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 USPS or UPS Worldship Integration?
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savvymedias
VP-ASP New User

191 Posts

Posted - September 22 2009 :  17:52:53  Show Profile  Visit savvymedias's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Anyone have integration with printing UPS labels or USPS labels?

Lori Titus
VP-ASP New User

126 Posts

Posted - October 19 2009 :  21:41:20  Show Profile  Visit Lori Titus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I use Endicia.com. They do specifically USPS. Their pro level (not certain what it is called, but highest level) allows you to type an invoice number directly into their desktop software, and it will pull all the info you need from your order database. I then have a dymo labelwriter that is dedicated to printing shipping labels. We ship 100-300 parcels per month, and going to the pro version definitely saves us a lot of time. It also helps that by using Endicia, you qualify for merchant shipping rates, and you get free confirmation tracking on all priority packages. I find that with the free priority mail boxes that USPS supplies, and the discounted shipping rates, I'm saving around $1000 a year.

The Internet's #1 supplier of honey and beeswax.
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savvymedias
VP-ASP New User

191 Posts

Posted - October 19 2009 :  23:17:54  Show Profile  Visit savvymedias's Homepage  Reply with Quote
How are you integrating with them? I have used Endicia since 2001 or 2002, so I know exactly what you are talking about. I was thinking it was worthwhile to have a programmer do the XML between Endicia and VP-ASP, but I would love to know how many people would be interested, as it isn't cheap to do.
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barney stone
Starting Member

USA
13 Posts

Posted - October 20 2009 :  08:36:16  Show Profile  Visit barney stone's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Before you have custom code written, you might want to consider the Stone Edge Order Manager (my company's product). It is fully integrated with VP-ASP, as well as with UPS, Fedex and Endicia for USPS shipping labels. At $1,995 it may cost you less than custom programming, and you get a full order management system. If your products have barcodes on them, you can use the Order Manager's Pack & Ship system to scan and confirm each item as it is packed, which eliminates most packing errors. That one feature alone can pay for the cost of the Order Manager for many merchants. Feel free to call us at 610-994-3699 if you would like to discuss it.

Barney Stone, President
Stone Edge Technologies, Inc.
www.StoneEdge.com
215-641-1837 ext. 111
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Lori Titus
VP-ASP New User

126 Posts

Posted - October 20 2009 :  20:23:59  Show Profile  Visit Lori Titus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I had originally been using Endicia Premium Service for the stealth postage (where the value of the postage does not appear on the label). However, I switched to Endicia Professional Service in order to get the bulk scans.

On the lower services, you have to trust the post office to scan each individual parcel on pickup. Unfortunately, for years their policy has been that if you purchase Internet postage, they will not scan the parcel except at delivery. This means that at USPS.com the parcel was listed as "Info received but parcel not received by post office" until it was actually delivered, and then I had to trust the postman to actually scan the parcel (which did not always happen). I had gotten tired of replying to emails asking me why the parcel had not shipped, when the problem was with the post office.

The one exception to this policy is a bulk scan sheet. A bulk scan sheet allows you to print one form with a 3-D barcode that links to all the parcels you ship that day. Instead of scanning potentially hundreds of parcels, they only havce to scan one piece of paper. To me, the time saved answering "where is my parcel" emails was well worth the additional cost of the higher service.

The switch from Endicia Premium to Professional also resulted in a slight change in software. Instead of using just their Dazzle software, I downloaded their Galaxy software. Galaxy, with minimal programming (if you maintain your own VPASP website, you can probably figure it out) allows you to type in the order number into a field, and it will automatically hook into your VPASP database and pull all the information you need to ship the order. You essentially just need to fill in a few fields - give it your password to your database, tell it which fields are the address, name, orderID, etc. Once everything is setup, you pull order order info, and the only other thing you need to enter is the mail class. You can even purchase a postage scale that ties directly into Galaxy and reads the weight of the parcel directly into the program.

Both Dazzle and Galaxy are desktop programs that tie directly into Endicia via the Internet. We are on cable modem, so we are always connected whenever the programs are brought up. Updates to the program are easy, and handled automatically by Endicia (like when the postage values change each year). There are several different types of labels you can choose from, etc. I don't use all the options on the program, but I use a fair number of them, and am quite pleased.

Looking at Endicia's website, they now have a side-by-side comparison of their different services. There is one more service higher than what I currently use, called Platinum Shipper. It is supposed to also hook into UPS, Fedex, and a few other services, but at $100/month, it is too rich for me (Professional is $35/month). I am planning on hooking into UPS, but am going to download their Worldship program and give it a try before paying more for something like the Platinum level.

I've been real happy with them. They have really streamlined our shipping process. It may not have as many bells and whistles as Stone Edge Order Manager, but we don't need them (yet). I'd love to have something that ties all shipping methods together in one place, but don't have the $2k to plop down on it, so I'll wait.

Hope this helps.



The Internet's #1 supplier of honey and beeswax.
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savvymedias
VP-ASP New User

191 Posts

Posted - October 22 2009 :  00:55:01  Show Profile  Visit savvymedias's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I would love to use StoneEdge, but I think the status updates get me. That and the fact that I often only have two concurrents users and three workstations, at best. I don't think that would be an option for me.

I may be looking at T-Hub, as it is cheaper than a developer, but I want to see if they have the higher level Endicia support, as that is definitely what I want.

Lori, Thanks for all the info.
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