FBA Shipments: Building an Optimal Workflow
by Colleen Quattlebaum, on March 23, 2017
When it comes to shipping, FBA merchants often have mixed feelings.
On the one hand, sellers get to bypass the never-ending demands of processing buyer shipments. Since everything is already in stock at FBA warehouses, Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") handles the tedious aspects of customer fulfillment. On the other hand, simply getting inventory to Amazon can feel like a monumental task. Box contents reporting, labeling, bundling and repacking are just a few of the many responsibilities to work through.
Luckily, RestockPro simplifies the shipment process for FBA merchants. In this post, we'll explore how RestockPro helps you build a more ideal shipping workflow.
A Shipping Model for Every Seller
At eComEngine, we realize that not every seller has the same business model. For this reason, we've built RestockPro to accommodate a number of flexible shipping models. When you sign up for a RestockPro account, you'll be asked to define a default restocking model for your store. You can pick from a variety of options, including:
- Cross dock - suppliers ship to you, you do the prep work and then send to Amazon
- Local - you maintain a level of inventory in your own warehouse and send items into Amazon as needed
- Direct ship - your supplier sends items directly to Amazon warehouses
If you sell dozens or hundreds of ASINs, there are bound to be a few exceptions to your overall workflow. Fear not, as RestockPro has you covered there, too. For any item or supplier, you can override your default restocking model.
Keep in mind that many RestockPro users log in daily to check their restocking suggestions. This prioritized list serves as a reliable to-do list, simplifying an otherwise very time-consuming and frustrating process. While in the app, merchants also use RestockPro's order tracking dashboard to stay organized on logistical activities. Minimize downtime by ensuring your inventory is never stuck in the wrong location. From the intuitive dashboard, you can visualize all of your in-transit inventory, whether it's headed to an Amazon facility, your warehouse or elsewhere.
RestockPro even builds purchase orders (POs) you can forward to your suppliers, creating a virtual paper trail of your restocking activity. Since supplier cost data is tracked automatically from your digital POs, RestockPro helps you continuously refine sourcing strategies and restocking decision making.
Step-by-Step Shipping Wizard
How do you actually use RestockPro to build a shipment? It's really quite easy. For a simple example, let's see how RestockPro might be used to prepare a shipment of your local inventory to Amazon's warehouse(s).
The first step is to identify the items you intend to ship to Amazon. RestockPro will remind you if an item requires stickers or special preparation. You can also toggle between case pack or individual shipping.
Next, you'll have the opportunity to customize your shipment settings. Name your shipment for easy reference and specify a "from" address. If you use the FBA label service, be sure to indicate your labeling preferences.
Before completing your shipment, RestockPro prompts you to confirm your planned shipments. If you're not quite ready to finalize a shipment or discover that the shipping plan is not economically favorable without adding additional items, you can save your work and revisit the shipping plan at a later date or time.
Once finalized, RestockPro will upload your shipping plan to your Seller Central account. (Or, alternatively, you can choose to download the plan to a CSV file and upload it manually into your Seller Central account.) Complete the process by uploading your box contents and printing your shipping labels.
What about the times when things don't go as planned? RestockPro can help you identify problems before they happen. For each shipment you send to Amazon, RestockPro continuously checks to see if your inventory has arrived. In a few clicks, you can see how many parcels have arrived (as compared to what you actually shipped) for each Amazon warehouse.
For additional visibility, RestockPro also allows you to add tags and notes for each shipment (as a whole) or for individual items. This is especially useful when tracking items that require further investigation or have been resolved.
Streamline Your FBA Shipments
Ready to streamline the logistics of your FBA inventory? Give RestockPro a try today. Click here to start your no-obligation trial of our software.