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The Fulfillment Innovation Wheel: Automation

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The Fulfillment Innovation Wheel: Automation

ShipHero recently launched The Fulfillment Innovation Wheel to help 3PLs understand what capabilities and service offerings they need to implement in order to be successful and to help online retailers and brands choose which 3PL is right for them by allowing them to ‘check the boxes’.

The Fulfillment Innovation Wheel listed a set of twelve (12) capabilities that fulfillment providers and logistics companies should implement to continually delight their customers and push themselves towards greater success and innovation.

The twelve capabilities are:

  1. 2-day delivery
  2. Same day shipping
  3. At the box personalization
  4. Designed for returns
  5. Sustainable fulfillment
  6. Resilient shipping
  7. Distributed fulfillment
  8. Data now
  9. Automation
  10. Scale up and out
  11. Integration stack
  12. Professional services

In this article, we will be diving into Capability #9: Automation.  

And be sure to stay tuned for future articles as we deep-dive into each capability.

The mundane, the menial, the humdrum, the everyday monotony… these are the types of business activities that should and could be automated. Why spend your valuable time copy and pasting shipping information across your systems? Or manually inputting return information? Or constantly checking inventory levels? Let automation work for you!

As a business owner, your fulfillment provider should also understand that your time is your most valuable resource. If you are just starting out, you may be able to manually handle it all on your own. But when your business grows bigger and bigger, and the orders are rolling in, you risk spreading yourself too thin, giving yourself no time to get your head above water and focus on your business’s long-term strategy. 

If you get to the point where the everyday tasks of your fulfillment process seems to be your only focus, it’s definitely the right time to switch to a fulfillment provider that can automate these for you.

ShipHero’s Automation Cookbook

For that reason, ShipHero has partnered with Alloy to unlock smart automations that improve inventory control and warehouse operations with just a few clicks, while integrating ShipHero with 60+ apps to improve the fulfillment experience and grow your business. 

The few example recipes below from ShipHero’s automation cookbook give you a glimpse at the power of automation between workflows, and may enlighten you to possibilities you never thought possible. 

Recipe: Send reorder emails or Slack notifications to staff for low inventory in ShipHero

Our workflow automates reorder emails to be sent to staff when there is low inventory in ShipHero. This ensures that your team can restock inventory at a reasonable pace and without over-stocking, and is a great way to organize the flow of customer traffic and inventory.

Recipe: Tag Shopify orders based on ShipHero delivery date

This workflow tags Shopify orders based on the ShipHero delivery date. This means that all orders are tagged by date allowing you to view which days are busy and how many orders are expected to ship out weekly. Tagging orders is a good way to stay organized especially when your store is expanding globally and there are multiple orders placed on the same day.

Recipe: Set a ShipHero threshold to notify store owner of low inventory

This workflow notifies you when your inventory is low in ShipHero. For instance, inventory levels are updated regularly and you receive inventory levels for each inventory item. When stock is low, you receive a notification. Immediate notifications to store owners are key to restocking your inventory and satisfying your eager customers. These notifications can be sent through Slack and email.

Recipe: If an order is still unfulfilled in ShipHero after 2 days, email me

This automation will schedule a workflow after 2 days. Then, it will check to see if the order is unfulfilled for greater than or equal to 2 days. This will trigger an email notification to the store owner. This frees you up from constantly checking the fulfillment status of your orders.

Recipe: Automate fulfillment for Gorgias returns requests in ShipHero

This workflow automates fulfillment for Gorgias return requests in ShipHero. When a customer requests a return on Shippo, a Gorgias request is immediately created and sent. This frees up time from going back and forth between Shippo and Gorgias and ensures no information is lost.

Recipe: Cancel ShipHero scheduled delivery if there is a Gorgias request

With this automation, customers can send in a support ticket for a cancellation request. Once your team marks it as a canceled order, an email is sent to the ShipHero fulfillment team so they won’t fulfill the order.

Recipe: Send ShipHero delivery updates via Klaviyo SMS

SMS messages can have open rates as high as 98% and you’re not limited to using them for promotional campaigns. With this workflow, you can send delivery updates to customers through a text message to leverage higher open and engagement rates.

In addition to the above, Alloy also has delivery update automations for Omnisend SMS, PostScript, SMSBump, and Tone, and more integrations are created all the time.

Our customers love the automation capabilities that ShipHero provides. We attribute this success on the Fulfillment Innovation Wheel to Capability #10: Automation.

Stay tuned next as we cover Capability #6: Resilient Shipping! Viva la resilience. ShipHero.

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Special thanks to our friends at Shiphero for their insights on this topic.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA, starting in the early days of online commerce when he achieved Power Seller status through his eBay store. This propelled him to become a co-founder of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. With a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, where he helps identify, navigate, and accelerate growth in the complex world of commerce.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast and Shopify Founder Stories, a top-rated twice-weekly podcast where he interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty.

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