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Thread: API and Royal Mail's (DMO) - Despatch Manger Online

  1. #41
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    We're seeing how the integration of BP with Despatch Manager goes before making any moves away from OBA to DMO. From the conversations I've had with ROM so far it sounds like they are taking a softly, softly approach to the implementation and I suspect they'll not introduce any extra charges for not changing over until the system goes fully live next year.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSM View Post
    Just felt the need to join this place to have a rant about the new DMO requirements among people who understand how pick, pack and despatch works in reality, unlike Royal Mail. My main issue is the apparent need to only print labels for parcels you're sending out that day - which is fine when you're just doing a manageable number, but when you're talking hundreds it gets a bit tricky. Firstly despite years in the business it's impossible to estimate the exact amount you'll do - we've always been able to get to a cut off point and if not everything has been done hold them back for tomorrow and docket appropriately, but now it seems the only way to do that would be to hold items on the system, meaning they can't even be picked.

    Secondly as well as running a manual End of Day process the system also runs one automatically daily at 6pm, meaning in theory you can't print labels until the day of despatch. We've always tried to print the day before so orders can be picked and packing begin first thing in the morning, or if large volumes staff can come in early to get a head start. Royal Mail don't seem to understand you need to print the labels at the point where the rest of the paperwork is printed, not as you give them to the driver! The last thing we want to do is have to search through all are parcels to attach the right label at the end of each day - that's asking for trouble. Royal Mail seem to be under the impression that printing the label is the last stage of the packing process, but actually for us and I think many others it's the first.

    There seems to be no willingness from Royal Mail to listen to feedback from their customers - a couple of simple changes would solve those problems for me but I'm basically told DMO is set up how it's set up and that's the end of it! Considering we're all having to adapt our systems to cope with their new demands (which has took me the best part of the summer - we have our own aging bespoke system at the moment though I ended up here looking at other options for the future) it's frustrating they aren't putting the customers first.
    We're just going to sit tight and see how the new netdespatch system works with the BP integration. I agree that the whole thing seems completely ridiculous and I'd be interested to know who Royal Mail spoke to about how the new system would work in relation to small businesses. Probably no-one !! They obviously have no clue, like you say, about how small businesses operate with regards to picking, packing, despatch routines.

    If we have to take a hit on higher prices, then so be it. Personally, I think paying higher prices will be still be cheaper for us in the long run compared to how much it would cost us in staff time to run the new system.

  3. #43
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    Sep 2007
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    I agree with you Sarah, we're doing the same.

  4. #44
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    It's worth remembering that for all the hassle of getting this to work, the upside will be that 24 and 48 parcel services will have a confirmation of delivery included at no extra cost once the barcode functionality is up and running (at least this is what I was told by Royal Mail). So although it looks like being a bit painful to integrate the benefit of delivery confirmation will be welcome as it will be cheaper than using a signed for service (which is what we currently use for orders over 100) and it allows you to confirm delivery on every parcel.

    However, this benefit will be outweighed if it takes a lot more time to process orders or significantly restricts how and when orders can be printed and picked.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitinglard View Post
    It's worth remembering that for all the hassle of getting this to work, the upside will be that 24 and 48 parcel services will have a confirmation of delivery included at no extra cost once the barcode functionality is up and running (at least this is what I was told by Royal Mail). So although it looks like being a bit painful to integrate the benefit of delivery confirmation will be welcome as it will be cheaper than using a signed for service (which is what we currently use for orders over 100) and it allows you to confirm delivery on every parcel.

    However, this benefit will be outweighed if it takes a lot more time to process orders or significantly restricts how and when orders can be printed and picked.
    Only if you use their Tracked Service I believe. We use RMDMO but with normal 24/48 and there is no confirmation of delivery as far as we know.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by KayJay View Post
    Only if you use their Tracked Service I believe. We use RMDMO but with normal 24/48 and there is no confirmation of delivery as far as we know.
    When we had a meeting with a RM rep he said that the standard 24/48 service would have delivery confirmation included, for no extra cost. I have had this re-confirmed by another RM advisor on the phone so think it's correct. This will only take effect once the barcoding is in place and live next Spring.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitinglard View Post
    When we had a meeting with a RM rep he said that the standard 24/48 service would have delivery confirmation included, for no extra cost. I have had this re-confirmed by another RM advisor on the phone so think it's correct. This will only take effect once the barcoding is in place and live next Spring.
    Fingers crossed they were both right as we had not been told this. It would be fantastic if it was.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitinglard View Post
    When we had a meeting with a RM rep he said that the standard 24/48 service would have delivery confirmation included, for no extra cost. I have had this re-confirmed by another RM advisor on the phone so think it's correct. This will only take effect once the barcoding is in place and live next Spring.
    I have been told this as well.
    Regards

    Neil.

  9. #49
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    We already use ParcelForce for larger/higher value items. The whole reason we use RM is because it is fast and efficient. If they take that away then we'll have to consider other providers, I suspect there will be someone waiting in the wings for all the disgruntled RM customers, if you're reading this forum feel free to give me a call!
    Joe

  10. #50
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    Feb 2013
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    Rich - do you have any preliminary info yet about how the interface with NetDepatch will work in terms of the physical interface with BP? E.g. will all the operations be within the BP platform or will we need to go off-site for some of it?

    Any heads-up appreciated so we can get an idea of how it's going to work in practice.

    Thanks
    Paul

  11. #51
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    Just to say, we have been live with mark2 of our custom built netdespatch integration for a week now and it works an absolute dream.

