Hardware and technology distributor automates sales order processing and eCommerce data management
Codeless Platforms today revealed that Softline UK, a hardware and technology distributor, has automated its sales order processing and management by using BPA Platform to integrate Sage 200 and eBay MIP (Merchant Integration Platform).
Softline UK Ltd. has been adding significant value to distributing technology and hardware products in the UK and Europe since 1989. It represents a wide range of world brands, helping them promote and sell their products directly to end users, whether this is via eBay and Amazon, or retailers and resellers, such as Dixons Carphone and John Lewis Partnership.
“We’re currently representing about 30 suppliers in the tool industry. One of our customers that has a substantial range of hardware products wanted to list their products on eBay. However, with 28,000 products, we needed to make sure the back end was correct; that we could invoice and that we could issue a purchase order for all our goods,” explained Steve Rush, Group Managing Director, Softline UK Ltd.
“When the end user buys a product on eBay, that purchase goes to two places. It notifies our account system, Sage 200, which then generates a purchase order for that product, which is then sent out to an array of third-party suppliers. Those third-party suppliers then fulfil the product. The tracking information then goes back to eBay and we get a completion for the sales invoice. We actually invoice the product as well. It was that element of it that we wanted to automate. That is the reason we engaged with Codeless Platforms.”
For eBay sales, Softline is utilising eBay’s Merchant Integration Platform to upload its products. However, although effective, it can be fairly complicated and can require a great deal of resource to manage.
“Another reason for engaging with Codeless Platforms is that we decided to utilise eBay’s Merchant Integration Platform which is a developer-level approach to eBay. Codeless Platforms has experience working with the MIP, which made the whole process seamless. Deploying BPA Platform means that we can automate bulk uploads rather than manually putting up listings,” revealed Rush. “What we liked about BPA Platform is that the hard work was already done, and that we were only paying to utilise the platform, but we could customise it as well. Uploading products to Amazon and eBay is very easy. However, the bigger your portfolio, the harder it is to manage. Therefore, a system like BPA Platform provides us with clean management.”
Managing a wide range of products can be a laborious task, especially when it is essential to monitor and adjust product availability and constantly changing prices. BPA Platform has now removed this manual process, helping to improve the accuracy of data on eBay.
“Another important part of what BPA Platform does is to reach out to our suppliers to get availability of each product and any price changes. This is now automated. For example, if the price of a drill changes, we now get that information within an hour and that is uploaded and reflected on eBay. We’re not manually managing pricing and availability files,” said Rush.
Softline is extremely impressed with Codeless Platforms and BPA Platform, from the initial consultation to the ease in which BPA Platform was integrated into this eBay project.
“Deploying BPA Platform has definitely been an economic benefit. It’s an upfront capital investment that we will gain back long term, because otherwise all these processes would be manual. Without it we would need a small army of people due to the number of products we’re selling on both platforms,” said Rush. “We are looking at extending our business by incorporating multi-platforms and adding more suppliers to this new system. Once we have greater understanding of BPA Platform, we will look to extend it out to broader places, such as ManoMano (a French organisation that sells tools and DIY products) and look at using it for Amazon.”
About Codeless Platforms
Founded in 1999, Codeless Platforms is at the forefront of business process automation and rapid application development. We have a proven track record of developing and delivering agile, flexible and robust next generation software solutions, empowering businesses to get the most from their data as well as the ability to respond to the rapidly changing business demands of today. Our knowledge of the marketplace and channel has grown in line with this development and established us as a highly experienced and reputable software company, working closely with partners and software vendors, such as Access, Epicor, Infor, Microsoft, Sage, SAP and SYSPRO. With over 450 global partners, more than 8500 customers use Codeless Platforms’ software solutions, ranging from diverse global organisations to the small local enterprise. The company is headquartered in Poole, UK, with representative offices throughout the world.