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If you utilise a third-party fulfilment service such as Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) to ship your orders, you can connect the service to DEAR as an external inventory management location. 


DEAR allows your external warehouse/fulfilment centre to be created as a separate location in DEAR as well as allow sales order details to be communicated to your external fulfilment centre. It also has the ability to synchronise inventory quantities once orders are fulfilled and receive shipping/tracking information from the fulfilment service.


In addition, you can set up this integration in such a way that FBA stores all your stock and takes and fulfils orders, while DEAR only tracks what you've sold, what you're owed, and what stock is remaining.


NOTE: DEAR currently only supports native integration with Fulfilment by Amazon. If you are using another 3PL or external fulfilment provider, you will need to connect to them via our API (https://dearinventory.docs.apiary.io/#) if you wish to connect directly. Alternatively, you can manually export a 3PL Shipment List from the Sales page to give to your 3PL provider. 



Prerequisites

  • Amazon Seller Pro account (required)
  • Familiarity with the Processing a Sale process (required) 
  • Users will need the Integration: Fulfilment Service - Fulfilment By Amazon permission in order to use this feature. 


Table of Contents


Preparing your Amazon Seller Pro Account for DEAR Integration

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You must have an Amazon Seller Pro account to integrate your Amazon FBA account with DEAR. If you have an Amazon Individual Seller account, you need to upgrade it to an Amazon Seller Pro account before you can integrate with DEAR.


To prepare your Amazon Seller Pro Account for integration:

  1. Go to the Manage your apps page in Amazon Seller Central and log in to your Amazon selling account as the primary user.
  2. Click the Authorise new developer button and follow the authorisation workflow.
  3. When prompted, authorise DEAR to access your account using the following details:
    • Developer Name: DEAR Inventory
    • Developer ID:
      • 4103-6238-5902 (for the US and Canada)
      • 3077-2674-3899 (for Europe)
      • 0490-2413-7225 (for Australia)
  4. Amazon will give you an MWS Auth Token at the end of this procedure. You will use this together with your Amazon Seller ID to authorise DEAR Inventory in the next steps below.


Connecting to FBA

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First, you need to connect your fulfilment centre to DEAR Inventory. If you have an existing Amazon store already integrated to DEAR, see the Using an Existing Store section. If you do not have an Amazon store set up in DEAR, see the Manual Setup section below.


Once FBA is connected, a new external location will be created in DEAR. At the moment only one location is available per FBA connection. DEAR can use an existing location as an external location for FBA, or create a new location. See External Fulfilment location for limitations and features.


Using an Existing Amazon Store Integration

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To connect FBA to DEAR:

  1. Navigate to Integration → Fulfilment by Amazon
  2. On the Fulfilment by Amazon page, click the + button. 
  3. Under the Use an existing Amazon connection tab, select the Amazon store to be connected to DEAR and the warehouse location to be used for external fulfilment from your list of warehouses. If you do not want to use an existing warehouse location, leave the already selected Create a new location option as is, then click Connect to FBA. At the moment only one location is available per FBA connection.


Manual Setup

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  1. Navigate to Integration → Fulfilment by Amazon
  2. On the Fulfilment by Amazon page, click the + button. 
  3. Click the Connect manually tab.
  4. Enter your Amazon Merchant ID (Seller ID), Marketplace ID, and MWS Auth Token, which you should have already gotten following the steps in Preparing Your Amazon Seller Pro Account for DEAR Integration above.
  5. Select an existing warehouse location to be used with the fulfilment service or select Create a new location. At the moment only one location is available per FBA connection.
  6. Click Connect to FBA.


IMPORTANT! DEAR will make an inventory report request to Amazon every hour. The default setting is to send an email notification whenever an inventory report is requested. To avoid getting spammed with Amazon notifications, go to Seller Central → Settings → Notification Preferences in Amazon and disable Open Listings Report.


External Fulfilment Location

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An external location has specific features and limitations. 


External location features and limitations

  • Cannot have Bins
  • Cannot be renamed
  • Cannot be deleted, while a fulfilment service is connected
  • Can be synced with an external service in stocktake/Inventory count
  • Must only be used in sales where the goods involved will be shipped to the customer from an external fulfilment centre


If Create a new location was selected during setup, a new location with the name of the FBA account will be created within DEAR, which will then try to match the created location with an existing DEAR location of the same name. If the DEAR location contains bins, a new location will be created and named using the following convention: FBA account name + a numerical suffix.


If an existing location was selected during setup, DEAR will check if that location contains bins. If the DEAR location contains bins, a new location will be created and named using the following convention: FBA account name + a numerical suffix.


