PRODUCTS & SERVICES

OMNIBRIDGE™

Although important, it is simply a technical matter to take drop-shipper product feeds and automatically match and list items across multiple channels. The same is true for automatically retrieving and processing orders. However, no matter how efficient and automated your system is, if it can’t alleviate the fallouts caused by inevitable imperfections and errors, your losses will far outweigh any gains!

It is not about inventory feeds, automated order processing, or customer service. It is not about a single portal to view orders or products. It is not about dynamic re-pricing, or cross-channel operations. It is all about real-time transaction management in the context of channel performance targets.

Lost in the noise of gaining margins through repricing tools, the constant refrain that FBA is the only answer to growth, or the never-ending discussions on how automation is critical for scalability; there is one fact that is absolutely essential for marketplace growth: online marketplace orders are unlike any other e-commerce transactions. Because your very existence on these marketplaces is predicated upon seller performance metrics, it is necessary to fundamentally shift your preconceived notions about operations and execution.

In your quest to expand sales, you will inevitably produce faulty orders. Some may require cancellation due to insufficient or incorrect stock or backordered items. Others may end with an incorrect item being shipped to the customer. Still others may have problems ranging from late shipment, incorrect tracking information, or maybe even being a restricted item prior to any order being placed. The possibilities, unfortunately, are endless.

Because of the myriad problems that you can face with orders and inventory, unless you have a truly proactive system that triggers mitigating actions to prevent the majority of these problems, all your automation, repricing, and other clever business strategies will sit idly by as your store sits inactive due to suspension, shutdown, or simple loss of buy-box eligibility.

It is for this reason that, once you review all available options and sincerely compare their features, the only solution suite that will remain standing tall is OmniBridge™ by MPLogix.

OmniBridge™ is the ONLY software platform that leverages Business Activity Management to execute your e-commerce business across all channels while fusing FBA, Warehousing and Dropshipping. It is the quintessential inherent benefits of BAM that make OmniBridge™ not just the only solution of its kind today, but the one that can emphatically claim to have solved the online marketplace conundrum and allow you to grow and sustain success for years to come!

The OmniBridge umbrella suite contains the following applications:

  • ResellerBridge
  • ProductBridge
  • OrderBridge
  • MarketplaceBridge
  • WarehouseBridge
  • E-CommBridge
  • BrandBridge
  • DropShipperBridge
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ProductBridge™

The MPLogix™ ProductBridge™ solution is more than just an elegant and efficient automated solution to extend your product listings through the use of drop-shippers and with no need for advance purchasing for warehousing or FBA allocation. Built upon our innovative Business Activity Management framework, ProductBridge™ is a comprehensive event-driven Product Management system which, based on event correlation and historical patterns, can both proactively and reactively respond with actions that prevent problems and boost sales.

There is nothing like this framework in the industry today, with advantages such as cross-docking, warehousing, and FBA support, as well as no need for additional staff or IT infrastructure, we are confident that ProductBridge™ is the very best product management solution available today for the online marketplace seller.

ProductBridge™ is fully-automated, infinitely scalable, and currently supports thousands of drop-shippers with ease in current deployments. Demonstrated scalability of this platform ranges from 5,000 to over 5 million products being offered on multiple channels. It can manage multiple internal warehouses if needed and seamlessly integrate both internal and external fulfillment options with the marketplace. This powerful platform stores multiple historical data-points and integrates them with our other services in order to form a complete data image, which our Business Activity Management framework uses in order to identify issues or opportunities that lie between the lines of direct data. This allows ProductBridge™ to boast advanced features that prevent errors in matching, data propagation, and item repricing by checking every single item update against a whole range of historical and interdepartmental trends.

For even more scalability and less investment, we can also add onto our ProductBridge™ offering OneDrop™. This exclusive service allows you to access the full breadth of an integrated and competitively-priced dropship inventory without needing to set up individual accounts with up to thousands of drop-ship vendors. With OneDrop™, you receive one account, one feed, and one source for up to millions of products spread across all online marketplace categories.

ProductBridge™ – BAM Driven Product Management Solutions & Services for Online Marketplace Sellers

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Essentially, any distributor – regardless of its technical prowess – can be “plugged-in” and integrated into the ProductBridge™ database. This is important because a significant percentage of the drop-shipper population does not have the technical prowess to integrate directly via sophisticated marketplace requirements including APIs, XML Web Services, Flat File Submission, etc.

Distributor integration in this context, covers all aspects of managing a drop-ship account including Product/Inventory integration; Transactional (orders, tracking) integration; and Financial (invoicing, returns) integration.

Product Integration Elements

  • File type and transport mechanism

    Used to set up the technical data retrieval. File formats can range from delimited text and Excel to XML or EDI. Transport mechanisms can be email attachments, FTP, webservices and many more.

  • Feed schedule and frequency

    Used in setting the times to retrieve the distributor’s feed, as well as for inventory age risk detection.

  • Product attributes and extended attributes

    Used in part for matching, restricted items, MAP and verifications as well as for condition, MAP, shipping restrictions and direct drop-shipping settings.

  • Weight and dimensions

    Used in part for shipping costs, shipping restrictions, and freight settings.

  • Cost, fees and quantity

    Used in part to compute actual cost, selling price as well as for price volatility and limits exceeded. Quantities are also used for product propagation as well as limits exceeded detection.

ProductBridge™ places no limits on the number of drop-shippers it can integrate. It also does not place any constraints on product categories or special product types. In fact, supporting multi-sourced products and products that require a parent-child relationship (to handle product sizes, colors and more) is a snap. An additional strong suit of ProductBridge™ is the extensive support for products across all primary fulfillment methods.

ProductBridge™ mitigates the risks associated with integrating those dropship accounts that are configured in a manner that could present higher risk exposure. For instance, integrating a drop-shipper that has a manually generated Excel sheet with limited product attributes depth and is provided as an email attachment daily, requires different thresholds and risk assessment criteria to be set.

Since product data as provided by the distributor can often times be narrow in breadth or inaccurate, ProductBridge™ maintains its own product data warehouse, where real time connectivity to external resources such as Etilize are utilized to augment and/or correct product data. Within the solution, brand authorizations and freight items can be managed at a global or at a distributor-level to protect against pricing conflicts and stock-out via intelligent reporting that can influence purchasing and pricing.

