How ShipHawk Works with Businesses Using an ERP
If your business has deployed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, you’ve probably already saved your company a great deal of time and money. By linking standalone software tools across departments (tools which previously didn’t communicate), your ERP system has eliminated a lot of the manual re-entering of data that used to be necessary whenever key information — a customer order, for example — made its way from your eCommerce platform, to a warehouse management system, to an inventory management system, and so on.
But one area of the order-fulfillment process that almost certainly still requires manual effort on every order is shipping. No matter how seamlessly your ERP has connected your eCommerce platform with your warehouse management system, someone on your team probably still needs to manually:
- Review each order
- Calculate or estimate the order’s weight and dimensions, and key in this data
- Figure out the safest and most cost-effective way to package the order
- Visit your carriers’/brokers’ websites — and key in the relevant data at each site — to identify the best carrier and service for the job (according to cost, service levels, customer expectations, etc.)
- Print documentation such as pick lists, parcel and return labels, BOLs, address labels, etc.
In other words, regardless of how sophisticated your ERP system is, the shipping process still requires many manual steps — steps that slow your process down and, because they require guesswork or ad hoc decision-making, often cost your company more money than they would if you could automate and optimize every order.
This is where the Smart Transportation Management System™ from ShipHawk comes in.
The ShipHawk ERP Integration
With ShipHawk, you can integrate an intelligent, automated shipping-management solution directly into your ERP system — whether you use SAP, Oracle, NetSuite or most other major ERP platforms.
When you’ve deployed the ShipHawk platform, you can automate much of the shipping function without ever leaving your ERP environment. For example, with ShipHawk integrated into your ERP, you’ll be able to:
- Automatically apply your policies and shipping rules to every order
- Automatically pull all relevant customer-order data from your ERP system directly into the ShipHawk shipping-automation system
- Automatically tap into ShipHawk’s network of hundreds of carriers (parcel, freight, LTL, white glove, etc.) for every order — without having to visit any carrier’s website.
- Automatically review all relevant carriers against the order’s details to identify the best company for the job — based on cost, service options, customer expectations, your policies, carrier pickup rules, etc.
- Automatically review order contents and other key details, and select the optimum box, packing material and other order-fulfillment details
- Automatically identify and report to your warehouse team your chosen carrier’s specific rules regarding order staging and pickup
- Automatically generate relevant shipment documentation — parcel and return labels, BOLs, etc.
- Automatically produce for your company a branded customer-facing site for shipment tracking and status updates, consistent across all orders regardless of which carrier you select
- Automatically track and analyze all of your shipping data, and produce for your company on-demand reports on carrier performance and other relevant information
- Automatically send all shipping and tracking data back into your ERP system, so you won’t have to manually enter any of this data
How ShipHawk Integrates with Your ERP
You have three options for deploying the ShipHawk shipping-automation system:
- Deploy a plugin to build your ShipHawk platform directly into your ERP.
- Access ShipHawk directly through our web platform.
- Build your own ShipHawk portal using our Shipping API.
This gives you flexibility in terms of how to use ShipHawk within your organization — either as a standalone platform for all of your shipping processes (accessing ShipHawk directly through our web portal) or integrating it into your ERP system.
If you choose to integrate ShipHawk into your ERP, the solution will automate all of the steps described above (for carrier selection, packing optimization, branded tracking, etc.) — and automatically transfer all relevant order data into your ERP system, so you don’t have to manually re-enter any of it.
Here is a list of the ERP partners ShipHawk integrates with.
Example of a ShipHawk Integration with SAP
If your company operates within SAP’s platform, ShipHawk will handle the integration between your SAP environment and the ShipHawk solution. ShipHawk will:
- Map all fields in your SAP environment relevant to your shipping processes (product data, shipping rules, negotiated rates with specific carriers if applicable etc.) and pull all of this information into your ShipHawk platform.
- Add new products and other relevant data to the ShipHawk environment as needed.
- Leverage all of this data with each new order to automatically get rates from carriers and book shipments.
- Provide tracking updates for any orders fulfilled through your ShipHawk system.
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