Driftless Co-Option uses ordering software provided by Foodclub.org. It allows us to sort multiple vendors into several catalogs and for members to split cases of bulk food. It may look a little intimidating at first because of all the features, but the basic ordering procedure isn’t complicated.
Our ordering generally runs on a 4-week cycle and you can find those dates on the main page after you log in. You’ll get to the catalogs from the dropdown menu. There is a link to your shopping cart on the top left part of the page.
To choose a catalog, click on the dropdown menu. Depending on what point it is in the ordering cycle, some catalogs may be open and some may be locked. If it says * LOCKED after the catalog name, it is closed, and you will not be able to order from it. If it doesn’t say that it’s locked, it is open and you can order from there until the due date listed.
After clicking on an open catalog, the main catalog page will have a description of the kind of items it contains. On the left sidebar there are links for “Order” and “Splits.” If you are buying a FULL case of something, you’ll click on Order. If you want to buy a PARTIAL amount, click on Splits.
If you’re new and not sure if you want a full case or a split, go ahead and start with Splits, as that’s what most members utilize. That’s what we’ll show here, though the ordering process is nearly the same for full cases. Once you click on Splits, you’ll likely see a list of products that other members are buying. Here you’ll find the product description, manufacturer, the size and price of the whole case, how full it is, and the unit price. Things to note on this page include the Minimum Split. If there is one, it will be listed under the product description. Below, for example, apples have a minimum split of 5 LB, so that’s the least that you can order. The Price column lists the price per LB (or size or unit). Another thing you’ll see on items we re-pack into glass jars is a bottle deposit. This is not included in the price listed. It will be added onto your order automatically. (And you’ll get that deposit returned when you return the jars.)
Under the column “Current Orderers” you’ll notice some names are listed in green and some in red. Green means that we have collectively filled what the vendor considers a case. Red means we haven’t. You’ll also notice on some items people have left a comment with their order. This is a Flex Comment and we’ll get to that in the next step.
If you see an item on this Splits page that you’d like to order, you can click anywhere on its row. That will take you to the Splits Order Page. On the top you’ll see the details about the item. Input the amount you’d like to buy, keeping in mind the minimum if listed.
Flex Comments allow you to indicate if you’d take a little more or less of the item if needed. For example, we often do not order an item if only a small amount of the case is filled. If you want to help make sure something you want is ordered, you might want to add a Flex Comment of +5 that indicates you’ll take 5 more LBs of something if nobody else decides to order it. Members’ flexibility like this allows us to fulfill more split requests. You do not have to include a Flex Comment, but the box to do it is next to the order spot if you need it. After you’re done, hit Save on the bottom of the page.
After ordering, you’ll see a pink box pop up. This will either let you know that you have been successfully added to the Split or it will notify you that you did not enter the minimum order amount. You can close out that pink box and proceed or adjust your order if needed.
What if you’d like to order something whose case hasn’t already been started? For that, look above the Current Splits Request grid. You can choose to see all the items in the catalog or narrow it down by category.
From there you can input the amounts you’d like for multiple items on the page all at once, and include Flex Comments at the same time. After you’re done, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the button that says, “Request split(s) for above item(s).” After that, you’ll see your new item(s) listed on the main Splits page, and other members can add to your request(s).
That’s it! Congratulations! You’ve put in an order for DCO. You can choose another catalog from the dropdown menu and follow the same procedure for most of them.
Two catalogs have a slightly different procedure: Inventory and Farm Direct. These don’t use splits, so what you order is what you get. We’ll look at the Inventory Catalog here but Farm Direct has the same procedure.
Since there are no splits, on the main Inventory page you’ll click on the “Order” link in the left sidebar.
We want members to receive as many things out of their order as possible, so we will generally order them if they’re close to full. The remainder of those cases goes up for grabs in our Inventory Catalog. These are the items you’ll see here, and ordering is easy.
Right on the order page you’ll see the size, price, and quantity available for each item. On the left, you can input the amount you want for multiple items at once. And then when you’re done, just click on the button on the bottom of the page that says, “Add above qtys to order.”
After ordering items from Inventory, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and see what you bought there.
If you’d like to see ALL of the things you’ve ordered so far in the current cycle, you can go back up to the top left sidebar and click on “Shopping Cart.” And if you’d like to search for a specific item across all of the catalogs, click on the Search bar above the dropdown Catalog menu.
If you need to change the quantity or remove an item you’ve ordered, that’s easy too. For Inventory and Farm Direct items, simply scroll to the bottom of the page and edit or change your items there. For all other catalogs, you can click on the item row to change the quantity you want or remove yourself from the split. It’s best to be sure about what you want before you add something to your order, so you can avoid making changes.
There you go. There are a few other features on the ordering website you can use, but that’s all that’s needed for a basic order. If you still have questions, feel free to contact our Member Coordinator for help.
After the catalogs close, we place the orders with our vendors. Shipments arrive at the warehouse and get re-packed and labeled. Then you pick up your things on Pickup Day.