Product creation starts once a drop-ship source is integrated into ProductBridge™. The program will regularly pull the product data according the scheduler and classify the product offerings against the current catalog. New products are mapped and pushed to the ProductBridge™ data warehouse for initial matching. Quantity levels for existing products are updated (total qty. as well as per distributors’ warehouses.) in addition to cost and special attributes. Products that are no longer offered by the distributor (i.e. do not exist on the latest product feed) are deactivated for that particular drop-shipper (but are not deleted in order to retain historical integrity).

New products run through a rigorous multi-tiered analysis that utilizes synonym tables, a robust database of UPC and MPNs, and intelligent UPC code-verifying algorithms to identify potential matches to existing products. The system utilizes qualified product aggregators such as CNet and Etilize — as well as official brand stewards — to ascertain official product information so distributor item data is matched or augmented by the official item data. In addition, brand synonym tables are utilized so brands that can be spelled in various ways (i.e. H.P. HP, Hewlett Packard, etc.) can be identified and linked to a singular brand name for searching and matching purposes. Product classification is governed by business logic that analyzes extended attributes to determine taxonomies such as MAP, condition, freight, UOM (case/pack), EOL and much more.

ProductBridge™ allows for the organization of brand authorization. As brands navigate through e-commerce, it’s important to manage which brands are authorizing sales in which marketplaces and identify who the trusted partners are. One slip up with pricing or an inaccurate product listing can result in revocation of brand-authorized selling privileges! Through the OmniBridge™ platform, authorization can be pursued and secured for mid to top-tier brands. The software instantly connects resellers/retailers to top brands, manages rebates that may be in place, and protects all parties when working with coveted brand names. Brand authorization is set at the distributor level with global brand authorization overrides, addressing cases where brand restrictions apply to all distributors as well as cases where brand authorization varies per distributor. Product classification also assigns a unique SKU to a distinct product, providing support for the same product offered by multiple distributors as well as products that require “parent-child” relationships (i.e., a base product offered in multiple colors, sizes, style, etc.).

Once the product data has been verified and supplemented, as needed, by official external data sources, it is passed onto the matching sub-system. The main task of the matching sub-system is to leverage the various automation tools and programming interfaces offered by the various marketplaces in order to electronically match a product to its correct counterpart on each marketplace. The matching process is a multi‐tiered analysis engine that utilizes marketplace APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) as well as data, synonym tables, and sophisticated human language algorithms to identify potential matches. The system grades each potential match and uses 7 different levels of grading and places each item according to its matched grade. The process is governed by our proprietary matching intelligence engine that produces the best match and optimizes browse‐nodes (sub-category) matching. The system retrieves competitive data from the various resellers offering the same item and flags the items where size, price, weight and dimension variations exceed user-defined thresholds.

Each stage of a new or existing product match is protected with failsafe mechanisms created using a multifaceted approach that identifies and assigns weights to various risk factors requiring human verification in the riskiest scenarios.

The pricing process is applied to all newly matched products, products where the distributor’s cost has changed, products for which the marketplace fees have changed (e.g., ASIN switches), or in the case of specific marketplaces, products that are set for dynamic re-pricing. The initial product selling price is computed per channel and is based on pricing algorithms that assess distributor cost, distributor dropship fees (flat or tiered), shipping cost, desired profit margin, and associated marketplace fees. Established by the seller, profit margins can be abridged (fixed margin for all channels) or granular (specific product per distributor). Shipping cost is a more complex case which can utilize “Zero Shipping” set-up (where shipping costs are rolled into the product selling price) or global/regional shipping on the marketplace; either way, the system manages the complexities inherent to computing these shipping costs. It contains real time published rates for carriers per shipping weight and zone, published rates for fees such as residential delivery, fuel surcharge, insurance, signature required, etc., as well as the published dimensional rates for ground and air. In addition, the system contains the applicable discounts by carrier. Product shipping cost depends if the distributor offers 3rd party shipping or charges the seller for shipping.

Scenario:
Seller uses ship Zero Shipping for his Amazon store and the distributor is set for 3rd party. Based on items dimensions and weight and average zone, the system computes published rates cost, and applies appropriate discounts. Shipping cost --like distributor cost-- can command a profit margin so the system computes total shipping price based on cost, margin and marketplace commission per product.

23,645

Dropship Distributors

36,420

Brands

488M

DISTINCT PRODUCTS

The platform intelligently propagates items to all marketplaces with many fail safes in place, such as item verifications, to avoid mismatched items. ProductBridge™ provides full control for a reseller to determine which products/brands are to be listed on which marketplace at any point in time. Marketplace restricted items policies are a double-edged sword. On the one hand the restrictions are not granular enough and do not contain specific products or brands – they are broad policies that describe in a free form manner the guidelines and policies. On the other hand, they are extremely stringent and unforgiving, and even a very large store with years of impeccable reputation and metrics can be permanently removed over a restricted product listing! ProductBridge™ restricted item subsystem has each product put through a Comprehensive Product Restriction Assessment (C-PRA™) where product attributes and brands are analyzed in the context of marketplace restricted product policies (leveraging our human language algorithms) to score the associated risks. The C-PRA™ is used to categorize products for restriction risk. If the C-PRA™ score for an item is high (high risk), then the item is not listed until the Internal Product Overlap Coverage (IPOC™) verifies it. If an existing item returns a high score, the item is flagged as “Restricted Item Forced” and is placed into the restricted items database until a live resource can review the product.

In a perfect world, the power, scalability and superior efficiency offered by ProductBridge™ makes it the most innovative product management solution available and places it miles ahead of any other solution available to the online marketplace reseller.

However, imperfections are part of life, and unless the system can sense potential errors and mitigate most of the consequences that will be caused by these inevitable errors, even the best solution falls short!

This is where ProductBridge™ Business Activity Management module, the essential component governing the entire product suite of our OmniBridge™ platform, makes all the difference. The correlation of real-time events in the context of all transactions in the online marketplace eco-system allows the detection of potential downstream issues before they become detrimental, and proactively steers the ship to safe ground.

Let’s examine the following real-life scenarios:

It’s the Monday of a holiday weekend and the updates that a distributor typically pushes out for inventory and pricing updates are not issued; As a result, feeds on this day are not updated to reflect sales that occur during the weekend, and inventory levels for all items on the feed have not changed, resulting in inaccurate inventory listed on your marketplace offerings. On Tuesday, the distributor informs you that multiple orders that you submitted have been cancelled due to zero inventory, thereby putting your store at risk of unnecessary cancellations, bad customer feedback, and impacted store performance metrics. ProductBridge™ Business Activity Management tracks changes between distributor feeds and detects anomalies, such as feeds with zero inventory changes, and can proactively adjust marketplace listings sourced through the affected distributor to prevent the sale of bad inventory.

