Do your drop shipped orders ever fall into a black hole?
Are your suppliers sometimes losing your purchase orders, not shipping them on time, or just forgetting to tell you that the orders shipped?
Are you able to follow up regularly on all your PO’s?
These are actually common problems when trying to drop ship, and this is how we solved these problems with opentaps CRM2:
- Periodically, we scan through open PO’s in the purchasing system.
- When a PO is past its scheduled shipment date, a follow up task is automatically created in CRM2. This task is tagged with “PO Follow Up” and the sales order and purchase order ID’s, so the task and any related activities show up automatically under the sales and purchase orders.
- An automatic email is sent to the supplier requesting an update on the status of the PO.
- When emails from the supplier are received back, opentaps CRM2 automatically links them to the original follow up task. Since the follow up task was tagged with the ID’s of the sales and purchase orders, this means the email is automatically linked to them as well. Further, this means the email is automatically forwarded to customer service and purchasing team members, who can notify the customer or update the PO as needed.
- There’s now a list of all the tasks for following up on PO’s in opentaps CRM2, so a manager could review their progress.
Here’s a screenshot of a task for following up on a PO:
Note the PO and SO numbers that are tagged with the task, so that it shows up for both your PO and SO.
Here are the activities, including emails and discussions, as they happened during the follow up for the PO:
This was a pretty custom implementation, but the process is similar to how we use open source scripts to customize CRM2: The order management system worked with the opentaps CRM2 REST API to create tasks and link the initial reminder emails to them, and opentaps CRM2 took over managing the tasks and subsequent communications.
In the end, by getting customer service reps, purchasing agents, and outside suppliers to communicate in an organized, task-driven way, we’re able to make drop shipping more manageable and visible.