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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    237

    Question Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    I could use some advice from Shipworks users/employees/consultants out there. I've downloaded the product,which looks great, but I'm just not seeing the benefit of using Shipworks in my environment. It improves some functions, and slows others, the net impact being neutral to slightly negative. Maybe I'm not understanding the product, or maybe I'm just not the target market. In any case, I'd appreciate any feedback on my process, the software, etc.

    FWIW, we're a small, relatively low volume shipper that stocks our inventory, sells direct (no MOTO) and on ebay, and ships via UPS & USPS.

    Our process:
    - Print packing slips/invoices with UltraBatch (mm 4.24)
    - Pick and pack.
    - Export orders with Generic orders export.
    - Run a script to download orders.
    - Open WorldShip & Endicia
    - Place on scale, Key enter order number, affix label, repeat.
    - Run a script to upload orders to Order Status Manager.

    Where Shipworks makes improvements:
    - eBay orders (big ++).
    - Invoices look nicer
    - Now have data import capability
    - Tracking numbers exported to eBay.
    - One software console, scale, and printer vs two.
    - Integrated backorder/partial shipment tracking vs.manual process.
    - Customer history.

    Where Shipworks makes it worse:
    - Order processing much slower. Several steps vs.enter #
    and print (non-ebay).
    - Worldship and Shipworks do not work together because of scale contention.
    - Cannot flag/reprocess already shipped order.
    - Cannot move orders between batches.
    - Cannot capture funds on pre-auth orders.
    - Cannot figure out data export for Order Status Import (MM4.24)
    - SMTP email via gmail broken (fix seems to have been promised for years now)

    Bottom line, there are some features that I really like/want because they would improve our processes notably. But it seems that for every one I find that improves it, I find another that degrades it. Is that your experience as well? I know I've focussed on what doesn't work for me, but this is NOT a bash Shipworks thread. If I'm missing something in SW, I would love to find out, buy the product, and streamline my processes. On the other hand, if I'm barking up the wrong tree, that would be good to know as well.

    All comments positive, negative, and personal are welcome. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    No one? Wes?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    @pldoolittle

    It sounds like your existing process/setup is somewhat streamlined as is, and that you are relatively happy with what you have in place. Based on your description, you seem to be a few steps ahead of some of the people we talk to who come to us looking for a better way to handle post sale tasks (whether they are a single or multi channel seller).

    I think our customers would agree that one of the major advantages ShipWorks provides (especially as a multi channel seller) is that it offers a single unified method of managing orders, printing invoices/pick slips, reporting, generating shipping labels, etc. In addition, ShipWorks provides a variety of tools to help automate some of the tasks you may currently be managing manually. Filters allow you to setup a very specific workflow within the application, so you (or your team) can work with orders in a way that makes best sense for your business. Actions allow you to automate various events in the software (ie. Auto print an invoice/packing slip for every new order that is dowloaded, etc.). And almost all of the functions in ShipWorks can be performed in batch. For example, simply select 25 orders, right click, choose the Endicia button (or any carrier) and within a few seconds you can have all of your labels printed and ready to go. Once the labels are generated the software can automatically go back out to your shopping cart and mark the order shipped, update the tracking info, and send a customized email notification to your customers. This is just a quick overview, and there is much more that can be done with the program to help save you time and improve your processes. We would be happy to discuss with you via phone, if you would like.

    To address some of the issues you mentioned:


    - Order processing much slower. Several steps vs.enter #
    and print (non-ebay).

    In ShipWorks you should be able to select any order, click the UPS button (or any carrier), and print your label within seconds. You can also do this for a range of orders at the same time (batch processing), so you dont have to do them one by one.

    - Worldship and Shipworks do not work together because of scale contention.

    Maybe you can provide some additional information? We have not heard this from other customers. In addition, I would highly recommend taking a look at using our UPS OnlineTools integration. We have worked with UPS to include their shipping technology directly within ShipWorks. This turns the process into point and click (no need to key in order numbers, as required when using WorldShip).

    - Cannot flag/reprocess already shipped order.
    You can mark status on any order, set notes for an order, and also process as many shipments as you need for any order, using any combination of shipping carriers. There is no limit. Click the Add button to add as many shipments as desired. If you need to Void a shipment, you can use the Void button.