The MPLogix™ Product Management solution offers fully-automated, comprehensive offerings that include the following:

  • Unlimited number of drop-shippers
  • Support for wide array of file formats such as Excel, Text, CSV, EDI, XML and more
  • Support for a variety of transport methods such as FTP, Email, HTTP, Web-services and more
  • No constraints on schedule and frequency
  • Scalable
  • Automated
  • MAP
  • EOL (End Of Life)
  • Freight
  • Unit of Measure (Case/Pack)
  • Restricted shipping
  • Sale / Promotion
  • Dimensions (for shipping calculations/constrains)
  • Condition

Answering Your ProductBridge™ Questions

To onboard a non-OneDrop™ dropship distributor, you must first open an account with them and then set up financial terms.  From that point, we address all of the necessary steps to gather the information and integrate the distributor into ProductBridge™.  We are only constrained by the extent of the data and automation the distributor provides.  Typically, for a complete integration that includes catalog, inventory, purchase orders, confirmation, tracking, invoicing and returns for a brand new distributor, it takes between 20 and 30 days to complete.

No you do not! All you need to do is subscribe to MPLogix OneDrop™. OneDrop™ provides over 3M unique products from hundreds of dropship distributors through the MPLogix network. It also provides significant shipping rate discounts that are only provided by the carriers to high volume sellers. We are constantly adding new dropship distributors and products to our offering. All of the OneDrop™ items are fully managed by ProductBridge™.

Yes!  Products managed by ProductBridge™ can not only come from multiple sources but can also be fulfilled through a variety of methods.  In this way, you can sell and fulfill products that you never take possession of.  You can have your own products in your own warehouse(s), you can direct products to FBA, and you can have products that are cross-docked.  ProductBridge™ manages the fulfillment method priorities, various pricing per method and even preferred carrier and default shipping options per fulfillment method.  It also manages auto-roll in the event of a stock out (it will try to auto fulfill from a dropship distributor if warehouse ran out of stock).

Special product attributes and constraints are managed at a system level with allowance for drop-shipper specifics as applicable. ProductBridge™ maintains its own database of brands and their MAP policies, so MAP pricing is enforced across all dropship distributors regardless if MAP flags and prices are provided in the feeds. ProductBridge™ also allows for freight management per item disregarding the distributor weight and dimension information or the lack thereof. The same is true for brand authorization. Many dropship distributors will provide on the feeds unauthorized items and will not honor orders for such items. ProductBridge™ manages all aspects of brand authorization on a system wide level to prevent offering items unless they can be fulfilled.

Yes!  Adding new dropship distributors and adding new items for existing distributors is an ongoing part of our service. In addition, depending on the plan you chose, we offer a specified number of new dropship distributors of your choice to be added and integrated into ProductBridge™ every year.  So in cases where you have a few extra distributors that you would like to integrate and add to the system, we offer such services as part of our packaged deal.  The number of dropship distributors’ integration is defined by the plan you are on.

OrderBridge™

OrderBridge™ is an automated multi-layered comprehensive event-driven Order Life Cycle management system, powered by OmniBridge™ Business Activity Management infrastructure. The system provides seamless management of orders from both a transactional (order processing, confirmation, and tracking) and financial (invoicing and returns) perspective.

OrderBridge™ reaches far beyond the basic automation of creating POs and pushing the order to the drop-shipper. It oversees the entire order lifecycle, and identifies potential issues well in advance, and, in most cases, proactively addresses and automatically resolves them to ensure order fulfillment at the highest levels.

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OrderBridge™ leverages advanced Distributor Defect Rate algorithms to facilitate multi-source order management and deploys sophisticated processes to identify risk, allowing for a dramatic increase in order volume with low cost and nominal performance risks.

Drop-shippers offer different value propositions with respect to their product offerings and locations. At the same time, these drop-shippers also represent a certain level of risk to customer service. OrderBridge™ utilizes a 25-point drop-shipper monitoring system that analyzes every step in the order fulfillment process to rate the ability of a drop-shipper to fulfill orders in a way that meets the standards set by the marketplace. OrderBridge™ scores shipping latency, tracking data integrity, delivery speed, shipping costs, freight handling, and damage quotients, to name a few. The aggregate drop-ship defect rating (DDR) influences order sourcing priority and other special program functions within the OrderBridge™ solution.

OrderBridge™ provides the ultimate protection for all major issues in dropshipping and proactively identifies drop-shipper accounts that require remedial action (including replacement). Beyond risk assessment and order management, OrderBridge™ streamlines the selection of accounts that would qualify for special opportunities (e.g. Amazon Deal of the Day, etc.); these promotion campaigns are some of the most powerful sales vehicles employed by a marketplace and while they require increased involvement from resellers and drop-shippers, must be done so in a way that minimizes risk.

OrderBridge™ administers the back-end management for the entire order lifecycle from initial retrieval to processing, confirmation, and tracking, as well as customer feedback maintenance. All customer interactions, positive or negative, are fed back into OrderBridge™ and reflected in the DDR. Based on SLAs with drop-shippers, OrderBridge™ organizes, manages, and evaluates the settings for each drop-shipper in your system.

With OrderBridge™ managing transactional and financial data across all stages of the order life cycle, you can operate knowing that the analysis conducted by OrderBridge™ will result in consistent performance, and when new dropshippers are introduced to your store, you can count on OrderBridge™ for seamless integration. Once ProductBridge™ has matched new dropshipper inventory to marketplace listings, OrderBridge™ connects your store to the new fulfillment channel to automate order placement, confirmation, tracking, and invoicing.

Transaction Integration Elements

  • File type and transport mechanism

    Used to set up the technical aspects needed to submit, confirm, track & invoice orders. File formats can be delimited text and Excel or XML or EDI standardized formats. Transport protocols can be email, FTP, JSON, SOAP, HTTP and more.

  • SLA, Schedule and frequency

    Used to set up the times to expect confirmations and tracking. Also used in establishing the cutoff times for processing and lead-time to ship as well as in order risk assessment.

  • Price and availability and confirmation

    Used to detect stock or cost issues prior to processing an order, and to sense latency. This metric is also used in order risk assessments.

  • Return policy and return authorization

    Used in part to manage returns, customer metrics, and return policies as they relate to current ODR.

  • Credit terms and payments

    Used to manage accounts payable and credit memos for returns. Also required for financial reconciliation and order risk assessment.

