Blog | Master and slave items – keeping stocks up to date

3rd September 2013

We recently came across an interesting problem whilst working on our new Client’s ecommerce project whereby item A is made up of multiple quantities of other items, lets call these X and Y. How can we ensure we are keeping stock quantities up-to-date? Usually, the stock levels are stored and updated on a per product basis:

  • Item A: 10 in stock
  • Item B: 5 in stock
  • Item C: 8 in stock

Commerce Products are never that simple

But what if item A was made up of 10 item X’s and 5 item Y’s? How could we update the stock levels for items X and Y if item A was purchased? Well, this definitely got us thinking and we came back with all types of solutions! In the end we decided to go with what we called “Master Products” which were assigned only a stock level and product code. Manage Master Items

The first thing we integrated was a new section within the Shopit admin that enabled the Client to create and manage their master items themselves. To keep things as simple as possible, they only need to enter the main information, with the stock level being the key field.Manage Master Items

We then added extra functionality to the existing edit item/edit child page in the admin so these master products could be attached to existing inventory products. Because not all products in the inventory would have an attachment to master items, we had to give the option to turn these on and off when required. Finally, we adjusted the store-front to update the correct stock level on successful purchases.

Ketan Mistry

Creator of the beautiful Shopit eCommerce platform, Ketan’s background in design and development for the likes of Carcraft and Ability Superstore gives him the perfect mentality to problem solve. Whatever a client wants, a client can have. Family man and ideas guru, he is also an avid lover of films & animation, and has the widest music collection in the office. In 2016, Ketan emigrated to begin our Melbourne office.