Best Practices for Maximizing Warehouse Efficiency


ShipWorks’ Mirza Mulaosmanovic recently hosted a webinar covering the Best Practices for Maximizing Warehouse Efficiency. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the webinar live and participate, check out the recording below. We’ve also included answers to the questions our virtual audience had during the webinar. 


Q: What is Best Rate?

A: Best Rate is a rate shopping feature that lets you rate shop across select shipping carriers to quickly determine the most cost efficient method to ship your packages based on the criteria you set.  That criteria can be delivery times, lowest shipping cost, package size, weight or many other features. Other vendors make you toggle between different tabs to view different carrier rate information, but with Best Rate all the data appears on one screen.


Q: How does Scan and Print work?

A: Using ShipWorks’ new Single Scan program, customers can use a barcode scanner to scan an order ID and have all the shipping information appear in the ShipWorks interface for that specific order.  This will include the weight of the package from your scale and delivery address.  ShipWorks can also be configured to automatically print a shipping label with each scan of the barcode. By using Single Scan you save lots of keystroke time and with fewer mouse clicks, the information will be more accurate with less chance for user error.


Q: Is it possible to print a packing slip and a shipping label at the same time?

A: Absolutely, we actually have several options within ShipWorks that allow you to do print multiple items at once such shipping labels, packing slips, pick lists, invoices, customs forms and many other items. You are able to print the label and the packing slip onto a single piece of paper, to a thermal printer, or customize your own method of printing within our template editor.


Q: Are you considering cloud software for ShipWorks?


A: ShipWorks is a desktop client-based application. We feel that a client-based application provides a ton of benefits such as data security and better server performance.  That is one of the reasons that we’re able to print labels so fast – at a rate of sixteen thousand per hour. Performance is our main goal, and given the performance that we get out of being a desktop-based software, we’re really not looking to move into the cloud.


Q: Will you integrate DHL into Best Rate?

A: Currently DHL will not be included in Best Rate because we don’t get a rate from DHL. In the future when we get rate from DHL, or any other carrier, we will include it within Best Rate.


Q: How do I find out what version of ShipWorks I am using?

A: to find out what version of ShipWorks you are on, click “Help” in the top Nav and then an “About ShipWorks” popup will appear.  You should see a field showing the version of the software you have.  You can also contact ShipWorks Support by calling 1-800-952-7784 or emailing us at  [email protected] .


Q: Does ShipWorks work with multiple boxes in a shipment?

A: Yes, if your order includes the use of multiple boxes you can set up a rule such that if you have more than X number of items in an order, ShipWorks will create Y number of packages for that order. When you scan the barcode for this order, ShipWorks will apply those rules to the shipment and print the corresponding number of labels.


Q: Why does ShipWorks require a connection string when using ODBC with Access?

A: Technically it doesn’t. If you were to create a data source for Access without a connection string, it should work. The only caveat here is the way that OBDC works with Windows; if the application is running in 64-bit mode then the OBDC driver needs to be a 64-bit OBDC driver, if the application is running a 32-bit mode it needs to be a 32-bit driver. The 32-bit drivers will not show a 64-bit machine running with 64-bit version of ShipWorks.


Q: Can you make an end of day UPS report in ShipWorks?

A: Yes, ShipWorks allows you to make an end of day report for UPS  out-of-the-box  If you are looking for a specific report in ShipWorks and it does not exist, you have to ability to build it. In the “Manage Templates” window you can see reports that exist within ShipWorks, and also the option to add new reports. Each of these reports is built from HTML and XSLT so they can be customized or rebuilt from the ground up.


Q: What would happen in the case of scanning a barcode twice?

A: Scanning a barcode multiple times won’t be an issue within ShipWorks. There are safety mechanisms in place so that you don’t accidentally recreate a shipping label a second time. In addition, ShipWorks also features various safety mechanisms that check for invalid addresses, orders previously marked as shipped and other issues that may arise in the warehouse.


Q: Can a label and packing slip print on separate printers?

A: Absolutely! In ShipWorks each template has its own printer settings. For example, if you go to the “Standard Label” template you can choose which printer handles this printing task. This template is separate from the “Packing Slip” template which also has its own printer settings.  We have a lot of customers who print shipping labels out on a thermal printer and Customs Forms out on a regular ink-jet or laser printer.


Q: How does ShipWorks determine the weight of the shipment from the packing slip?

A: There are three options for determining the weight. One, we can pull the weight from the shopping cart, marketplace, or wherever the data may come from. Two, we could pull the weight from a scale if you have one plugged in. Three, we have this feature called ShipSense that lets you manually override weights coming from other sources (carts, marketplaces, etc.).


Q: Will Wayfair be integrated into ShipWorks?

A: Currently, we do not have a direct integration within Wayfair. With Wayfair, we can easily pull order data into ShipWorks from a text file (CSV, TSV) or even an Excel file.  You can also use this method for any other marketplace that generates text files.


Q: How does Single Scan work with box package sizes?

A: Currently Single Scan does not work with box package sizes but it’s something that is coming in the future. Right now the box sizes come from your shipping rules. In ShipWorks, you can set up rules that assign specific dimensions or box type to products. In the future, we plan to implement a feature where we’ll have special barcodes you can scan that will apply the dimensions from a specific box.


Q: Can you export a tracking number directly to Quickbooks without going through Zapier?

A: No, we currently don’t have a direct integration with QuickBooks but you can export tracking numbers through Zapier. Another option is using a software called Cloud Cart Connector that allows for a direct connection between ShipWorks and QuickBooks.


Q: Does ShipWorks ever accidentally download orders from Amazon or eBay that have already been shipped? If so, is there a mechanism that recognizes that an order has been shipped already?

A: ShipWorks pulls all the order data from Amazon and eBay even if an order has been shipped. We do this because it gives users the ability to run reports on all orders. One of the pieces of data we get from Amazon and eBay is shipping status; if an order’s status shows that it has already been shipped, ShipWorks will not allow the order to be shipped a second time.


Q: Can you create custom labels at the order item level to help filter?

A: You can create custom order item attributes but you cannot use them as a filter. In ShipWorks, you can filter items using Name, Code, Price, SKU, UPC, ISBN, Location, Weight, Unit Cost and Description.


Q: Any plans to handle backorders?

A: In regards to backorders, it really depends on your workflow. For example, one way to handle backorders is to set the order status to “backorder” and then send an email to whoever is in charge of inventory to order those new items. Alternatively, you can set up an action so that when an order is backordered, ShipWorks will automatically update your inventory software. We recommend calling ShipWorks Support so they can help you develop a method to handle backorders based on your unique workflow.


Q: Is ShipSense store specific? Will weights carry over from Amazon to eBay?

A: ShipSense will save weights based on item properties that you determine. If your products have the same information in each of the selected item properties, then they will have the same saved weight. If you are having an issue with weights not syncing across multiples stores, you will need to find an item property that is the same in each store and select the corresponding field in the ShipSense Settings.


Q: In the shipping profit and loss report, is there a way to account for shipping not charged because the shipping cost is included in the selling price of the item?

A: Definitely! If the shipping amount is zero you could create a custom formula within the template to set shipping price as a percentage of the item price or specify a flat amount such as $0.