OrderBridge™ places no limits on the number of drop-shippers it can integrate. It can support both transactional and financial integration with no constraints on the number of orders that it can process and can push orders in batches or as received. In addition to automating the placement of orders with drop-shippers, OrderBridge™ provides for real time price and availability integration prior to placing orders.

With these areas of production data covered, OrderBridge™ not only mitigates the risks associated with transactional and financial integrations of those dropship accounts that do not fully support the depth of automation and granularity required by the system, in many cases it is able to reroute or resubmit orders automatically to ensure timely fulfillment.

This comprehensive connection of all drop-shipper order-related activity occurs without the hassle of additional IT development and does not require additional order processing personnel. With OrderBridge™, your new drop-shippers are optimized for prompt processing with minimal defect rate.

The order lifecycle starts when an order is retrieved by OrderBridge™ from any one of the available channels. The program will regularly pull all new orders from all the sales channels and place them as Open orders in the system. OrderBridge™ intelligently locates all potential fulfillment options for the order. Orders that are set to be fulfilled by the warehouse are flagged and managed by WarehouseBridge™. Orders identified as dropship orders are now set in motion. OrderBridge™ using its smart DSD algorithms identifies all the drop-shippers that can potentially fulfill the order. The smart DDS algorithms look at inactive drop-shipper SKUs, unverified drop-shipper SKUs and even unmatched dropshipper SKUs (at an acceptable matching grade) to name a few of the criteria being looked at. OrderBridge™ assesses each potential drop-shipper and using the built in Price and Availability checker confirms ahead of time as to real time stock availability and cost. Once all the analysis is completed, OrderBridge™ will rate the distributors based on their DDR™ score, available stock and cost. The order will be automatically submitted to the drop-shipper with the best DDR™ score and that has the best price with available stock – as long as the cost is equal to or below the expected cost and quantity is available. Orders will not be fulfilled if no drop-shipper has available quantity at the expected cost with sufficient DDR™ ratings, or if the SKU is flagged as being invalid for the drop-shipper.

  • OrderBridge™ uses the Amazon API to identify potential FBA or Amazon fulfilled opportunities. Based on business rules set by the user, OrderBridge™ may direct the order to an FBA or Amazon direct fulfillment source in the case of significant cost differences or other reasons.

  • For the unfulfilled portion of orders that could be partially filled or for orders that could not be fulfilled, the order will be flagged as a “Special” order with an additional attribute such as No Stock, Price Issue, Unauthorized, and Direct Drop Ship to name a few.

  • OrderBridge’s™ auto-cycle thread, will attempt to fulfill special orders, using the Order Fulfillment Retries rules, up to the point where the system deems the unfulfilled order as aged or unfulfillable. OrderBridge™ leveraging its Business Activity Management capabilities will set the order as pending cancellation with a specific cancellation risk factor.
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Once the order has been transmitted to a drop-shipper, OrderBridge™ will scan for transmissions that confirm the processing of the order within a predefined amount of time established by the drop-shipper SLAs. Confirmed orders are automatically updated accordingly while unconfirmed orders can be identified to users via a comprehensive interface, as well as automatically sent to the drop-shipper’s representative for manual confirmation if necessary. The most critical part is the system’s ability to identify tardy confirmations and, depending on a myriad of metrics, set in motion a slew of actions that can include re-routing of the orders to another drop-shipper or even removing active listings while orders are unconfirmed (regardless of inventory levels provided by the vendor) to protect against drop-shipper fulfillment issues. Confirmation is not tracking. Via confirmation, OrderBridge can, among other things, assess accurate shipping time, detect unauthorized items, identify any other issues, and execute corrective actions. Since most confirmations occur within minutes of placing the order, sensing potential issues is critical, as it allows OrderBridge ample time for corrective and preemptive actions to be carried out.

For most, tracking can appear to be the simplest aspect of order management. Tracking notification is received, the system gets updated and the customer gets their tracking number through the marketplace or an email notification. With OrderBridge™, however, we take a multifaceted approach to applying and managing the tracking of orders. To begin with, a tracking number can be retrieved from several sources; tracking could come from any one of the supported shippers using the shipper’s API, from the drop-shipper’s automated updates or from third party carrier email alerts or notifications.

The need to ascertain the carrier from the given tracking number is a must in order to:

  • Confirm that the tracking is valid (scanned by the carrier)
  • Identify the shipping method
  • Have the ability to track the package through successful delivery
  • Confirm that the correct carrier and account was used by the drop-shipper

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ORDER STATUS CODES

16

ORDER LIFECYCLE CHECKPOINTS

148

ORDER [BAM] EVENTS

With frequent polling of third party shipper systems as well as integration to drop-shippers’ tracking reporting methods, the order is tracked promptly after the distributor issues shipping confirmation. Once OrderBridge™ validates the tracking number and the shipping method, the tracking information immediately updates to the marketplace, but monitoring does not end simply because a tracking number has been issued. OrderBridge™ continues to monitor the shipment of the package until it is delivered to the customer, identifying any exceptions, such as damage in transit or refusal by customer, and can report exceptions to the proper human resources to administer customer service and request credit from the distributor. OrderBridge™ also detects tracking numbers issued for labels that have not been scanned by the carrier, and marking the orders as unshipped and escalating preemptive calls for action.

In addition to end-to-end order automation, OrderBridge™ then obtains the invoicing information provided by the distributor, updating the database with actual invoice data and verifying against quantity purchased. Invoiced item cost is also compared to distributor’s feed cost to verify pricing accuracy. In the event that a return label is issued for the order to the customer, OrderBridge™ applies the same logic in tracking the return back to the distributor’s warehouse, verifying the receipt of the return, and automatically contacting the drop-shipper to verify the application of credit for the item if the credit is not detected in the distributor’s invoicing file.

OrderBridge’s™ event driven automated order lifecycle management solution is a powerful ecommerce engine that can reliably and consistently manage any order volume while its invoicing and DDR tools provide an array of automated and reportable logic tools to optimize drop-shipper usage, thus increasing sales while decreasing defect rate.

With Business Activity Management, the functions of OrderBridge™ are expanded on intelligently to recognize in real-time potential production problems and implement immediate responses to control and mitigate potentially catastrophic situations.

