Insights from Gearbox

"Anyone who stops learning is old." Henry Ford

Jul 28, 2020
Jul 28 2020

ShipStation Integration with FileMaker

by Michael Layne

Here's a not-too-deep dive into an integration success story for a client. They are in the apparel and promotions industry with a concentration on fulfillment and distribution.

The Problem

Like many companies, they have several disparate systems they have to manage in order to run their business. As advanced as each system was by itself, At the end of the day, they still had to resort to a type of "swivel chair technology" in order to get real-time information and critical insight into their supply chain and customer orders. This isn't even the entire picture. They also manage nearly 100 Shopify and Magento storefronts for some of their customers.

The Example

One of the key drivers to solve this problem was both to decrease the additional time needed to enter orders into the shipping solution, as well as the number of human errors occurring every day when staff had to manually key in large amounts of data into their shipping solution, ShipStation.

The Solution

We came in and designed a system that could talk to their manufacturing system as well as their shipping system. We automated queries to manufacturing and when an order was ready to ship, we could build the shipment automatically through the ShipStation API and schedule the pick-up.

Not only were they able to to have real-time visibility for what was shipping, we could also update what they came to call The Hub with all their shipments, including orders drop-shipped from other warehouses or supply chain partners across the globe.

To even further decrease errors, we were able to build logic that caught common address mismatches and notified staff when order information were inaccurate. We were additionally able to update their in-house production system with current shipment information such as cost and tracking numbers.

Less work for warehouse staff, fewer errors during data entry, real-time visibility of shipment status, and even flagging common mistakes before they cost money.

The Landmines

  1. If you have multiple ShipStation marketplaces or stores, make sure you have a simple method for changing your API keys and communicating with the right orders and shipments.
  2. As your shipments grow in number, pay attention to your page and pageSize to ensure you get all necessary updates in a given call.
  3. If you cannot find an expected field to map to your system, be sure to check out the Advanced Options and Item Option models.

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