    - Cannot move orders between batches.

    If you move an order between batches in Miva, the next time you download in ShipWorks you will see that it corresponds to the proper batch.

    - Cannot capture funds on pre-auth orders.

    This is one that is not supported at the present time. You might consider changing to capturefunds at checkout instead of authorizing and then capturing later. Another option: ShipWorks can also export a report that could be imported into your credit card processing system to bulk capture authorized transactions.

    - Cannot figure out data export for Order Status Import (MM4.24)
    Can you explain where you are stuck? Also, if you have the Sebenza Ultimate Order Status module, ShipWorks will work with this automatically no need to export/import.

    - SMTP email via gmail broken (fix seems to have been promised for years now)

    Gmail is not supported in the current release. ShipWorks 3.0 (a complete ground-up re-write), coming this year, will offer support for Gmail as well as any other mail that requires SSL. In the meantime, you can use the outbound mail server typically provided by your ISP.

    If you have additional questions, or would like our team to walk through your setup with via remote screen sharing, we would be happy to do that. We may be able to see items that could be setup differently to improve how youre working within the software. You can email us at support[at]shipworks[dot]com or contact us at 1-800-952-7784.

    Thanks,

    Wes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    237

    Thumbs up Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    Wes,

    Thanks for the lengthy reply! I had seen you comment here before, and I was hoping you would chime in. As I mentioned, I'm so new to the product (and it so encompassing) that I can't tell when it doesn't have a function/feature, when it does and I can't find it, or if what I have found is a poor way of accomplishing it. I'll definitely take you on some tutoring. That said, is some feedback on your reply;


    >> It sounds like your existing process/setup is somewhat streamlined as is,
    >> and that you are relatively happy with what you have in place.

    Yes and no. It is streamlined for Miva, but not for multichannel. And will have to be completely re-done for MM 5.5. That's the driver for change. The frustration is that some of what we have highly streamlines slows down under ShipWorks (as I use it today).


    >> one of the major advantages ShipWorks provides is that it offers a single
    >> unified method of managing orders, printing invoices/pick slips, reporting,
    >> generating shipping labels, etc.

    Definitely. Is reporting multi-store also? I would LOVE to see multi-store download into a single view.

    >> Auto print an invoice/packing slip for every new order that is dowloaded

    I did not know this, but I will definitely use it. Same Q as I just asked, does this work for all stores from one console w/o switching views?

    >> And almost all of the functions in ShipWorks can be performed in batch.

    A big part of SW that doesn't benefit us as we pick-n-pack at the same time.

    >> the software can automatically go back out to your shopping cart
    >> and mark the order shipped, update the tracking info, and send a
    >> customized email notification to your customers.

    This is a mixed bag.
    - LOVE ebay updating and how it's handled in general. So far EVERYthing about eBay in SW makes our life easier.
    - I would love to see it capture funds in MM and move orders between batches.
    - for MM Update tracking info has to be done via manual export unless you have Sebenza and I don't. Same as now, but I cannot specify the target directory which means I have to depend on people to get it right every time or data is lost.
    - Endicia and UPS notify customers for us.

    - Order processing much slower. Several steps vs.enter #
    and print (non-ebay).

    >> In ShipWorks you should be able to select any order, click the UPS button
    >> (or any carrier), and print your label within seconds.

    Unless I'm doing it wrong, it's about 3-4 clicks (vs one step). And the *BIGGIE* here is that you have to tell it to capture the weight from the scale or your package weight may be wrong. Both Endicia and Worldship capture package weight automatically when the scale stabilizes.

    >> - Worldship and Shipworks do not work together because of scale
    >> contention.
    >>
    >> be you can provide some additional information?

    Whomever finds the scale first locks it. It's one reason we have two scales, one for WS, one for Endicia.

    >> In addition, I would highly recommend taking a look at using our UPS
    >> OnlineTools integration. We have worked with UPS to include their
    >> shipping technology directly within ShipWorks.

    Found that since. Much better, but I dislike not getting an "End of Day" slip, as does my driver. It eliminates one piece/record of accountability (the actual pickup scan) and that is never good.