You can view the new location by navigating to Settings → Reference Books → Locations and Bins. There will be a note next to the location identifying it as being used for external fulfilment.


Once the external location is created, we strongly recommend you to conduct an initial stocktake/Inventory count in order to synchronise inventory quantities between DEAR and the external fulfilment service.


Setting up FBA

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After setting up the connection, you will next need to configure your FBA settings in DEAR and perform an initial stocktake in order to synchronise inventory quantities between DEAR and the external fulfilment service.


Setup Options

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The FBA Integration allows some options to be customised. These are found by navigating to Integration → FBA and then selecting your Amazon connection.


Price Tier for downloaded products: Select which Price Tier will be used for FBA customers. See Managing Price Tiers for more information. 


Create FBA fulfilment order with status: Choose what status the fulfilment order will have upon creation. On Hold means the order will be sent to the fulfilment centre but will not be shipped until a manual action has been taken (for example, if you are waiting on the customer making a payment) but the inventory will be reserved. Shipped means the product will be shipped out as soon as the fulfilment centre has it ready. 


NOTE: New transfer orders for inbound shipment will also be generated with the status in this setting. 


Manual/Automatic Order Processing: Choose whether orders are sent directly to the fulfilment centre or if a manual action is required first. 


Create DEAR Product if it does not exist: If you have FBA products that have not yet been imported to DEAR, enabling this setting will create them as Zero Stock on Hand products during the initial stocktake.


Auto-Sync Stock with FBA: When set, this allows auto-synchronisation of stock levels from the FBA account to the DEAR location. The auto-synchronisation can be set at daily, weekly or monthly intervals. By default, this is set to Never.


Start date for auto-sync stock: Sets the hour when stock level is synced on a daily basis. This option appears if the Auto-Sync Stock with FBA is set to a value other than Never.


Initial Stocktake

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Once the external location has been created or mapped, you will need to perform a stocktake at that location to synchronise quantities between the external service and DEAR Inventory. The stocktake function can be used at any time to synchronise quantities between the two systems. 


Why it is important to sync initial quantities?
When a new sale is created in DEAR, you will not be able to complete/authorise the Pick stage if there are insufficient quantities for products in the external location.

DEAR will create a new Fulfilment Order, based on the quantities of products it has on record for the external location, but will receive an error, because the product was sold out and the items are no longer available to ship from the fulfilment centre (this can occur if the inventory quantities were not synchronised initially or there is another service affecting the quantities in the external location).


To synchronise quantities: 

  1. Navigate to Inventory → Stocktake.
  2. Select your FBA Location and click Start.
  3. Click the Sync button at the top of the screen. All the inventory quantities from FBA are then imported into DEAR.
    • Non-Zero Stock-on-hand products will have quantities automatically synced.
    • Zero Stock-on-hand products will have quantities automatically synced, but the unit cost must be entered manually.
  4. Complete the stocktake.


IMPORTANT! It is best to not use other applications that can affect quantities in your external fulfilment service. If this is not possible, then stocktake/inventory count must be performed as soon as order fulfilment is triggered by the third-party application (this could take anywhere from hours to weeks, depending on your business needs). If quantities are not correctly synchronised, there is a risk of placing orders for items that are out of stock.



Fulfilment Orders

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Fulfilment Order is a section of the Sale module that provides ability to manage FBA external fulfilment orders. 


The section contains information about the orders, items in the fulfilment order (its packages), the date when different fulfilment stages were completed (e.g. ship/delivery and tracking information to track the current placement of the order (if the fulfilment service can provide this information). It also contains information about the shipping method and fulfilment order comments (some fulfilment services print comments on materials provided to the customer, e.g. package label).


Create a Fulfilment Order

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DEAR Fulfilment Orders cannot be created manually. DEAR creates a fulfilment order only when Ship is authorised for sale from the external fulfilment location. 


Create a fulfilment order: 

  1. Navigate to Sale → New → Sale.
  2. Enter the customer details as shown in Processing a Sale.
  3. Add items to the sale order and click Authorise.
  4. Under the Pick tab, make sure that Location is set to your external fulfilment location.
  5. In the Pack tab, if you have external fulfilment items and items from your own inventory in the same order, they will be placed in different boxes. You can also select more than one box for your external fulfilment order if required. The external fulfilment service may also decide to use more than one box. 
  6. In the Ship tab, you can choose to copy the order from the Pack tab or manually Add a line for external fulfilment. Select your shipping option from the list and click Authorise. A fulfilment order is then created with a link. 
    • NOTE: When choosing the Skip fulfilment option, Sale - Ship will be authorised, but no DEAR fulfilment orders will be created. This is to prevent double shipping in case the sale task (or sale shipment) has been undone and then re-authorised.
    • NOTE: AutoShip is disabled for sale orders with products picked from an external location. If user settings have auto-ship enabled, shipment lines will be created, but shipment will not be authorised.
  7. If during setup you selected Process fulfilment orders automatically, the order is sent directly to the fulfilment centre. If not, you need to go to the fulfilment order and click Process for it to be sent. 
  8. If during setup you selected Create FBA fulfilment order with status On Hold, you will also have to click Ship on the fulfilment order for the ship to be authorised.


