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Khoo Seller saves 15h per Week for Unicorn Products - Case Study

Christopher Khoo
12 February 2021 17:31

We are pleased to share a recent project we completed with Unicorn Products Limited to help them with their Amazon Vendor EDI integration. The main outcomes of the project were:

  • Fully integrated to SAP
  • Amazon UK, France, Spain, Sweden integrated
  • 15 hours of manual checking saved each week
  • Scalable EDI solution for Amazon Vendor.  
  • Read the case study here.

Background:

Unicorn wanted to integrate Amazon Vendor Central to SAP, their in house ERP system. The main aim of the project was to help save administration time in processing orders, as there was a large time cost in downloading POs, checking stock levels, accepting them in Amazon Vendor, and then importing them into SAP. Typical order days of Monday and Wednesday meant that these mornings were spent doing repetitive tasks. This had a knock-on delay to the warehouse, meaning that picking, packing and creation of the shipments were typically delayed until the next day. Vendor lead time (VLT) is a key metric used by Amazon and a delay of a whole day is a large problem, especially on POs with short shipping windows of 3-4 days.

Another problem was comparing the stock levels of each item, and knowing what has already been allocated, catering for items that have pack sizes and multiple unit types (singles & cases). Then there was a delay in accepting the order in Amazon Vendor Central, which can be a slow process. Unicorn were keen to integrate with Amazon Vendor, but not experienced with EDI, so approached Khoo Seller to see if they could help. 

"We were spending about 10 hours on UK orders, and another 6 hours on French orders every week!" - Amelia, Unicorn Products

Consultation Process:

During the first stage, Khoo Seller worked closely with Unicorn to map out their processes and understand their systems. EDI Integrations require not just an understanding of how Amazon works, but also how a company's internal systems operate, too, as well as the roles that staff perform and how their roles will be affected by the changes. There were consultations that discussed different integration routes, ranging from a basic EDI integration of POs only (EDI 850), to a 'medium' integration of PO and POA (also EDI 855), to a fully fledged integration of ASN (EDI 856) and Invoice (EDI 810). We opted to go for a medium integration route, as this worked best in terms of cost-benefit analysis; the solution solved 80% of the time problems for a fraction of the full system cost.

Khoo Seller  then consulted with Unicorn's IT partner, who were very helpful in creating routines to integrate in and out of SAP. The principle method of integration to and from SAP was iDocs, meaning that Khoo Seller integrated Amazon Vendor with SAP, using EDIFACT to Amazon and iDocs to SAP. We also engaged in a series of training sessions and as always, performed a series of extensive checking to ensure that catalogues are accurate and that the team knew how to handle errors, problems and exceptions. It was also important to train the team with how to manage new Amazon FCs, new product items in the catalogue, and new countries and vendor codes. Once the solution was tested and built, there were a few tests to ensure that messages sent were successfully received and that stock and inventory levels were accurate.

Solution Overview:

Unicorn now have a access to their own Vendor Central portal dashboard through Khoo Seller, a cloud-based platform to manage and action Amazon Vendor POs quickly and easily. Here, Purchase Orders are compared agains the available stock level, allowing for bulk processing and batch processing of Amazon POs. This means that within a few minutes of entering the system, hundreds of order lines can be actioned in a few clicks and sent over to SAP for import. The EDI integration for Amazon Vendor is fully integrated for European marketplaces such as the UK, Amazon Spain, Sweden and France. 

"100% would recommend Khoo Seller to anyone! This has saved me so much time and hassle inputting Amazon orders. Its quick and easy!" - Amelia, Unicorn Products

Outcomes:

Overall, the integration saves upwards of 15 hours a week in administration time. Naturally as the Amazon account grows, the time save will increase even more. The integration between SAP and Amazon Vendor was superior to other EDI providers because we also integrated the Purchase Order Acknowledgement message, which is synchronised to the stock levels. This means that within minutes of the order arriving, they can be actioned in bulk, accurate to the stock levels of the moment, and confirmed to Amazon. 

Get in touch!

If you have an EDI requirement for Amazon Vendor, and spend too long processing orders, handling ASNs and raising invoices, then an EDI integration might be able to save your adminsitration teams not just time, but also chargeback costs related to shortages. We would be glad to begin an introductory call that is focused around how you work as a business and what systems you need integrating. In this example we integrated to SAP,  but there are many more systems we integrate to with a variety of different protocols, such as Unleashed ERP, Dear Systems, or bespoke systems that have their own means of integrating. If you'd like to explore EDI integration, get in touch and we'll setup a call to discuss how we can support you.