With the rapid growth in online retailer numbers as well as the development of the e-fulfilment sector, the need for logistics execution systems to connect with web marketplaces and e-commerce solutions has never been more important. ProSKU WMS is no exception, having been developed specifically for web deployment and equipped with a suite of APIs to facilitate integration.
ProSKU customers include both e-retailers and third party fulfilment companies, and one of the first questions asked by a prospective customers is whether sales orders can be imported from a website, web marketplace, or (multi-channel) e-commerce solution. The answer of course is yes, and the process needed to achieve this is usually quite straightforward.
For companies that use their own website (sometimes bespoke) to sell product, the ProSKU API can be used by a developer to create the integration needed to transfer orders to ProSKU. Increasingly though, customer integrations with both marketplaces and e-commerce solutions are relatively standard, with the ProSKU APIX module offering integration to many of the most popular ones.
There are differences between the data held by online selling systems and a WMS like ProSKU. This is often because minimal product data is maintained by the former beyond a product code and description. In some cases an SKU number (product ref) is not even required on the selling side. For this reason APIs may need to be formatted to ensure the correct data is received by the WMS.
The ProSKU APIX module is in effect an ‘integrator- aggregator’ that communicates with various online selling solutions via public API and polls both with requests and updates. This means that product data can be transferred to ProSKU from another system to allow receipts of product directly by the WMS. This product is located so that the system knows where it’s stored and how to pick it.
Orders fed from a sales system are then processed by ProSKU which reports back to it with amended stock figures. At despatch tracking information, which is either entered manually or obtained via API from a connected carrier management system, is available. This can also be transferred back to the sales system to provide customer tracking information.
Some ProSKU users may also want to share information with other applications, for example an ERP solution. This may be because web sourced orders are channelled through the system’s sales order module. Or it may be that a WMS needs to share information with an ERP stock control module even if web orders are received directly by the WMS. In either case both functions can be handled using the ProSKU API.
In many cases it’s not one online marketplace or solution that a ProSKU customer requires integration with, but several. The ProSKU APIX can connect customers to one or many platforms via API, and for multi-owner 3PL solutions each one can be identified by a unique key. Orders can also be source identified (e.g. all from Amazon) so that ProSKU can apply different picking or despatch strategies to them within the warehouse.