In the integration weeds | Bundles

In the integration weeds | Bundles

Tuesday, October 30, 2018Lindsay Hampson
Lessons from technical eCommerce integration experts
eCommerce to ERP integration is all about moving manual tasks out of the merchant or brand’s way. 
 
In the weeds on why you should create bundle codes within your ERP, not through integration business rules
eBridge Connections has been designing, programming and implementing EDI and eCommerce systems for the last 25 years. While we can complete custom requests, we also have time-saving, and risk-adverse recommendations for bundles and kits. 
 
To explain this, let’s use an example.  A busy brand is selling online using Shopify’s eCommerce platform. They want to pass Shopify orders through Standard EDI. 
 
  • Sales orders from Shopify converted into standard 850 document to be placed in a location determined by client 
  • 856 EDI converted into Shipping and tracking to Shopify 
  • 846 EDI converted into Inventory for Shopify
     
Their desired integration is Shopify + direct EDI data conversions (including AS2 communication).
 
The catch – they want to sell some of their items in the form of a bundle.  For example, 5 of their favourite items will be put into one pack and sold.  Kits and bundles are common today for online shoppers. 

kits.jpg

There are three options when it comes to setting up automation around kits or bundles: 
  1. Create a new Bundle Code to Bundle sub-items explosion with custom code during integration
  2. Create the Bundle Code inside the ERP – easy!
  3. Create the Bundle Code inside the eCommerce platform – easy!

1. Creating a new Bundle Code to bundle sub-items 
  • we would have to write a custom piece of code: 
  • i. first, to do the lookup of Shopify bundle item codes to multiple item components, the actual explosion of the bundle item code for the order inbound process and then for the outbound process we would have to somehow group the bundle item components to match back to the Shopify bundle item code. 
  • ii. Beside writing this custom code, the client would need to maintain the bundle code – bundle components lookups and also we would have to somehow provide error logging if the bundle operations fail due to i.e. missing lookups, incorrect matching of bundle components to Shopify bundle item code during outbound shipment process, etc.
  • From the software design point of view, doing Bundle Codes through custom work simply does not make any sense and would be prone to errors.  
 
   2 & 3. Creating bundles inside the ERP or accounting system or inside the eCommerce site itself.
 
  • Whenever eBridge Connections handles bundles/kits, etc. we always recommend that the bundle expansion needs happen at either end of the process: in this case either in Shopify or in ERP/back-office.
  • This is the only best practice that ensures success.

One last note...

This situation applies not only to EDI though but it applies to any ERP to Webstore or WMS integration.

When there is a ‘bundling’ scenario on one end then the best way to deal with it is to replicate it on the other end too - JUST not in the middle. This is the only way to keep it transparent and easily addressable/fixable if bundle/bundle components are not setup correctly on either end.

We hope you learned something from our smart eCommerce integration thought leaders! 

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