I'm redesigning a parts order entry system that is intended to make order entry simple and fast. Users often add 40-50 parts per order. For various reasons (client resistance, deadline, complex validations) batch part number upload is not an option.
I should mention this is not the type of part the user will need to browse for. Users know exactly what they need as they are engineers, the part is broken and they refer to printed part item number lists. However, the system will need to substitute an alternative part if the part entered is unavailable.
Within the current application users must select a machine and based on a machine selection are provided with a form to search the bill of materials associated with that machine. The results will only return the parts available for that machine. The users then can added a selected part to cart. Then they may change their machine (up to 390 machines) and search again... and add again... and so forth until their parts list is complete.
As you can imagine this select > search > add > select (all on different screens) method is slow. I'm thinking of providing a solution that simply provides the user with all the form fields required to add a part to cart. The form (pictured below) would employ a autosuggest on both the machine selection and item number fields to provide accuracy in entries. Also the intended behavior is that the Order Type, Urgency and Machine S/N would all stay populated with the last entry after an add to cart to support further speed to completion.
My question is are there any other alternative layouts that would support fast item entry? Please keep in mind part number entry needs to perform a lookup so that correct part number is added and the correct part number list is based on the Machine S/N entry.
My first thought is to include inline form fields embedded in the rows (like excel)... or in a row above the table (or maybe the last table cell) might be an alternative solution. Any feedback is welcome.
###### UPDATE #######
I updated the mockup to show Order Type and Urgency as order level fields and indicated required fields.
###### Alternative Idea 1 #######
In this mockup the standard list view entry pattern is utilized.