One or all of the Pick, Pack and Ship processes can be automated. To automate the Pick stage, the product's default location must be the external fulfilment location (so at the time of the sale you cannot choose to sell the product either from external fulfilment or your own inventory). To do this, go to Settings → General Settings → Sales Process Customisation and set Pick, Pack and/or Ship to automatic.


Existing Fulfilment Orders can be viewed by navigating to Sale → Fulfilment Orders.


Depending on the fulfilment service, DEAR Fulfilment order could be created with status: Queued, On Hold or Shipped.


Order Statuses

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There are seven types of DEAR fulfilment order statuses.


Depending on what setup criteria were selected, DEAR Fulfilment orders can be created with status: Queued, On Hold or Shipped.


Queued: This status is assigned to newly created fulfilment orders that have not been sent to (processed by) the fulfilment service. While the fulfilment order has this status, it can be voided, edited/saved or processed.


On Hold: This status shows that the fulfilment order has been sent to (processed by) the fulfilment service. Only applicable if the External fulfilment service supports this status. It means that the external fulfilment service has received the order, validated it (for example, checked if the address is valid) and products for this order have been reserved in the warehouse. When the order is in this status, no inventory will be sent. In some cases, it could be used to hold the order, pending customer payment, before shipping the goods. While a fulfilment order is in this status, the user can cancel, edit/save or ship it.


Shipped: This status shows that the order was sent to the fulfilment service, which then processed it. The fulfilment order remains in this status until the customer receives the shipment. While a fulfilment order is in this status, the user cannot make any changes but is allowed to cancel the order, where the fulfilment service allows order cancellation. Usually, cancellation is available until the fulfilment centre staff begin the pick/pack process.


Completed: In situations where the Delivery status has not been returned, DEAR considers that the order was completed in the estimated arrival timeframe. This could occur if the fulfilment service or carrier does not provide tracking details which are used by DEAR to change the order status.


Delivered: This status shows that the fulfilment order was successfully accomplished.


Cancelled: This status shows that the fulfilment order was cancelled by the user.


Failed: DEAR fulfilment order shows this status only in cases where the external fulfilment service rejects the fulfilment request with an error (for example, if a fulfilment order has the wrong shipping address). This error is saved to the fulfilment order log.


Tracking Information

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Twice a day, DEAR (at 00:51 and 12:51 UTC time) will try to update tracking details and statuses for all fulfilment orders with Shipped status. If any information is updated, the appropriate message is logged.


Independently from DEAR packing lines, the external fulfilment service can separate the fulfilment order into several packages. If the external fulfilment service splits one shipment line into multiple packages, multiple tracking numbers will be shown for a single shipment line, separated by commas. 


When DEAR is notified that a new tracking number was assigned to a fulfilment order, DEAR stores this information inside the fulfilment order and generates an appropriate message in the fulfilment order log and the sale order log.


If the Sale order was changed after the fulfilment order was processed by the fulfilment service (for example, it was undone and the user changed the shipping lines and re-authorised the shipment), then the tracking number will be written in the sale order log.


Returns

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At the moment, FBA integration with DEAR does not support returns. 


Using FBA for eCommerce Integration

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If an external location is mapped to any location for eCommerce integration, it means that for each product sold from this location, an external fulfilment service will be used for order fulfilment.


Catalog

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The catalog for each FBA external fulfilment location can be viewed in Integration → FBA → Catalog. To synchronise product quantities, click Force Sync


Clicking an individual product opens a pop-up window with the product info. The Product Info window shows more information about the product quantity available and allows the product mapping for that product to be changed if required.


Inbound Shipments

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Inbound shipments (i.e. goods stock transfers from DEAR to FBA location) are managed from this page as a single management point. Users can use the date filter to filter the table display. Transfer order # are hyperlinks which take the user to the stock transfer task. 


Use the Search field to search inbound shipments via SKU, Product name, ASIN, From Location, and Transfer Order #. 