Below are some examples of how OrderBridge™ leverages Business Activity Management to address processing exceptions and the pitfalls that it can help stores avoid

Let’s examine the following real-life scenarios:

EVGA releases a new top-of-the-line graphics card – one of the managed drop-shippers obtains a moderate quantity of the item and it immediately begins to sell on the marketplace at an unprecedented rate. Despite hourly inventory updates, a spike in demand from the drop-shipper after the most recent inventory update drains the drop-shipper of their remaining inventory as more orders pour into your store for this hot product. When the next inventory update arrives, your store is left with dozens of unfulfillable orders, risking your performance metrics and your customer satisfaction rating to the point of endangering your store’s seller status. With BAM, OrderBridge™ can promptly identify when too many orders are being received for the same item within a short period of time, can anticipate projected stock levels over a small window, and can intervene by automatically setting the marketplace listing to zero quantity to prevent bad orders. With BAM, you can benefit from drop-shipping popular items without having to worry about unexpected stock-outs.

The MPLogix™ Order Management solution offers fully automated, comprehensive offerings that include the following:

  • Comprehensive automated order processing
  • Support for wide array of file formats such as Excel, Text, CSV, EDI, XML and more
  • Support for a variety of transport methods such as FTP, Email, HTTP, Web-services and more
  • Support for real-time Price and Availability through web-services or crawlers
  • Support common EDI formats, distributor EDI formats or OrderBridge™ EDI formats
  • Automated
  • Auto-qualify for returns eligibility
  • Automated RMA request management
  • Return label generation
  • Automated multi-level follow-up on unused return labels
  • Auto detect return arrivals at distributor warehouse for prompt credit
  • Automated refunds and reconciliations
  • Item replacement and exchange support

Answering Your OrderBridge™ Questions

OrderBridge™ supports a wide array of data exchange options, transport protocols and file formats. At the minimum we can email orders to vendors and expect a read receipt as a confirmation. That said, OrderBridge™ supports comprehensive web services as well as all supported EDI documents.

Absolutely!  OrderBridge checks prior to placing any order for correct cost and margins. It places open orders into a special order status that requires manual override on an order-by-order basis if the anticipated order margins are not met based on latest distributor’s cost.  OrderBridge™ also goes further and validates shipping costs (3rd party or freight etc.) as well as other restrictions such as MAP prior to automatically processing any orders.

Order confirmation is comprised of two stages, both of which occur prior to shipping.  The initial confirmation (typically available for fully automated drop-shippers only) is more of a “handshake” acknowledgement by the drop-shipper systems that the transaction was successfully received on their end.  The second in the two-step confirmation is when the drop-shipper actually confirms that the order is being processed, and all of the order elements (such as SKU, qty., address, and shipping method) were successfully validated.  Tracking information is provided once the order is shipped, which is followed by an invoice.

In a very similar manner to how marketplaces rate sellers with Order Defect Rate, OrderBridge™ closely monitors the performance of dropship distributors.  Each dropship distributor has a DDR grade, and orders are diverted in part based on DDR levels.  Late deliveries, incorrect shipping, amount of no stock or cost issues, stale labels are a few metrics being tracked by OrderBridge™.  But OrderBridge™ drop-shipper evaluation leverages additional extended data points.  Lead time to ship, automation level, and depth of product data (such as accurate dimensions, MAP, and End of Life) are a few of the additional inputs into the drop-shipper analysis engine.

OrderBridge™ provides an extensive, state of the art real-time event-driven returns management solution. OrderBridge™ automatically detects return requests, and based on rules and various events, manages all phases of a return. These phases are: requesting and getting return authorizations, providing return labels, customer follow-up for unused labels all the way to tracking the status of a returned item to trigger drop-shipper credit and appropriate and prompt refunds on the marketplace.  The marketplace return policies may not coincide with a drop-shipper’s return policies, and OrderBridge™ swiftly manages such cases as well.  OrderBridge™ can go as far as detect the shipping weight of the returned item, once scanned by the carrier to alert for potential questionable returns (like if the original item weight was 10.5lbs and the return items weight 2lbs.)

MarketplaceBridge™

With our MarketplaceBridge™ we help our clients create value and architect custom marketplace solutions through our deep functional and technical expertise. We leverage a proven track record of delivering exceptional sales performance on online marketplaces, and in particular on the Amazon marketplace(s).

MarketplaceBridge™ application suite operates around our real-time intelligent Business Activity Management solutions. With BAM as the linchpin for your marketplace store, you are empowered to operate with utmost efficiency and effectiveness to allow store growth while mitigating risks. The proactive manner in which downstream impacts are assessed based on data from over 100 unique metrics enables the store to constantly achieve and maintain the desired ratings that result in a greater share of the buy-box (exposure and rotation time) and achieve more sustainable success.

Today’s online marketplaces, while designed to provide the very best experience for the consumer, generate their own set of difficulties and obstacles for sellers. From strict customer satisfaction requirements to complex and cryptic buy-box rotation to constantly-changing item restrictions, there are a huge number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when manipulating listings on your sales channels in order to maximize your business potential.

MarketplaceBridge™ is, just like the rest of our solutions, fully-automated, infinitely-scalable, and supports integration with all major marketplace channels, including Amazon, eBay, Rakuten (Buy.com), and NewEgg. Working hand-in-hand with our other systems, it has been demonstrated in action working with over 2 million active product listings, updating them on a real-time basis. Our optional add-on CommerceBridge™ solution even allows you to utilize the power of Magento to bring drop-ship products to your own site.

With the power of Business Activity Management, all your historical listing data is saved from the very start, allowing you to build snapshots of a given item, category, or brand over a day, week, or even an entire year or more. This level of data collection is the fuel that powers our advanced intelligence engine, allowing our system to automate crucial tasks like automatically matching, creating, listing, updating, and even delisting and fully-removing items in response to the ever-changing environment of Amazon and other marketplaces.

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MPLogix MarketplaceBridge™ Overview

All marketplaces provide electronic means of communication for listings, orders, tracking, and invoicing. Some, like Amazon, offer an extensive array of Application Programming Interfaces that reach deeper and allow for real time alerts, reporting, and a slew of functions that make up the underlying BAM infrastructure used by MarketplaceBridge™. However, regardless of the depth of functionality offered by each marketplace, MarketplaceBridge’s™ ability to flexibly integrate with any marketplace at any level provides for the most powerful marketplace management solution that allows you to multiply your sales and increase your brand presence with a modicum of overall effort, exposing your products and brand to a whole new subset of customers.

Basic integration includes automated listing creation, automatic price and quantity updates, order retrieval and order status updates, invoice/payment retrieval, cancellation, and returns processing.

Product Integration Elements

  • Data Communication

    Used to setup electronic communication with the marketplace. Data communication can consist of flat-file formats transmitted in any number of ways, API calls, or any other publicly documented means of electronic communication.

