Follow These Configuration Steps for a Seamless Purchase Order Process
If you’re like most businesses today you have a relationship with one or more manufacturers. Any in many cases you don’t even carry an inventory but simply have a factory-direct relationship which allows them to ship directly to your customer. Today, we’ll walk-through how you can use your Volusion ecommerce store to automate the order fulfillment process with your vendors.
The Advantages of Blind Shipments
If you can avoid carrying an inventory it gives you flexibility and cost savings. In such a scenario your vendor will fulfill your order and create what’s known as a blind shipment. A blind shipment is shipment that, when received by the customer, appears to have originated from your business and not the manufacturer or distributor or fulfillment house. Completing the masquerade, the vendor will generally include your packing slip and branding labels too.
Volusion Drop-Ship Configuration
The process of configuring your drop-ship in your store will consist of the following steps:
- Creating a Vendor
- Creating a Vendor Rule
- Updating a Product for Drop-Ship
Creating a Volusion Vendor
Creating a vendor in Volusion is easy but essential for drop-shipping. In order to create a vendor, follow these steps:
- Login to your Volusion ecommerce store’s admin page (e.g. www.yourstore.com/admin)
- Click on Inventory, then Vendors:
- Click Add to begin a new vendor
- At a minimum, you must configure the following fields:
- Vendor_ID: requires a numerical value
- Vendor_Title: the company name of your vendor
- Vendor_PO_Template: use the standard PO_To_Vendor.asp or if you’d prefer you can create one of your own
- Vendor_PO_SendVia: must select email as the value
- Vendor_EmailAddress: vendor’s email where they want the purchase order sent
- Vendor_Email_Subject: not required but highly recommended
- Active: must be checked
- Allows DropShipping: must be checked so your form should be similar to this:
- Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page and you’re ready to move on.
Note: Jot down the Vendor_ID you used for the vendor as you’ll need it to create the Vendor Rule.
Create a Vendor Rule for a Product
To automatically drop-ship a product from Volusion you’ll need to assign your new active vendor to the product with the following steps:
- Edit the product you wish to enable drop-shipping
- Scroll to the bottom of the product page and expand the section Vendor Rules for “YourProductSKU”
- You must complete the following fields:
- Click Save Changes to Vendor Rules
Configure the Product for Auto Drop-Ship
As a final step you’ll need to configure the several fields in Vendor Information section of the product:
- DoNotAllowBackOrders: must be unchecked
- AutoDropShip: must be checked
- Stock Status: auto drop-ship will ONLY operate correctly if the stock status of the product is at or below zero! Therefore, you MUST enter a value that will ensure the product has a zero or negative balance. For example, if you have a +4 next to your Stock Status field, you would enter -4 which would deduct enough products to equal zero.
Test and Implement
Once you’ve completed the above steps, you’re ready to go! Now, when an order is placed and you’ve properly authorized or received the payment, your vendor will receive an auto-generated email with all the necessary product and customer details to properly fulfill the order.