Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) - External Fulfilment Service

If you utilise a third-party fulfilment service such as FBA to ship your orders, you are able to connect this service to DEAR as an external inventory management location. Every external fulfilment service will work using the DEAR integration module.


DEAR will allow your external warehouse/fulfilment centre to be created as a separate location in DEAR, as well as allow sale order details to be communicated to your external fulfilment centre. It also has the ability to synchronise inventory quantities once orders are fulfilled and receive shipping/tracking information from the fulfilment service.


Prerequisites

  • An Amazon Seller Pro account is required to use DEAR External Fulfilment Service Integration (required)
  • Familiarity with the Processing a Sale process (required)


  1. Connect to FBA
  2. Setup FBA
  3. Fulfilment Orders
  4. Catalog


Connect to FBA

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First, you must connect your fulfillment centre to DEAR Inventory. 


To connect FBA to DEAR:

  1. Navigate to Integration -> Fulfilment by Amazon.

If you wish to use an existing Amazon store:

  1. Select the Use existing Amazon connection option.
  2. Select the desired Amazon connection from the list and click Connect.
  3. Select an existing warehouse location for external fulfilment or click Create a new location.


If you do not have an Amazon store connected:

  1. Select the Connect manually option.
  2. If you not have an Amazon Seller Pro account, upgrade it now.
  3. In Amazon, add FBA access to your account. When prompted:
    1. Select I want to use an application to access my Amazon Seller account with MWS.
    2. Enter the Application's Developer Account Number:
      • 4103-6238-5902 (For US and Canada)
      • 3077-2674-3899 (For Europe)
    3. Press Next, review and accept the license agreement, and press Next again.
    4. The next page will display the credentials you will need to enter into the fields in DEAR.
  4. In DEAR, enter your Amazon Merchant ID (Seller ID), Marketplace ID and MWS Auth Token.
  5. Select an existing warehouse location to be used with the fulfilment service or select Create a new location.
  6. Click Connect to FBA.

IMPORTANT! DEAR will make an inventory report request to Amazon every hour. The default setting is to send an email notification whenever an inventory report is requested. To avoid getting spammed with Amazon notifications, go to Seller Central -> Settings -> Notification Preferences and disable Open Listings Report.


Setup FBA

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External Fulfilment Location

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If Create a new location was selected, a new location with the name of the FBA account will be created within DEAR. DEAR will try to match the created location with an existing DEAR location of the same name. If the DEAR location contains bins, a new location will be created, using the FBA account name plus a numerical suffix. 


External locations cannot contain bins, and cannot be renamed or deleted while the fulfilment service is connected. 


You can view the new location by navigating to Settings -> Reference Books -> Locations and Bins. There will be a note next to the location identifying it as being used for external fulfilment.


Setup Options

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The FBA Integration allows some options to be customised. These are found by navigating to Integration -> FBA and then selecting your Amazon connection.


  • Price Tier: Select which Price Tier will be used for FBA customers. 
  • Fulfilment Order Status: Choose what status the fulfilment order will have upon creation. On Hold means the order will be sent to the fulfilment centre but will not be shipped until a manual action has been taken (for example, if you are waiting on the customer making a payment) but the inventory will be reserved. Shipped means the product will be shipped out as soon as the fulfilment centre has it ready. 
  • Manual/Automatic Order Processing:  Choose whether orders are sent directly to the fulfilment centre or if a manual action is required first. 
  • Create Products in DEAR: If you have FBA products that have not yet been imported to DEAR, setting this option to Allowed will create them as Zero Stock on Hand products during the initial stocktake.
  • Auto-Sync Stock with FBA: When set, this allows auto-synchronisation of stock levels from the FBA account to the DEAR location. The auto-synchronisation can be set at daily, weekly, or monthly intervals. By default, this is set to Never.

Initial Stocktake

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Once the external location has been created or mapped, you will need to perform a stocktake at that location to synchronise quantities between the external service and DEAR inventory. The stock take function can be used at any time to synchronise quantities between the two systems. 


To synchronise quantities:

  1. Navigate to Inventory -> Stocktake.
  2. Select your FBA Location and click Start.
  3. Click the Sync button at the top of the screen. All the inventory quantities from FBA are then imported into DEAR.
    • Non-Zero Stock-on-hand products will have quantities automatically synced.
    • Zero Stock-on-hand products will have quantities automatically synced, but a unit cost must be entered manually.
  4. Complete the stocktake.


