am concerend i cannot see any reason (barring perhaps one which includes propriotary hardware and API’s, see below) which requires email2fax or sms or any other gateway of that kind with their inevitably associated charges.

    happy to stand corrected and please do leave your comments, but the following occurs to me

    in no particular order:

    regarding email2fax:

    i really have no idea why anyone is still happy to have ongoing charges payable to some company that converts an email to a fax.

    not only is the whole format/concept somewhat antiquated i would have thought (we are in >=2015 after all), but from what i can tell/have been told, quite frequently those conversions are also somewhat hit and miss.

    furthermore, with many of those email2fax providers one also has to jump through a bunch of hoops (like attaching images to emails and whatnot) to even get this set up and it’s also not as reliable (sending delays etc) as people assume from what i can see (or have been told more accurately). Not to mention the inevitable carrier/phonecosts involved.

    if one is worried that one might not receive the order emails and wants a backup (though if that’s the case one should probably investigate the server setup instead) than – surely – there are better ways.

    given that netconnected printers are 10 to a penny these days, a simple cloud print solution and/or a pinter that checks another dedicated email address and prints if something’s there (and a few other options one has with these printers) sounds to me like a much better solution with the added benefit of not having those email2fax charges and issues.

    ps: personally I don’t know why people still need to use paper/printouts anyway , but i accept that this might be something that is still wanted for one reason or another

    regarding sms/gprs:

    first of all, i am aware that there are many gprs/sms printers available that (might) let you check , print, accept and reject orders.
    however, (afaik) the problem with all of these is that they use their own proprietory API so there is not any one generic solution that could be done that would work for all of them.
    As this is the case, there is no way to code anything to integrate those printers into wppizza which i would be able to make available at a reasonable cost (even ignoring timeconstraints).
    (though that’s not to say that one day i might have a stab at it with one of these, but that’s definitely a long way off – if ever)

    that out of the way, there were also a few other requests in the past regarding “normal” sms integration but i am somewhat at a loss of what the purpose of this might be.
    the only reason i can think of is to be able to reject orders, but why would you ever want to do that ?

    if the reason is that something might be out of stock, then wppizza is probably not the right thing to use in the first place. the plugin expects you to list what you have available, if you do not have it, it should not be listed. if you need stockmanagement, there are plenty of other plugins that let you do that (woocommerce springs to mind). it was never in the scope of the plugin (and if ever it will not be for a long time). you could argue that this is a shortcoming of the plugin and you may well be right, but that’s just the way it is for the moment.

    if the reason is that you cannot accept an order that has been placed outside your delivery area, then there is a plugin to restrict this already

    if it is the case that you are worried about fake orders, then this sort of thing would not help you that much anyway and – in any case – the easiest way to get around that one is to accept upfront/cc payments only.

    if you want an sms to “autoprint” an order then – again – there are better and cheaper ways (sms’ cost money) to do this (just like with alternative options regarding email2fax above)

     

    as mentioned, i am probably missing something here so am inviting you to add to this discussion.
    for the avoidance of doubt , i am not trying to sell any of the other plugins/extensions. I am only trying to get a handle on what to spend my time on that is most useful to most people as some of the above – although doable – would be a waste of time with very little benefit to very few people and/or could not be made available at a reasonable cost.

    I have already spent quite a bit of time building a plugin (as yet unreleased) that as it stands is capable to send one-way sms somewhere, but am wondering if my time would be spent better elsewhere rather than making it do things noone really needs. furthermore – as with email2fax gateways – it of course involves call charges and only works with one sms gateway (tm4b.com to be precise).

    just my musings on a tuesday morning

    thanks for reading and any comments you may have

    #8510

    maherali
    Participant

    I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t just use 80mm thermal printers like I do? They cost a bit to buy but they’re much better and quicker than GPRS printers, they are free and the paper is cheap. Sure you cannot accept/decline orders but we accept all orders we don’t allow orders from areas we don’t want by using postcode extension etc.

    On the odd occasions when something is out of stock – just simply ring the customer? Thing’s cannot be perfect all the time. I use my 80mm thermal printers for both epos and this plugin.

    EDIT: Also just to add when I change the status of the order to ‘Acknowledged’ I get a popup that prompts to print it doesn’t take much time at all.

    #8511

    Olly
    Admin & Mod

    this is what i am trying to ascertain.
    is it really worth spending days on developing something for those odd occasions where it might – once in a blue moon and only under certain circumstances – come in useful ? (especially if there are other and perhaps better ways of dealing with these “odd one outs”)

    ….i’ll keep listening….

    #8895

    gstudio
    Participant

    Hi,
    I would like to ask a question about which SMS / Mail2Fax plugin use to print with the printer gprs.
    Thank You
    Giuseppe

    #8898

    Olly
    Admin & Mod

    @gstudio
    did you actually read the topic ?

    #9170

    eliasg
    Participant

    Hello everyone
    I might just give my opinion here and here is what i do for printing.
    -Bought a Wi-Fi printer.
    -Connected orders email to Outlook and there i made the following “rule”:
    (When an email is received by <your orders email> play a sound and send to printer the order/email)

    -The wifi printer autoprints the email

    Things to bear in mind:
    –You can always modify the layout of the email to your needs (hardcoding is required though or css maybe)
    –Regarding the cost of the paper: From the printer setting i put it to print at 50% of the page. so that makes 4 prints of back and forth
    — You can refill the cartridges instead of buying new and its really cheap

    PS: My solution might be off topic but i think it saves the hassle of going through APIs of each GSM printer

    #9172

    Olly
    Admin & Mod

    > My solution might be off topic
    not really. happy to hear all these different ways of doing the same thing. might give other people ideas too

    >hardcoding is required though
    doesn’t really have to do anything with the printing itself as you would be editing the actual (html i suspect) email
    of course there are also filters you could use to change things without hardcoding it. so i wouldn’t say it’s *required*

    of course, if someone wants to edit things, it’s not an issue
    after all it’s a template exactly to enable that sort of thing

    (at some point – when i get the time – i might make a drag/drop/setcolor etc interface for it accessible from the admin, but for the moment what there is will have to do)

    #9247

    pas5898
    Participant

    Thanks for all the advice on this thread.
    Im trying to figure out a way to auto print using a thermal printer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    I will keep you posted how I get on!

    Pete

    #9902

    mps1
    Participant

    I’ve been looking into this.
    http://www.lantronix.com/it-management/xprintserver/xprintserver-cloudprint.html

    There are a few POS printers that are compatible with it. This and the Google Cloud printer should be good enough.

    Today I had a client who was a bit hesitant to sign up cause he preferred to receive the orders through fax. With a bit of back and forth I managed to convince him to come onboard. Let’s see how things go with him.

    #18450

    stig2
    Participant

    Those who are interested to use GPRS printer you can contact http://www.ibacstel.com/
    They sell gprs printer and also they provide a wppizza extention plugin witch able to make the printer to talk to wppizza. You can able to accept/reject order via printer and it will automatically change the status on wppizza order history page. Though at this moment the printer can’t spit out any dynamic message on thank you page i.e.”Alerting restaurant staff”, ” we received your order..delivery time 45min” etc.
    I’m using one of these printer on my current project.
    But in my opinion a decent internet connection a pc and epson thermal printer is the best for cheap and reliable order printing solution.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

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