You receive an order, pick it, pack it and ship it to the consumer.  That is simple drop shipping.  Unfortunately, reality is never that simple.  To be cost efficient you need automation.  And by that I mean DROP SHIPPING AUTOMATION THAT DOES EVERYTHING FOR YOU WITHOUT THE INTERVENTION OF ORDER PROCESSING PERSONNEL.  For example, does your software AUTOMATICALLY:

ü  Retrieve the order (EDI 850) from the Retailer?

ü  Acknowledge the order (EDI 997) to the Retailer?

ü  Notify you if there’s an exception?

ü  Finalize the order requirements?

ü  Determine packaging requirements for the shipment?

ü  Create a Sales Order or Invoice in your accounting system?

ü  Generate and print a Pick List?

ü  Generate and print Shipping Labels?

ü  Generate and print 3rd party Packing Slips?

ü  Send the order confirmation (EDI 855) to the Retailer?

ü  Send the ASN to Retailer (EDI 856)?

ü  Invoice the Retailer (EDI 810)

ü  Send item inventory to the Retailer (EDI 846)

You may think you are automated because you have a sophisticated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system or you may simply be using QuickBooks for accounting and inventory.  You may also have software applications that help manage shipping and labels. 

The problem is that this automation still requires trained order processing personnel to manage each step or, even worse, they may have to duplicate the entry of information into each software application opening the door for human error.

And then, of course, there’s EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) when it’s required to do business with a particular customer.  This can take two basic forms:  First the EDI provider you’re working with may be simply providing a secure translation and data exchange for you, such as a Value Added Network (VAN) or they may be a full service EDI provider that has integrated with your business processes and help you manage order processing.  In either case, it just means more complexity and cost.

Automation, real automation, is a necessary part of growing your business.  When your business is seamlessly connected the possibilities for growth become evident and easy to achieve.  OPAL can help you do this by knowing the business compliance requirements of every retailer, processing your drop ship orders in less than 8 seconds, 24 hours a day, with 100% EDI compliance and zero EDI document costs.  Please visit us at or call us at 469-661-2407 to schedule a 15 minute demonstration and see what it can do for you.