DEAR external fulfillment workflow explained

If you utilise a third party fulfillment service such as Fulfillment by Amazon to ship your orders you are able to connect this service to DEAR as an external inventory management location. DEAR will send sale order information to the external fulfillment service and has the ability to synchronise inventory quantities once orders are fulfilled and receive shipping info as well as tracking information from the fulfillment service.


Table of Contents:


Diagram of workflow:


New external fulfillment service connection

[back to top]


Every external fulfillment service will work using the DEAR integration module.

Once a fulfillment service is connected, at least one new External location will be created in DEAR. At the moment only one location is available per external fulfillment service.

First DEAR will attempt to create an external location with name specified by fulfillment service, if location with same name is found, DEAR will check if that location contains bins. Location with set bins cannot be used as an external location. If the location has bins, DEAR will then create a new location with a number suffix in combination with name (1, 2, 3,…)


External location

[back to top]


External location will have specific features and limitations. It must only be used in sales where the goods involved will be shipped to the customer from external fulfillment center.


External location features and limitations

  • Cannot have Bins
  • Cannot be renamed
  • Cannot be deleted, while fulfillment service is connected
  • Can be sync’ed with external service in stocktake/Inventory count


Once the external location is created we strongly recommend you to conduct a stocktake/Inventory count in order to synchronise inventory quantities between DEAR and external fulfillment service. 


Why it is important to sync initial quantities?

When a new sale is created in DEAR, you will not be able to complete/authorise Pick stage if there are insufficient quantities for products in the external location.

DEAR will create a new Fulfillment Order, based on the quantities of products it has on record for the external location, but will receive an error, because the product was sold out and the items are no longer available to ship from fulfillment center (this can occur if the inventory quantities were not syncronised initially or there is another service affecting the quantities in the external location).



To synchronise quantities: 

  1. Navigate to Inventory -> Stocktake.
  2. Select your External Location and click Start.
  3. Click the Sync button at the top of the screen. All the inventory quantities from the fulfillment service location 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


Please ensure that initial quantities between DEAR and the fulfillment service are identical before commencing order fulfillment from the external location. If possible, please ensure conditions below are met:

  1. Do not use other applications which may affect quantities in your external fulfillment service.
  2. If rule 1 cannot be met, then perform stocktake/Inventory count as often as order fulfillment is triggered by the 3rd party application (period depends on your business, and may vary  from hours to weeks)


Fulfillment Orders

[back to top]


Fulfillment Order is a section of the Sale module which provides ability to manage orders in external fulfillment services.
The section contains information about the orders, items in fulfillment order (it’s packages), date when different fulfillment stages were completed (e.g. ship/ delivery and tracking information to track the current placement of the order (if fulfillment service can provide this information). It also contains information about the shipping method and fulfillment order comments (some fulfillment services print comments on materials provided to the customer e.g. package label)


DEAR Fulfillment Order statuses

[back to top]


There are 7 types of DEAR fulfillment order statuses:

  1. Queued
  2. On Hold
  3. Shipped
  4. Completed
  5. Delivered
  6. Cancelled
  7. Failed


Queued: This status is assigned to newly created fulfillment orders which haven’t been sent to (processed by) Fulfillment Service. While the fulfillment order has this status, user can Void, Edit/Save or Process it.


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


While fulfillment order is in this status, user can Cancel, Edit/Save or Ship it.


Shipped: This status shows that order was sent to fulfillment service, which started to process it. The fulfillment order will be in this status until customer receives the shipment. <br>While fulfillment order is in this status user cannot make any changes, except <strong>Cancel</strong>, where fulfillment service allows order cancellation. Usually cancellation is available until fulfillment center staff begin the pick/pack process. 


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


Delivered: This status shows that fulfillment order was successfully accomplished. 


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


Failed: DEAR fulfillment order shows this status only in cases where external fulfillment service rejects fulfillment request with error (for example if fulfillment order has wrong address). Note of this error is saved to fulfillment order log.


Fulfillment Order creation and Sale Order processing

[back to top]


DEAR Fulfillment Order cannot be created manually by user. DEAR creates fulfillment order only on Sale - Ship authorisation. To have correct behavior Sale Order UI and processing was modified:


  •  AutoShip was disabled for sale orders with products picked from external location for all sales (UI, ECS, API, etc). If user settings contain this option, shipment lines will be created, but shipment will not be authorised. Appropriate message will be written to log.
  • Fill Pack (Copy from Pick) behavior was changed. Products from external location cannot be packed in same box together with products from another location. Products from each external location will have a dedicated box. 
  • Fill Ship (Copy from Pack) will also create separate shipment line for each box from external location.


If product from external location was picked, Ship tab will have the following options: 

  • Carrier columns will be renamed to Carrier / Shipping service. In this column, user can choose shipping method for lines related to external fulfillment service, or Skip fulfillment option. If user chooses Skip fulfillment option, Sale - Ship will be authorised, but no DEAR fulfillment orders will be created. It is useful to prevent double shipping in case of sale task (or sale shipment) being undone and then re- authorised. Another list of shipping methods is obtained from Fulfillment Service. Please note, that some shipping methods are not available for all addresses.
  • Button Add External fulfillment line is used for adding a new shipment line for boxes fulfilled by external fulfillment service. 
  • Fulfillment orders grid. The grid lists all DEAR fulfillment orders linked to this Sale order. 


Depending on Fulfillment service, DEAR Fulfillment order could be created with status: Queued, On Hold or Shipped.


Fulfillment service catalog

[back to top]


Excluding some specific features, each external fulfillment service has Product Catalog/Inventory. This Catalog is updated in time intervals specified for fulfillment service integration.


Tracking details

[back to top]

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


Independently from DEAR packing lines, external fulfillment service can separate fulfillment order into several packages, according to this, one shipment line in DEAR can have several tracking numbers separated by comma. When DEAR is notified that a new tracking number was assigned to fulfillment order, DEAR stores this information inside the fulfillment order and creates appropriate message to fulfillment order log and to sale order log.


In case if Sale order was changed after fulfillment order was processed by fulfillment service, for example it was undone, user changed shipping lines, and authorised shipment again, then tracking number will be written only in sale order log.


Returns

[back to top]


At the moment, no returns are supported.


Using External fulfillment service for eCommerce integration

[back to top]


If external location is mapped to any location for eCommerce integration, it means that for each product sold from this location external fulfillment service will be used for order fulfillment.


Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.