NetDespatch puts retailer Alton Sports' despatch process on track

Hampshire-based sports footwear and clothing specialist, Alton Sports, has shaved around two hours per day off the workload of its warehouse staff, by implementing a web-based integration solution from NetDespatch to seamlessly connect its order management system with its parcel delivery network.

Founded in 2001, family owned and operated Alton Sports lists more than 13,500 lines of sports footwear and clothing online, and despatches hundreds of consignments every week to customers throughout the UK and abroad.

"Prior to implementing the NetDespatch solution, we used a solution where we manually entered the details from orders placed through Amazon and our own ecommerce website, printed the address labels and then notified our carrier – Royal Mail," said Stephen Mills, eCommerce manager at Alton Sports.

NetDespatch implemented a solution that has streamlined Alton Sports' despatch processes for both domestic and international consignments. Order data is transferred directly from Amazon and Alton Sports' website through the powerful NetDespatch import engine, and labels are automatically streamed to thermal printers via the versatile NetDespatch Connector application. Furthermore, CN22 and CN23 customs declaration forms are automatically produced when required. The solution reduces operator error and speeds up order fulfilment - which is now normally within 24 hours. Customers are notified by email when their orders have been despatched.

Another part of the operation that has been dramatically improved is the production of the required carrier manifests - called Sales Order Summaries. These are quite complex, and are now produced at the click of a button. At the same time as these are printed, the data is transferred to the carrier's Online Business Administration system, ensuring that billing is always correct.

The completely automated solution enables Alton Sports to handle erratic volumes, which increase dramatically in the lead up to Christmas and just before the triathlon season from April to June.

"NetDespatch has reduced our despatch processing by about two hours per day," said Mills. "Implementation was a quick and simple procedure, and the NetDespatch Retail Solutions and Support teams were very helpful throughout the process."

NetDespatch works closely with postal and parcel carriers, and provides a cost-free shipping solution for their customers through an easy to use secure web-based platform that automates the connection between order processing, despatch and delivery, even if the orders are received in one location and despatched from another. There are no costs involved for installation, training or support, and the system is available instantly online.

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