PHP Web Development Northern Ireland
Vincent Polding :: Specialising in CodeIgniter Frameworks
Phone Belfast: 028 9557 5678

Pick Commander is an online application that manages the distribution of customer stock. It lets a customer tell a supplier what stock they want and when they want it.


I've built versions of this software for companies in different industries but they all have a common theme ... they hold stock for customers who call it off when it's needed. Rather like a just-in-time (JIT) process.


I was originally tasked with helping a print company better manage the distribution of printed stock from their warehouse in Birmingham to their customer premises throughout the UK.

The printer was already using an online subscription-based stock management service but were not happy with its limitations and the charges to use it ... so they asked me to come up with something that was better and which had no ongoing costs.


After reviewing what was available in the market at the time and what their competitors were using, I decided a bespoke application would be the best way to go. Not only could I build a system with the exact features they wanted, there would be no ongoing costs and it would give them an edge over their competitors who were using off-the-shelf solutions.

Procedural Version (2010)

I built the first version of Pick Commander in procedural style PHP. The administrator logs in to a secure area, creates users, loads up the product lines and adds stock.

The customer then logs in, views the available stock and picks the quantities they want delivered, detailing the time and place they want them sent.

It has an audit trail so they can view the flow of stock in and out. It also retains a history of orders with links to the product lines.

Seven years later (2017) and with only a few tweaks and upgrades, that system is still in use today.

Pick Commander - Original Version
Fig 1 - The original version had a simple navigation system and basic features.
CodeIgniter Version (2014)

I built an OOP version using CodeIgniter for a client in 2014. A large, nationwide company, with a team of field service engineers who travel the country servicing ATMs. Their engineers carry spare parts in the boot of their car which are used to repair and service machines on site.

Our client was under pressure from their corporate supplier to use a better system for managing the distribution process and that’s where I came in. I took the original idea of the online picking system and rebuilt it using an OOP platform.

The new version is stronger, faster and more robust than before. It's also extremely mobile-friendly so their engineers can login from any where, using any device, view the list of available spare parts and pick the ones they need. It's really very easy.

Pick Commander - CodeIgniter Version
Fig 2 - The commercial version had more features and an updated navigation system.
Pick Commander - Customised Reports
Fig 3 - I also built in a number of personalised reports for the client.
Free Version (2017)

I've started building an online version for companies to use for free. This version will use the CodeIgniter framework and will allow users to signup and begin using the service without charge. Please let me know if you would like to be informed about progress on this project.

The stock management application Vincent built is working very well. Not only does it save time and money when managing the distribution of customer stock, it allows us to punch above our weight which results in attracting bigger clients and more business.
Keith Price
Managing Director at JH Business Forms

Would you like to know more?

If you're looking for an experienced web developer to join your project, or if something on this site has taken your interest, please get in touch. It costs nothing to talk and who knows, it might be the best thing you do today.


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