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  • How to take the manual processing out of shipping?

    Our current process:
    1) Print packing slips (leave webpage up to search for names later)
    2) Pick order
    3) Find address in webpage from above and paste into Endicia
    4) Select weight, ship type and package type
    5) print label, affix to package, etc..
    6) Find order and manually update track #, set to shipped, check notify box and save order.

    Sounds easy enough but with 100+ orders a day, it gets to be tedious and time consuming.. We ship mostly USPS first class or priority with a few international orders a day..

    Without knowing the actual package type, ship type and weight until after the order is picked and packed, what's the best way to somewhat automate the whole process?

    I'm thinking something along the lines of:
    1) Print pick slips
    2) After order is picked and packed, select order from list (not sure where though).
    3) Select weight, ship type, package type
    4) Print label, order automatically updated, set to shipped and email sent..
    5) Done

    Anything out there that does something like this?

    How are you folks doing it?

    thanks, Mark..
    Last edited by markh76; 05-04-2010, 07:50 PM.

  • #2
    At 100+ orders per day, you would probably get a lot of benefit from using an order management system. In addition to streamlining the processes that you described (improving the whole pick/pack/ship process, using a barcode scanner to eliminate packing errors, emailing tracking info to your customers, updating tracking and status in 3DCart, etc.), it could also help with purchasing, receiving, returns & exchanges, customer support, and many of your other day-to-day tasks. Check out some of the features and benefits of the Stone Edge Order Manager at:

    http://www.stoneedge.com/main/order-...ures-in-depth/

    Or give us a call at 610-994-3699 to talk about how the Order Manager can help you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Endicia 3D cart Shipping

      Here is how we do it. We only pack orders once/day.

      1. Mass print all the new invoices. Don't forget to capture the payments. This is the most time consuming part of the process as you have to open each order to capture payment unless you choose to mass capture at your merchant account. Mass capture in 3d cart would be nice.
      2. Mass move the invoices you want to ship for the day to a custom order status we called "Endicia."
      3. We created a short cut to the Endicia Export in "My shortcuts" in the 3dcart store manager.
      4. Go to the Endicia Export and export by Endicia order status. It will be order status custom 1-3, depending on how many custom order status' you have created. For some reason the naming of the custom order status does not carry over to the Endicia Export.
      5. An xml file downloads to you computer.
      6. Open Endicia Dazzle software.
      7. Import the XML file into Dazzle.
      8. Since our packing area and computer our separate, we export the address list from Endicia and print a sheet with the customer names. We use the invoices to pull and pack, write the weight on the sheet by the customers' names and the name on the package. Most of our items weigh the same, so the label printing goes quickly by highlighting all the names with the same weight and then selecting "print postage." Paste the labels on the package and you are good to go. We use a Dymo label writer 400 turbo and the 30387 3 part shipping labels - address, postage and delivery confirm.

      9. We have Dazzle automatically send the email shipping notification with the tracking number rather than import the information back into 3dcart.

      10. After printing we mass move all the orders in Endicia status to shipped status and you are ready for the next round of order processing/shipping.

      At your volume, you are probably better off using the Endicia premium service - Galaxy? -and hook the scale to your computer to weigh and print as you pack each package. You could then process orders throughout the day.

      As soon as I have an extra $2k, I plan on investing in Stone Edge. I simplifies, shipping, capturing, inventory and CRM/RMA, saving many man-hours. In the mean time this is the quickest method I can determine for our operation. If someone has a better way without spending $2k, I would love to hear it.

      Comment


      • #4
        You have got to take a long hard look at StoneEdge Order Manager. With that many orders a day you must be killing yourself. You will wonder why you waited so long to try them. Spend the extra money to have them do the installation if they still offer it.
        Steve Teske
        Director of eCommerce
        Hogan Walker LLC
        www.GreenFunStore.com
        www.GreenPartStore.com
        www.FarmFunStore.com
        www.HoganWalker.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Here's what I do:

          1. Print 3Dcart invoices for New orders
          2. Download the invoices to Quickbooks, review and print them
          3. Match the 3Dcart invoice to the QB invoice
          4. Pick from the warehouse for packing
          5. Download shipping info from 3Dcart and import to Endicia
          6. Check and pack orders with the QB invoice
          7. Weigh and ship with Endica
          8. Stamp the 3dCart invoice as "shipped" (for our files)
          9. Upload the shipping info from Endicia to 3Dcart. This changes the status of each order to shipped, and sends out shipping confirmations with tracking numbers.

