MetaPack & Carrier Integration
You dont have to use Metapack you could just create files for your chosen Carrier. Then the carrier software prints the label, books a delivery and emails the customer a tracking code.
I would presume that a user in the normal sales order process will print pick notes, go and pick the goods, confirm pick (which creates an invoice) and then email the invoice etc. At some stage probably around confirm pick they will want to print the labels and allocate a carrier etc. We have an option (similar to confirm pick screen) called “Send Orders to Metapack / Carrier” that allows us to see all the orders not already sent to Metapack or Carrier. We have a flag on the order so we don’t send them twice.
We can tick the orders and click OK they will be sent to Metapack using the API or a Carrier file is created. We also have an option to print labels for your own transport or send the file to a 3rd party warehouse.
Metapack is a company that specialise in deliveries and interfacing with all the carriers. Whichever carrier you use they can integrate to it saving all the hassle of creating links with each one.
In the Metapack user interface you can decide which carrier, print labels etc. or this can be done automatically based on criteria you set. They print in the correct format to stick straight on the box. If you have multiple carriers then you tell it to pick the lowest cost etc. You can also amend the information if needed.
Metapack will improve the delivery experience for customers and users. If the carrier has tracking available this tracking number can be emailed to the customer so they can track their own order. If there is no success delivering the parcel then it can also email them again to rearrange delivery. This contact with the customer should reduce the number of calls about “where is my delivery”.
The information we pass to Metapack is as follows:
Customer Name and Address
Shipping Name and Address
Since the tracking number is available in the Metapack system and is emailed to the customer from the Metapack system there is no need to bring it back into Interprise so this is a one way link to Metapack. (If you have a webshop then you could get your web developer to use the Meta Pack web service to go and get this information so when a customer logged in they could get the tracking number. Since they will be emailed it several times from metapack its up to you whether you would want to do this or not).
Metapack will do a demonstration of the software if required. Their web site is http://www.metapack.com/ for further information.
You can get your own but if you use certain carrier tracking you need better labels. Metapack can provide labels for your printer at a reasonable cost.
You should weight the cost against the cost of time and effort to deal with calls about where is my delivery and entering information onto a specific carriers system etc.
Some big customers use Metapack and we have chosen to integrate to them because we think they offer great value for money.