  • Updates schedule, frequency and thresholds

    Marketplace updates can be made, depending on availability, on a basis ranging from real-time to once or twice daily if required. Marketplaces may also restrict the volume of the data exchange so intelligent prioritization of data transfers is set.

  • Marketplace Policy and Reporting Integration

    Selective item listing or exclusion is informed by automating retrieval of marketplace item and brand restrictions, constantly updating what can and can’t be sold on each channel. Also used for ODR risk detection and management.

  • Listing creation templates

    When not matched by our natural-language multifactor listing search algorithm, listings are created by using marketplace-provided category templates. Each category template, once loaded, can be automatically updated and used to create new listings for exclusive items not on the marketplace. Also used in part to determine marketplace fees per product.

  • Reports integration

    All available reports, from customer satisfaction to accounting to returns and cancellations, are set up for retrieval and storage. This fuels the statistics and data patterns used by Business Activity Management to inform critical business decisions.

MarketplaceBridge™ basic marketplace integration is a starting point. For marketplaces such as Amazon, where the breadth and depth of the functionality offered by the Amazon MWS (Marketplace Web Services) is so profound, MarketplaceBridge’s™ built in abilities to intelligently support the new paradigm of “real-time transaction management in the context of channel performance targets” is greatly enhanced to the point where MarketplaceBridge™ is capable of avoiding almost all pitfalls that lead to suspension, permanent closures or buy-box eligibility removals.

Knowing your environment is the key to marketplace success.

In 2015, 3rd party marketplace sellers shared over 68 billion dollars in revenues, and with double-digit year-over-year growth that shows no signs of slowing down, the online marketplace clearly remains a tremendous opportunity. However, the obstacles to obtaining – let alone sustaining – success in this ecosystem appear to be insurmountable and, more often than not, do not yield results worthy of the investments put forth. The challenges can seem overwhelming, yet the key to navigating the treacherous waters that are the online marketplace is surmised in three simple words: Seller Performance Metrics.

Take Amazon, for example – the largest and most successful online retailer. Their monumental and sustained success has been attributed to an unprecedented commitment to customer satisfaction. In order to protect their brand integrity, Amazon needed to impose rigid and comprehensive seller performance requirements to ensure that third party sellers fully commit to the same standard of unwavering customer satisfaction.

Adhering to these standards requires a significant business transformation, which is why so many major retailers have failed on Amazon despite the substantial revenue that it would represent, and why even pure ecommerce sellers such as Wayfair make less than 1% of their $2B annual revenues on the Amazon marketplace.

Even with an effective, scalable, and robust enterprise platform, the inability to precisely manage your transactions in the context of Seller Performance Metrics, and thus retain the ratings necessary to succeed, means your marketplace store is destined to fail.

This is where MarketplaceBridge™ comes into play; the most scalable, automated, and robust ecommerce platform, and the only one with real-time event-driven enterprise solutions that solves the paradox of scaling successfully on Amazon by leveraging drop-shipping and maintaining commendable Seller Performance Ratings.

Every point that impacts customer satisfaction in any way is reflected in one or more of the seller performance metrics, and since the performance metrics reflect a given period of time, a single issue affecting one order can impact many other orders. Thus, preventing events that can cause customer dissatisfaction from occurring can positively impact the entire store.

Scenario:
A customer requests a return for an open item past the allowable return date and for a non-defective reason: “I no longer want to keep the item”. A customer service representative, following the established store policy, politely rejects the customer’s request and provides a detailed explanation of the store’s return policy, even going so far as to offer the customer $5 off their next order. In response, the customer, dissatisfied with this response, proceeds to file an A-to-Z claim and leaves negative feedback for their order. Due to current seller performance metrics, the A-to-Z claim and negative feedback are enough to push the store’s Order Defect Rate beyond the acceptable threshold for buy box eligibility. The result is an 80% drop in sales for a minimum of two weeks, and, to further complicate matters, these lost sales now significantly reduce the threshold for the Order Defect Rate in the weeks to come, making any further customer satisfaction issues a real threat to the continued existence of your store, potentially unraveling sales for a full quarter of the fiscal year.

What if instead, the return was retrieved by the system, which then analyzed the performance metrics of the entire store, and, taking into consideration the specific order, current seller performance metrics, pending issues, order cost and other factors, concluded that the return request must be honored to avoid high probability of buy-box eligibility removal for two weeks. The customer service representative provides a return label, and the store receives a five star feedback!

This scenario illustrates the concept of managing transactions in the context of the marketplace performance criteria and the vastly different outcomes that can result from the application (or lack) of this intelligence. The innumerable variations and staggering complexity of all possible scenarios is too long to enumerate, but the clear message is the unparalleled importance of Seller Performance Metrics!

ProductBridge™ and OrderBridge™ provide the product and order inputs needed to augment the unique data collected by MarketplaceBridge™. MarketplaceBridge™ utilizes its own real-time event correlation mechanism and applies complex statistical analysis, advanced risk assessment algorithms, data pattern detection and predictive modeling to identify potential issues carrying negative downstream impacts, and allowing for proactive corrections to be set in motion or automatically implemented as defined by the user.

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MarketplaceBridge™ has real-time or near real-time access to all data made available by the marketplace. In the case of Amazon, MarketplaceBridge™ constantly retrieves and analyzes data such as incoming support emails, all A-to-Z or charge back claims, all feedback, all report data associated with ODR and of course all product and inventory reports and a lot more. When information such as unshipped orders, cancellation reports, pending orders and invalid tracking, are constantly received, MarketplaceBridge™ is equipped to identify potential negative impacts on Seller Performance Metrics, and adjust various processes and activities to mitigate such risks by providing various alternative actions.

MarketplaceBridge™ has the ability to intelligently manage inventory within the context of your current and prior store statistics. Hot-selling, negatively-reviewed, and seasonally-ordered items on a given marketplace can be automatically managed in order to allocate more inventory, zero out problem items, or pre-negotiate drop-shipper deals. Combined with other BAM-powered actions, your marketplace management style will adapt to your current situation, no matter what.

MarketplaceBridge™ goes even further than reactive inventory management and provides full customer satisfaction management. Using all available customer relations’ metrics, the system can advise on the best actions to take to improve feedback, to remove bad feedback, and to increase customer satisfaction results in continued revenue growth.

MarketplaceBridge™’s™ automated marketplace management solution is rooted in seller performance requirements and is a powerful engine that can consistently keep your store on the marketplace at performance metrics that place it in the best position to maximize selling opportunities, buy-box eligibility and profitability.