IMPORTANT!  It is best to not use other applications that can affect quantities in your external fulfilment service. If this is not possible, then stocktake/inventory count must be performed as soon as order fulfilment is triggered by the third-party application (this could take anywhere from hours to weeks, depending on your business needs). If quantities are not correctly synchronized, there is a risk of placing orders for items that are out of stock.


Fulfilment Orders

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Create a Fulfilment Order

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Fulfilment orders are created in the same way as a typical sale, from the Sales module.


To create a fulfilment order:

  1. Navigate to Sale -> New -> Sale.
  2. Enter in customer details as shown in Processing a Sale.
  3. Add items to the sale order and click Authorise.
  4. Under the Pick tab, make sure that the Location is set to your external fulfilment location.
  1. In the Pack tab, if you have external fulfilment items and items from your own inventory in the same order, they will be placed in different boxes. You can also select more than one box for your external fulfilment order if required. The external fulfilment service may also decide to use more than one box. 
  2. In the Ship tab, you can choose to copy the order from the Pack tab or manually Add line for external fulfilment. Select your shipping option from the list and click Authorise. A fulfilment order is then created with a link. 
  3. If during setup you select Process fulfilment orders automatically, the order is sent directly to the fulfilment centre. If not, you need to go to the fulfilment order and click Process for it to be sent. 
  4. If during setup you selected Create FBA fulfilment order with status On Hold, you will also have to click Ship on the fulfilment order for the ship to be authorised.


One or all of the Pick, Pack and Ship processes can be automated. To automate the Pick stage, the product's default location must be the external fulfilment location (so you cannot choose at the time of sale to sell the product either from external fulfilment or your own inventory). To do this, go to Settings -> General Settings -> Sales Process Customisation and set Pick, Pack and/or Ship to automatic.


Existing Fulfilment Orders can be viewed by navigating to Sale-> Fulfilment Orders.


Order Statuses

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There are seven (7) types of DEAR fulfilment order statuses.


Depending on what setup criteria were selected, DEAR Fulfillment orders can be created with status: Queued, On Hold or Shipped.


Queued: This status is assigned to newly created fulfilment orders which have not been sent to (processed by) the Fulfilment Service. While the fulfilment order has this status, it can be voided, edited/saved, or processed.


On Hold: This status shows that fulfilment order has been sent to (processed by) Fulfillment Service. Only applicable if the External fulfilment service supports this status. It means that the external fulfillment service has received the order, validated it (for example, checked if address is valid) and products for this order have been reserved in the warehouse. When the order is in this status, no inventory will be sent. In some cases it could be used to hold the order, pending customer payment, before shipping the goods.


While a fulfilment order is in this status, user can cancel, edit/save or ship it.


Shipped : This status shows that the order was sent to the fulfilment service, which then processed it. The

fulfilment order remains with this status until the customer receives the shipment.


While a fulfilment order is in this status, the user cannot make any changes but is allowed to cancel the order, where fulfillment service allows order cancellation. Usually cancellation is available until fulfilment center staff begin the pick/pack process.


Completed: In situations where Delivery status has not been returned, DEAR considers that an order was completed in the estimated arrival time frame. This could occur if the fulfilment service or carrier does not provide tracking details which are used by DEAR to change order status.


Delivered : This status shows that a fulfilment order was successfully accomplished.


Cancelled : This status shows that fulfilment order was cancelled by user.


Failed: DEAR fulfilment order shows this status only in cases where the external fulfilment service rejects the fulfilment request with an error (for example, if a fulfilment order has the wrong shipping address). This error is saved to fulfilment order log.


Tracking Information

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Twice a day, DEAR (at 00:51 and 12:51 UTC time) will try to update tracking details and statuses for all fulfilment orders with Shipped status. If any information is updated, an appropriate message is logged.


Independently from DEAR packing lines, the external fulfilment service can separate fulfilment order into several packages. If the external fulfilment service splits one shipment line into multiple packages, multiple tracking numbers will be shown for a single shipment line, separated by commas. 


When DEAR is notified that a new tracking number was assigned to a fulfilment order, DEAR stores this information inside the fulfilment order and generates an appropriate message in the fulfilment order log and the sale order log.


If the Sale order was changed after the fulfilment order was processed by the fulfilment service, for example it was undone and the user changed shipping lines and re-authorised the shipment, then the tracking number will be written in the sale order log.


Returns

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At the moment, returns are not supported.


Catalog

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The Catalog for each external fulfilment location can be viewed in Integration -> FBA -> Catalog. Product quantities can by synchronized by clicking Force Sync.



Clicking an individual product opens a pop-up window with product info. The Product Info window shows more information about the product quantity available and allows the product mapping for that product to be changed if required. 


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