Refresh updates the display with the most recent information. 


Download downloads all inbound shipment statuses from FBA to DEAR (except those with statuses Cancelled, Deleted, and Error). Statuses are checked at least once an hour.


Pressing X for a shipment deletes the inbound shipment record and voids the relevant transfer order in DEAR. 


Create an inbound shipment

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Click + to open a new, empty stock transfer order and enter all data need to arrange a new shipment from DEAR to FBA. The To location will automatically be filled with the FBA location. Please see stock transfer for more information filling in a stock transfer order if required. Press Send Stock to mark the stock as In-Transit until it is received by FBA. 


NOTE: New transfer orders are be generated with status according to setting Create FBA fulfilment order with status on Setup page.


As soon as a shipment is received by FBA and status in FBA is marked as received, the relevant stock transfer task in DEAR is marked as completed. Statuses are checked at least once an hour.




Labelling products

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When dealing with FBA shipments from DEAR, there are two approaches for label barcodes for item identification and delivery tracking. 

  • use product manufacturer barcodes (while eligible barcodes include GCID, UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN);
  • apply Amazon barcodes (ASIN, FNSKU, or MSKU).


The purpose of this feature is to get a set of labels (including shipment label and FBA box label). These two box labels are supposed to be placed on the shipment box according to FBA requirements and contain shipment and tracking information for carrier and box content, so that FBA can properly identify and receive the goods from each inbound shipment order.


In this integration Print Label functionality only works when Amazon barcodes are used by merchant. If you are not enrolled in the FBA label service, attempting to print labels through DEAR will display an error message. A subscription to Amazon FBA Label Service is required to use the second method, which provides labels on per-item basis (charging a $0.30 fee for every item in shipment.


Switching between two modes can be done by customer through changing FBA Label Service option in Fulfillment by Amazon settings of Seller Central:

  1. From the Amazon seller account, under Settings, click Fulfillment by Amazon.
  2. Locate Optional Services and click Edit.
  3. Under Who Labels, select Amazon to enroll in the FBA label service or Merchant to cancel your enrolment. 
  4. Click Save.
    • NOTE: The new setting is applied to shipments you create after you change your selection. If you want the new setting to apply to shipments you are currently working on, you must delete them and create new shipments. 


User can press Print Labels either in the Transfer Order window or on the Inbound Shipment tab. This will open a new pop-up window with the required parameters for Amazon FBA Label Service to create valid shipment labels. This information can be saved as a draft to return to later if necessary. 


NOTE: If shipment labels are already printed for items in a transfer order, the user will receive an error message that labels have already been generated. This is to prevent you being charged multiple times by Amazon. Labels printed electronically by Amazon are stored in DEAR as PDF files and are available for opening (and printing) as many times as needed by clicking on the Printed labels button in the relevant transfer order record field.


Shipping Services

This section should allow choosing:

  • Shipping method: either Small Parcel Delivery (SPD) and Less than truckload (LTL)
  • Shipping carrier: Amazon-Partnered carrier or Own Carrier. When SPD shipping method is selected, this is further split into UPS and FedEx.


Shipment Packing

This section allows the user to select packing approach to use for inbound shipment goods. There are three options available:

  • Everything in one box if all items should be sent in one box
  • One SKU per box when each SKU is to be sent in a separate box
  • More than one SKU per box when there is more than one box total and products with different SKUs might be placed in each box. 


User can now press Confirm to send shipping and shipment information to FBA label service via API call. 


Box Content Information/Pallet Information


In this section, the user can edit information about box content (for SPD) or pallet information (for LTL/FTL)



Box Labels

In that section, the user can choose the box number(s) and set the paper type/size for labels to print:

  • when Everything in one box is chosen as the shipment package type, box number fields are not editable. 
  • for other types, box number fields allow setting the paper type/size for labels for particular box and/or boxes batch. 


When complete, user can click on Generate box labels button to make an API call to FBA label services to generate box labels. FBA label services returns 2 labels for each box when SPD shipping service is selected, but just one for LTL/FTL. 


Shipping Charges

This section requires some input from the user to calculate shipment charges assigned according to shipment content and carrier information. When Calculate is clicked, a request is sent to FBA to estimate transportation costs. After calculated cost is returned, the button displays Accept, which the user can click to confirm the cost with Amazon. 


NOTE: Accepted shipment charges can be voided from the Amazon Seller Central user interface, but only within default timeframes (24 hours for boxes and 1 hour for pallets).


Shipping Labels

That section should allow to print box and shipping labels according to number of boxes used for delivery using PDF files with labels, generated & downloaded from FBA.


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