    Booking takes just under 12 seconds a parcel - we can't batch book on due to varying weights.

    Basically we batch pick in BP, then for booking onto netdespatch there is a barcode on our integrated labels that we scan to pull the order details into our software, We select the tariff we want to send by, enter the weight and all the relevant info is then sent to RM or APC, the label is then printed, at the same time BP is informed to ship all picked on that order, and told to send the despatch email. Sorted.

    If anyone is interested in seeing the video that we took during testing for Simon and netdespatch to see it in action let me know.

    For those without a solution yet, I think I'd wait to see what BP come up with first before going down the route we have.
    Regards

    Neil.

  12. #52
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    I wanted to mention that we're in the testing stage of the NetDespatch integration, we're currently going back and forth with NetDespatch to iron out remaining issues. The initial release will support Royal Mail Domestic and International.

    I won't reveal any detailed procedural information at this point, as it's still subject to change, but the system is designed to allow bulk order despatch and individual order despatch (especially for orders having more than one package). The system will allow a final weight to be entered, accounting for packaging. There is also a default packaging weight to save time for merchants shipping many identical packages.

    The NetDespatch setup is done via the Shipping Editor, for each individual shipping method - which relates to a Royal Mail tariff.

    For anyone wanting to use this as soon as it's released, you can sign up for the service with NetDespatch here:

    http://goo.gl/forms/9ggZ6JuyFz

    It's probably worth doing this in advance, as they're very busy at present. There is no charge, obligation or change to your Royal Mail account.

    More information to follow soon!
    Developer :: Bluepark Solutions

  13. #53
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    Sep 2007
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    We just had a meeting with a Royal Mail guy to discuss DMO. I probed him about the tracking from next spring. He said it would be a single scan and confessed that he wasn't sure if it would be at the customers address....he said it might be at the local sorting office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I said that would be next to useless and would definitely not bother switching to DMO if that was the case.

    I am waiting until it goes live in April before considering it. They have no plans to stop existing customers from using OBA. The "mandatory" nature of all the correspondence we all received about switching to DMO was all a bluff.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    We just had a meeting with a Royal Mail guy to discuss DMO. I probed him about the tracking from next spring. He said it would be a single scan and confessed that he wasn't sure if it would be at the customers address....he said it might be at the local sorting office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I said that would be next to useless and would definitely not bother switching to DMO if that was the case.

    I am waiting until it goes live in April before considering it. They have no plans to stop existing customers from using OBA. The "mandatory" nature of all the correspondence we all received about switching to DMO was all a bluff.
    We are the opposite, we use DMO which means that Netdespatch won't work for us I believe. When I say won't work I am basing this on how we used to have OBA about 5 years ago so the system may have changed since then. It used to be that SD, international, recorded items required an actual sticker on the bag and the delivery address details written into a book. The postman would then tear out his portion and leave us with the book. DMO doesn't need that, everything is on the label and the manifest has barcodes on that get scanned on collection (although recorded requires a flash label)

    I think I am right in saying Netdespatch uses the OBA system and there is no way we would want to go back to handwriting delivery details in those infernal books again. Like I said, the system may be more automated now so I could be out of date.

  15. #55
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    We haven't written in the book for about 10 years now, but I know some poeple still do.

    We pick & pack using Bluepark's picklist & despatch notes with intergrated PPI labels.

    We export all orders to excel - 30 seconds.

    We mark each order in excel as we pack it, for packet size and service used. - 2 seconds per order (maybe 20 seconds for a tracked, scanning in barcode and weighing etc)

    At the end of the day excel gives us a summary of what to process into OBA - 3 minutes ('cos OBA is so clunky!)

    We mail merge our order data from excel to produce despatch documents for Next Day, Recorded and International - 2 minutes ( <<---that's the old book bit)

    Done

    Without an API using DMO would be a nightmare for us. I would love the benefit of standard tracking, so will switch if it offers that in April. I'm waiting to see how it pans out first though.

  16. #56
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    Ah, so the books are no longer required, that is good to know. Just for future reference, we do the following (we currently use LW but have used the BP export facility for the same job)

    Export orders to csv
    Tweak anything that needs a tweak such as changing the international service to a higher or lower grade service
    Import to RMDMO
    Print labels
    Pack and ship
    Using list inside RMDMO, flag the BP orders that have been dispatched

  17. #57
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    The problem we would have with importing to DMO is you have to pre-define the packet size before you import. We have a split between packets and large letters. We don't know for sure what it's going to be until we pack it.

    How do get around this KayJay? Or do you not have any large letters.

  18. #58
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    We still write in the recorded & special delivery books ! No-one has ever told us how to send those particular parcels without using them. How do you do it ? We use OBA

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    The problem we would have with importing to DMO is you have to pre-define the packet size before you import. We have a split between packets and large letters. We don't know for sure what it's going to be until we pack it.

    How do get around this KayJay? Or do you not have any large letters.
    We have packet and large letter items, generally about a 50/50 split. The way we do this is to have an attribute called Format in each product. This is then set to be PP or LL. This gets exported too and is mapped in the RMDMO system so it understands what PP and LL mean. Obviously mixed orders are not so easy. Our large letter stuff is all lightweight, so when I export the csv, I sort it by package type ie PP and LL and then scan down the LL's looking for weights that look odd for a large letter item. I give any odd looking ones a quick check to see if they should be PP instead of LL and change it in the spreadsheet.

  20. #60
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    Any updates on when the Netdespatch integration will be available for DMO

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