What Shipster Does
Shipster is primarily an integration and decision-making platform. It’s there to link various warehouse and e-commerce systems together, move data back and forth, and make decisions about how best to deal with the requests it receives. It collects data about shipments from your platform (e.g. Peoplevox WMS), processes the data, feeds it through our rules engine, contacts the courier and books in the shipment, prints any relevant documents and then passes the tracking data back into Peoplevox (from here it will be passed back to your sales platform).
What Shipster Doesn't Do
What Shipster isn’t, is a carrier or tracking management platform. You can’t directly manage your shipping data or tracking data through us. All of this functionality will come from the other systems you have in place. Tracking data should be handled through your sales platform, it’s the system best placed to communicate with the customer, and should already contain the functionality to do this. Shipping data will come directly from the couriers, they should all be supplying this information to you on a regular basis.
...So if we don’t offer carrier or tracking management, then what exactly do we offer beyond the all-in-one platforms? Primarily, flexibility and customisation. If you want to do something and your shipping integrator doesn’t do it, then you are out of luck and you can’t do it. They probably won't be able to modify their platform just for you and you’ll be left with no choice but to deal with it. We are the complete reverse, you are paying for the ability to ship things the way you want to do it, and we will modify our processes to do things the way you want them doing. You can think of it as having your own in-house system, where you can ask your own staff to change it as you see fit.
Linking a Physical POS System
One client has a separate physical POS system that allows them to manage orders from their multiple bricks and mortar shops. While the tracking and despatch data was all linked up through Peoplevox to their online sales platforms it wasn’t possible to link their POS system to Peoplevox, it was too niche and had few integration options. We built them a custom connector into Shipster that detected an order that came from the shop, using our rules engine, and then pushed the tracking update into the POS system as well as updating Peoplevox with the same data. There was no charge for this add-on, and it was completed in less than a week.
Connecting a Small Shopify Store
Another client had a separate small store on Shopify, barely processing a dozen orders a month, but they wanted to be able to ship using their accounts set up with us. We gave them access to a Shipster integration that allows them to despatch Shopify orders directly from their store in the desktop interface, completely bypassing Peoplevox so there was no need for a big expensive integration, but still giving them access to our systems and their accounts.
It’s not really possible to show you the engine, there is no editable screens you can see that you will have access to, you will be dealing with our support team to have changes made. You can email in any time, or call them up between 10-5 on a weekday. Because the rules engine is so complex it does not lend itself to user editing, but you will find working with the support team is a lot easier than managing it yourself, you can just ask for an end result and let them worry about how it is accomplished.
Really it’s not about us telling you what the rules engine can do, but more you telling us what you want to do and we’ll make it happen. There has yet to be an instance where a client has asked for something and we haven’t been able to do it.
The client in question ships out Christmas tree, so they already have a very unique setup, they have 20+ packing benches for 8 weeks of the year, and then 1 bench for the rest (saving a ton of money with our flexible licensing). They also ship Christmas lights, stands, decorations, etc.. So a lot of the time if the customer has bought a big tree, they will take the small items and put them inside the tree box and send it all as one item. When they were using their old system they used to have to manually edit the shipments to reflect this, making sure that only 1 box was on the shipment and that the line item data and customs values were correct.
Shipster completely automated this for them. The rules detect what is in the shipment based on the category of the products, counts how many of each item there is and then makes a decision about whether those items will all fit inside the box with the tree. It would even work with multiple trees in a single shipment, splitting up the small items and distributing them amongst the bigger boxes.
As an added bonus, when it was an edge case and we couldn’t accurately decide if it would all fit in one box, we pop up a window on the operators screen with a couple of big buttons to let them decide if it would all fit, or push it into 2 parcels.
This page explains some of the rules options in more detail(Although there are a lot more that are too hard to explain on a website): https://www.shipstersolutions.com/our-software/custom-shipping-rules/
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