    >> Cannot flag/reprocess already shipped order.

    Fixed. Learning curve (steep one too)

    >> - Cannot move orders between batches.
    >>
    >> If you move an order between batches in Miva, the next time you
    >> download in ShipWorks you will see that it corresponds to the proper
    >> batch.

    Yes, but I'm moving toward a single processing app... This is not huge, but it should be a basic element of an app that unloads so much from MM.

    >> - Cannot capture funds on pre-auth orders.
    >>
    >> This is one that is not supported at the present time. You might consider
    >> changing to capturefunds at checkout instead of authorizing and then
    >> capturing later.

    Sorry, but not a chance here and I would recommend that you recommend it. It violates CC TOS for many shippers and exposes all to huge fraud losses.

    >> Another option: ShipWorks can also export a report that could be imported
    >> into your credit card processing system to bulk capture authorized
    >> transactions.

    That would be MM. We're back to processing some in MM and some in SW. I can live with this one, but as before it should be on the roapmap for an app that pulls me farther away from MM.

    >> Cannot figure out data export for Order Status Import (MM4.24)
    >>
    >> Can you explain where you are stuck?

    Figured it out. Needed an XML report created to generate the export for OSI. I'll share it later, I would recommend you bundle it with the product.

    >> Gmail is not supported in the current release. ShipWorks 3.0 (a complete
    >> ground-up re-write), coming this year, will offer support for Gmail as well
    >> as any other mail that requires SSL. In the meantime, you can use the
    >> outbound mail server typically provided by your ISP.

    Gotta ding you here. One, it's been on the board for *years*, literally. Two, my mail provider is Google Premier. I want my sent messages in my mailbox, not another mailbox. You're making me work around a feature that should have been completed already. At LEAST call a MAPI client and let it handle the SSL. That's what endicia does.

    >> If you have additional questions, or would like our team to walk through
    >> your setup with via remote screen sharing, we would be happy to do that.

    I appreciate that. And I'm serious when I say this isn't a slam SW thread. I like what I see, and I'm already becoming hooked on the interface. But there are things that I don't like and I'm bringing them up in hopes that you or someone else will educate me on how to change it.

    Philip
    Last edited by pldoolittle; 04-16-10 at 11:01 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    In case anyone else should read this and get the wrong idea, I really like the product. Even if I decide that it's not for us (unlikely), you should give it serious consideration.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    As for the scale issue, that's Worldship. We run into the same problem with Worldship open while we are in Stone Edge Order Manager.
    Jason Fancett
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    Yes, definitely. It affects Endicia as well. ShipWorks appears and Endicia appear to play well together.

    I don't know if I mentioned it earlier, but I purchased an app/driver specifically for engineered for sharing serial devices between apps. It worked fine for everything except WorldShip. Even with assistance from the developer, we were unable to get it to play well with WorldShip.
    Last edited by pldoolittle; 04-17-10 at 10:32 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    This is why using your local ISP to send mail doesn't work for gmail users;

    Received-SPF: fail (google.com: domain of service {at} odordestroyer.com does not designate 11.22.33.44 as permitted sender) client-ip=11.22.33.44;

    Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=hardfail (google.com: domain of service {at} odordestroyer.com does not designate 11.22.33.44 as permitted sender) smtp.mail=service {at} odordestroyer.com


    Yes, I can have my host add the IP to my SPF record, but that would open up to spoofing from the whole ISP domain, in my case Comcast.
    Last edited by pldoolittle; 04-20-10 at 04:37 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stratford, CT
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    I just started using Shipworks as well and though I do love the program I found one problem that is most likely going to prevent me from using it.

    It seems to have a problem pulling data from the "cost" field in Miva attributes.
    In my store larger size t-shirts cost extra. If you look at the main screen in Shipworks and review your order in the bottom left corner, you will notice that the item cost is there but the attribute cost is blank.

    I am told there is no fix for this and it is a real problem for me when creating P&L reports.

    Later
    BC

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stratford, CT
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Shipworks vs. Generic Orders Export

    I meant to ask in my message above....
    Has anyone else noticed this problem and/or found a way around it?
    Thanks
    BC

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