MarketplaceBridge™, powered by Business Activity Management, offers powerful capabilities that dynamically assess performance risks in real time and execute proactive measures to mitigate risks that can lead to punitive actions by the marketplace.

Below are some examples of how MarketplaceBridge™ leverages Business Activity Management to minimize performance hiccups to retain robust seller performance metrics.

Let’s examine the following real-life scenarios:

A popular new item is added to the marketplace and begins to sell quickly. However, shortly after the distributor updates their inventory, Walmart purchases the remaining stock from the drop-shipper, leaving the store with 14 orders with unavailable inventory by the time of the next inventory update. The only options for the store are to cancel the orders or fulfill the orders through a Fulfillment By Amazon seller at a loss of $29.45 per order. “Business instinct” would be to cancel the orders, as the $412 loss will take nearly 90 orders to make up based on average order price and profit margins. However, the spike in cancellations based on current selling levels can result in the loss of the Buy box for weeks, causing a 90% drop in sales, significantly increasing the risk and impact of any additional negative feedback or A-to-Z claim, requiring weeks to recover, and causing over a $10k loss in net profits, or worse - the suspension of your store.
MarketplaceBridge™ can immediately identify a spike in sales for a given item and preemptively zero out marketplace listings to prevent additional bad orders. In addition, MarketplaceBridge™ can identify sales trends for your store in real time, and based on current ODR, average order volume and projections of other potential issues based on historical trends and overall order status, assess the potential risk and correctly propose to fulfill the orders. Finally, MarketplaceBridge™ can auto fulfill from FBA sources upon approval, while temporarily increasing margins on a few bestselling items (nominally to retain buy-box status) to recoup the loss and keep the store operating normally. In the end, your store maintains the flexibility to prevent runaway bad orders, is able to fulfill bad orders at the lowest cost available, and based on the assessed loss, will provide a safe plan to recoup for the loss and fast-track your store back to optimal operation..

The MPLogix™ Order Management solution offers fully automated, comprehensive offerings that include the following:

  • Comprehensive automated order integration
  • FBA integration
  • API for tracking and status updates
  • Automated performance related downloads
  • API for inventory management
  • Intelligent throttling management
  • Financial integration
  • Threshold-based AtoZ handling guidance
  • Easy-to-use metrics screens for quick reference while on call
  • Automated limit-based authorization for customer service reps to autonomously credit or return orders if needed

Answering Your MarketplaceBridge™ Questions

It is our belief that seller performance metrics are the single most crucial element to anyone’s success on the online marketplace.  MarketplaceBridge™ extended functionality is able to proactively resolve issues by mitigating risks and carrying out preventive measures.  MarketplaceBridge™ manages these seller performance ratings by being able to funnel activities and execute decision making mechanisms to ensure that seller performance metrics are always above what is required to retain top seller ratings.

Absolutely! One of the unique abilities for the entire OmniBridge™ family of products is the flexibility of integration it can support. Wherever APIs are available, MarketplaceBridge™ takes full advantage of them. However, MarketplaceBridge™ always provides failsafe options that use file transfer or leverage transport utilities (such as AMTU) as a fallback. In fact, with many marketplaces actively throttling API calls, such an alternative option is a must. Even more importantly, Amazon places other restrictions (such as a 5,000 orders limit for the MWS order download requests) that may require alternative solutions to the APIs.

This is one of MarketplaceBridge™’s acclaimed capabilities.  Many early signs can point to potential runaway orders.  Runaway orders are those we receive an unusual high amount for SKUs that are likely incorrectly matched, have no available stock, are unauthorized for sale by the brand or are significantly underpriced.  MarketplaceBridge™’s web of layered statistical analytics and risk assessments engines, can detect most all of the early signs (historical data, significant price drops, case/pack assessments, and many others) to temporarily deactivate listings through exception management.  MarketplaceBridge™ looks at pending orders and tracks inventory levels for FBA sellers to assess potential runaway orders where everything else looks to be OK, so that temporary deactivation can take place.  In some cases, an automated request for allocation or cross-docking can take place as well in order to take advantage of opportunities where the risk has been eliminated.

Amazon looks at various attributes when it comes to pre-fulfilment cancellations. It looks at the category for which the cancelled item belongs to, how many times the specific SKU was cancelled over a defined time period, and the specific cancellation reasons. MarketplaceBridge™ looks at the same information, and in addition looks at the current cancellation rates (7 days and 30 days). It then looks at the purchase date and expected ship date for orders that are marked to be cancelled and runs through proprietary cancellation algorithms to produce cancellation directives on what can be cancelled on what day and for what reasons. MarketplaceBridge™ also has a separate sub-system to support exceptions where cancellations are “not an option” yet fulfillment is not a valid alternative either.

No.  MarketplaceBridge™ supports nearly all current online marketplaces and web stores, including EBay, Jet, Rakuten, and Magento.  The Amazon marketplace is by far the biggest marketplace, however, presenting opportunities far greater than all other marketplaces combined!  At the same time, Amazon is the most difficult marketplace to succeed in, which is why many other solution providers push other marketplaces as their main selling point.  OmniBridge™ BAM powered platform allows you to reach levels on Amazon that enable easy penetration into other markets, which is why it is our key target for marketplace optimization.

WarehouseBridge™

WarehouseBridge™ is a comprehensive solution for managing your physical product inventory, whether it lies in a single warehouse or multiple locations, as part of your e-commerce selling arsenal. No matter the current state of your warehouse inventory management, we can bring you into the 21st century and allow you the flexibility and reliability needed to effectively and efficiently scale and manage your warehousing and shipping operations as part of your online marketplace fulfillment.

WarehouseBridge™ is not an ERP system. It serves as a conduit for the purpose of online marketplace and internal ecommerce channel fulfillment solutions. In short, WarehouseBridge™ provides the means for sellers who house inventory in their own warehouses to plug into the OmniBridge™ suite just like any other dropship distributor. It will enable your warehouse inventory to be pushed to ProductBridge™, and for orders to be processed through and fully managed by OrderBridge™.

Using WarehouseBridge™, our clients have moved from handwritten inventory performed on carbonless forms to a fully-networked, barcode-enabled warehousing infrastructure. All incoming shipments are scanned and added to inventory, locations are stored in the system, and automated pick and packing lists are generated and printed for warehouse staff to fulfill orders. Currently, this system is used to manage multiple warehouses, sending orders for fulfillment to the optimal warehouse based on available inventory, shipping lead-time, and shipping cost.

