We’d ordinarily wait a little longer before the next customer announcement, but this release does contain some very useful additions, with a particular emphasis on courier-related improvements.
While these changes are certainly overdue, it is fair to say that Brexit has also been a trigger. A number of customers are looking at courier options and assessing the changes that Brexit scenarios might demand. The enhancements added in this release will help us respond more quickly to different potential outcomes.
We’ve added an ability to import courier services defined outside of OrderFlow on a spreadsheet. This makes it easier to set up couriers with a large number of courier services. It is also now possible to apply a custom ordering to the courier services, so that so that your most used services are faster to select.
With OrderFlow 184.108.40.206 we can now identify country groups, and apply logic for tasks such as courier selection based on these groups. For starters, we have identified countries for EU countries, non-EU European countries, channel islands, etc. There is also a user interface for setting them up.
We have made two changes to help avoid expiry of courier labels.
- Firstly, if shipments are held before picking, then courier validation will only take place after the shipment has been released.
- Secondly, we now have a built-in mechanism to identify courier labels as expired (applied for DPD API and Yodel NetDespatch), and to allow for the label to be automatically regenerated if the shipment is not picked before the expiry date is reached.
With 220.127.116.11, we have added a simpler package division mechanism for domestic shipments, avoiding the operator having to specify the product level detail of each package.
A new feature makes it easier to generate the data for courier test packs, which is necessary as part of the implementation process for some courier integrations.
Finally, we have added a set of built-in reports that will make validation of courier setups much easier, including reports to
- verify product level customs and pricing information
- verify order and shipment address mappings
- display high level detail on all of the outstanding orders in a channel
A number of other features have been added in this area which will also be useful:
- we have a better built-in mechanism for identifying the customs related pricing information for courier related reports and API requests.
- we can now specify the mail format as a key/value pair, which makes this field more readable in certain situations.
DPD API with electronic customs data
On Monday this week we received the newly released documentation for DPD API paperless invoicing solution, which is available for air-based services to international destinations requiring customs data. We have prepared the necessary changes, and will be submitting these for verification with the DPD technical support team shortly.
Batching for Optimised Pick Walks
In OrderFlow 4.0.2 we introduced a feature that allows the assignment of picking locations to minimise the pick walk required.
In 18.104.22.168 we’ve added a batching strategy that takes advantage of this feature. The ‘co-located’ batching strategy can be used to find shipments that are located close to each other, and batch these together to minimise the pick walk where possible.