          The whole process for takes us 3 to 5 hours a day for 15 to 50 orders. The QB and Endica plugins have shaved hours of work off the time we spend on shipping each day. We no longer have to re-enter invoices, or retype addresses. I looked into using StoneEdge, but found the 3Dcart plugins able to meet my needs. The QB and Endicia plugins that 3Dcart offers are wonderful. Use them!

          Steve
          Last edited by culttvman; 05-08-2010, 07:46 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks folks for the tips. I'm going to look into all of those..

            RMA's is a whole nother beast that 3dcart only partly supports our needs with and we've got them coming in through rma, crm and email..

            thanks again,

            Mark

            Comment


            • #7
              I dunno

              I look at StoneEdge and it looks cool but has way more than I need and I'm a cheap sob.. The up front cost scares me..

              RMA's are also a problem and where we kit a lot of products, we need a free form RMA process to handle items that are not really inventory but are still a product that is part of a kit..

              I see our needs for order processing as:
              • Integrate with Endicia Label Server
                Download New orders from 3dCart
                Click on order
                Select ship method
                Select weight
                Print Label which updates 3dcart order and sends email.. Order done.


              3dCart has some great features but rma and crm don't fit our biz model exactly. You can't take a CRM reuest and turn it into an RMA.

              CRM and RMA requests are different from each other but if you have both CRM and RMA turned on there are too many inputs from customers to manage properly. Once you get to 200 or 300 crm requests, it's really hard to keep track of which ones need action. If your products are kitted parts like ours, the RMA process is not extremely useful so I see needed he RMA process as:
              • Customer notifies you of problem with 'part'
                You decide several things, do you want bad part back and if so who pays shipping
                Reship replacement and track part return or no part return and rma is closed.
                Cusxtomer needs to be notified that replacement has been sent automatically instead of a manual process.
                Inventory for return items may or may not be updated depending on functionality of the part if returned.


              The goal being not to 'drop the ball' between the crm and rma processes..

              CRM has a bit of a flaw in that once you reply the customer can reply to your email which removes any CRM flow as it's a disconnected process once you get an email.

              Are there any other vb.net programmers that would be willing to share some resources to get a working app to handle the above flow?

              thanks, Mark
              Last edited by markh76; 05-23-2010, 02:41 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Mark -

                I know the Stone Edge Order Manager can seem a bit overwhelming when you first look at it, but remember that you only have to use the features you need, and you only have to save about $10 a day in labor costs to have it pay for itself in a year. (Where else can you get that kind of return today!)

                And in case you did not see it, you can read about the Order Manager's RMA system in our Knowledge Base at:

                http://www.stoneedge.com/help/OM_DOC..._Exchanges.htm

                Assuming that you set up your various Kits in the Order Manager, the system should give you all of the flexibility you need to handle your returns and exchanges.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with Barney. It was very hard for our small business to fork over the bucks for SEOM, but I honestly don't know what I'd do without it. Replaced the job of several people for us. The ability to sync inventory counts in house and on the web, to be able to automatically generate purchase orders for vendors based on pre-set inventory target levels, and to manage returns/exchanges and credit card refunds instantly are the features we use/love most.

                  Not affiliated in any way--just a very happy customer :)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    x3 on Stone Edge or some other integrated order management system. As a happy SE customer, they get my vote.

                    We save more than $10 per day in labor costs and we never ship 100 packages/day. Your time/labor/$ savings would be exponentially higher, IMO.

                    DaveW

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Anyone interested in a order management program might want to take a look at Order Integrator just for order management. It can help you import orders from 3dcart and get them to DAZzle for easy label printing. The only issue is the program is currently not being updated. I am the author and I am happy to try and help but any updates are out for now. (I hope to start updating the program or turn it into a commercial product later this year.)

                      http://sourceforge.net/projects/orderintegrator/
                      Last edited by yourcablestore.com; 05-24-2010, 02:12 PM.
                      Nathan
                      www.YourCableStore.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just FYI. If you are looking for an easy-to-use, web-based order management system, I would like to suggest Ordoro. We released the Ordoro integration to 3dcart recently, and the integration works great. Ordoro automatically pulls orders from 3dcart, generates shipping labels (Fedex, UPS, USPS), and automatically writes back the tracking number into 3dcart.

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