Fulfillment house shipping is all about logistics and communication.
- Logistics: The process of acquiring items to ship, retrieving orders and shipping out items
- Communication: between Merchant, fulfillment house/off-site shippers and Customers
Fulfillment house shipping can involve an off-site warehouse or by utilizing a fulfillment house company. It is critical to the success of fulfillment house that a solid processes of item replenishment and communication be created between the merchant and fulfillment house.
Having an initial plan of how logistics will work between the merchant and the fulfillment house is essential to the success of fulfillment house shipping.
If there is no process, Unify Enterprise cannot create this process for you. The process must be set in place, so Unify Enterprise can help make the process faster or more efficient.
Communication is essential to making the logistics of fulfillment house shipping successful. If you have no way of communicating with your fulfillment house, the goods cannot be sent to the customer that have purchased them in a timely manor.
If you want to be a successful eCommerce seller, you must be able to ship quickly, have accurate inventory levels and communicate with your customers accurately.
Part 1: Logistics and Communication
You (merchant) must have a smooth process of how your fulfillment house know or receives the online orders and customer information. This can be done using:
- Exported list of items, customers, order numbers
- Fulfillment house can interface directly with online store back-end to receive order and customer information
- Merchant sends fulfillment house a Purchase Order for items to be shipped that contains customer information for shipping
If one of these is your process, here is how Unify Enterprise can make this smoother:
Within Unify Enterprise, orders and information can be exported out of Unify Enterprise as a .csv file. The information that is exported can be configured to give all the information needed for a fulfillment house to fulfill and ship the correct items for an order. Click here to learn how.
Using Purchase Orders
Unify Enterprise can create a purchase order based on the vendor connected to a particular item in QuickBooks. In order for this to work properly:
- Your fulfillment house must be created as a vendor in QuickBooks.
- The fulfillment house as vendor, must be connected to each item that is to be shipped.
- Items that are exclusively shipped using your fulfillment house must have a different naming convention. This is to separate them from the merchant fulfilled items.
- Items that are exclusively shipped using your fulfillment house must be marked in Unify Enterprisep with the "truck" icon.
Once this is done, Unify Enterprisecan trigger QuickBooks to create a purchase order, which can be sent to the fulfillment house. Since the creation of the purchase order involves QuickBooks, this is configured in the same area governing how transactions area created in QuickBooks. Click here to learn how.
Note: Unify Enterprise will not facilitate the sending of the purchase order to your fulfillment house, that must already be figured out in logistics.
Interfacing directly with online store
If your fulfillment house is utilizing the online store directly for receiving orders and information, then the next step is to focus on shipping the orders and customer communication.
Part 2: Logistics and Communication
Once orders are shipped by the fulfillment house, how does the shipping information get back to the customer?
Order Export or Using Purchase orders
If after an order is shipped:
- How does your fulfillment house notify you (merchant) the items/orders have shipped?
- How do you (merchant) let your customers know their items have shipped?
Unify Enterprise can facilitate this function depending on the logistics of communication with your fulfillment house. Here's how:
Importing Shipping information
Shipping information for orders can be imported into Unify Enterprise, and the shipping details can be attached to the order in Unify Enterprise. Click here to learn how.
Post to Store (Customer communication)
Once shipping information has been added to the orders in Unify Enterprise, the Post to Store function can be used to
- Modify the order status of an order (Shipped/Completed/Closed)
- Trigger the online store to send an email to customer with shipping details and tracking ID
Click here to learn how this is done using Unify Enterprise.
Interfacing directly with online store
If after an order is shipped, the fulfillment house is updating the order status and shipping information in the online store. In some cases by doing this, the shopping cart will automatically (or manually) send a notification of the change in order status and shipping (carrier, method, tracking ID) to the customer.
If this is your process, shipping and customer notification is not handled byUnify Enterprise. This a matter of securing the logistical process of the fulfillment house.