WarehouseBridge™ supports the cross-dock fulfillment method for online marketplace orders as well. Cross-docking is used in cases where multiple orders are shipped as one large order to the warehouse, and the warehouse ships the individual items to the customers. This can allow for lower item costs, as items are ordered in bulk and often at a bulk discount.

Informed by the Business Activity Management logic which backs all our products, WarehouseBridge™ is a uniquely-capable solution which manages your inventory in the context of your online marketplace sales environment, rather than the other way around. We are confident that once you have tried this system, you will find that nothing else out there can compare, and we believe that you will agree with us that this is the very best solution available today for the multi-channel warehouse reseller.

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Your inventory is your lifeblood, and managing it properly is essential to your business’s success. Many warehouses, particularly older ones, are still married to older technology for inventory, picking, and shipping systems. These obsolete systems often prove to be a hindrance when trying to integrate with today’s fast-paced online marketplaces. We offer you a path to modernization and optimization in order to take advantage of all the sales opportunities available today.

Warehouse integration covers all aspects of automating warehouse inventory and location management, picking and shipping logistics, and full integration with retail channels for order processing and accounting.

Warehouse Integration Elements

  • PRODUCT CLASSIFICATION AND BARCODING

    Specific product information and details are collected for every single item in your inventory. Given our years of industry experience, your products are classified into individual items and variations. These are then set up as your own SKUs and are even assigned UPCs in order to enable online marketplace listings. We work with your manufacturers or internal systems to generate and place barcoded labels on all products for inventory purposes.

  • WAREHOUSE RETROFITTING

    If not already present, computer systems, barcode scanners, and label printers are installed into the warehouse. Integration of the collected product data is made with an initial full warehouse inventory. Your onsite staff is trained on how to use of the system for inventory management and shipping logistics.

  • SHIPPING INTEGRATION

    The new warehouse system is setup with your shipping carrier(s). Test labels are printed and verified.

  • ORDER INTEGRATION

    WarehouseBridge™ is integrated into the ProductBridge and OrderBridge systems in order to allow orders to transmit directly to the warehouse for automatic pick list and shipping label generation.

  • ACCOUNTING INTEGRATION

    After a full test order is completed, accounting details are passed to your accounting system. Whether it is a custom system or an industry standard like QuickBooks, WarehouseBridge™ can integrate into it in order to seamlessly manage expenses and revenue.

WarehouseBridge™ has no limits on the number of warehouse locations or the number of integrated items it can support. It can integrate with any codified inventory system, any automated shipping company, and any accessible accounting system.

Once integrated with our Business Activity Management backend, advanced logic takes over and can do far more than simply update orders, inventory, and accounting books. Intelligent pre-allocation of inventory for seasonal bursts, geographic redistribution of products based on regional demand, and advanced marketing campaigns are all possible with the constant data analysis being performed on the dozens of different metrics monitored every second for each and every item.

In fact, as you grow, so do the options afforded to you by WarehouseBridge™. With the advent of regional shipping and smaller carriers supported by major online marketplaces such as Amazon, your regional, national, or even global warehouse network can be leveraged to maximum effect by allowing the advanced logic of WarehouseBridge™ to divert orders, direct stocking, and reduce the latency of updates, all in order to increase your sales and reduce expenses with a minimal effort on your part.

Warehouse management starts at the warehouse itself.

Using tried and true technologies such as barcode-based UPCs, laser scanners, and thermal printers, the first step for many WarehouseBridge™ clients is to bring their warehouse processes and systems up to modern standards. Handwritten notes are replaced with cordless scanners, taped-on labels are replaced with self-adhesive thermally-printed shipping labels, and the need to bring pick lists out to your warehouse team is replaced by an automated standalone “kiosk” that reads inventory scans, dispatches picking lists, and prints out the relevant shipping label with correct shipping information once the correct item(s) are brought back to the shipping station.

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Once automated equipment is in place and we have worked with you to establish SKUs and UPCs for each item, we pull this information into our system in order to allow you to start using it for inventory tracking. If you have an existing inventory tracking system you would like to continue using, we can either push data out to it, pull inventory data from it, explore other options to work alongside it or replace the system completely. At the same time, we work with you to gather product information; including dimensions, descriptions and titles, weight, category, images, and other relevant information. All this information will be placed into a product marketing information database to be imported into ProductBridge and later used in marketing and listing operations.

Scenario:
There are a few popular items being stocked at the warehouse. Multiple orders for a specific drop-shipper are received. The system identifies that drop-shipper warehouse location as close by and requests the items be shipped from the warehouse. At the warehouse, WarehouseBridge™ creates the picking order to combine the necessary items among the warehouse items and the cross-docked items, automatically creating the appropriate picklist and fulfilling the orders in a way that maximizes efficiency and profitability by fusing warehouse and cross-docked inventory processes.

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We then gather all your shipper information and program our system’s integration with any carriers you may have. Label generation, shipment tracking, and invoicing are all handled electronically so that you can always be aware of where your shipment is and how much it cost to get it there. Intelligent feedback from previous orders is recorded so that adjustments can be made to pre-calculated shipping rates if needed in order to maintain profit margins in the event of increasing costs. A full set of test operations is performed in order to verify system functionality prior to the start of production.

Finally, your accounting system is fully integrated, recording the costs associated with each item, as well as the costs for each shipment, in order to provide you with an accurate cost per shipped item and enable you to accurately price your items for both your marketplace/website as well as any partners through whom you wish to resell your items.

When everything has been integrated and the production system has been turned on, all that is required is to scan incoming inventory to add it to the system, enter or automatically import invoices from suppliers, and add new items as they are obtained. Updates, shipments, orders, and all other invoices are automatically processed, and an intelligent reporting interface allows you visibility into the entire process and any metrics that may be affecting your bottom line.

From here, the rest of the OmniBridge system propagates your products to all available sales channels, but WarehouseBridge™ doesn’t stop there. As you expand to more and more locations, the system grows with you. For every new location, you gain another logistic outpost to be used to optimize inventory and fulfillment distribution. WarehouseBridge™ intelligently routes each order to the warehouse where it will be processed most efficiently, allowing you more profit per order. Every single working part of WarehouseBridge™ is designed to provide the most utility and flexibility in physical inventory management and logistics at the absolute lowest risk and financial cost, and when you compare to any remotely similar product, we believe you will discover that there is no comparison to be had, as we outshine them all!

It may appear that a solid Enterprise Resource Planning [ERP] system or Warehouse Management System [WMS] will suffice to provide all the essentials to fully support online marketplace functional requirements. However, because the online marketplace requirements place unique burdens upon the seller, most Warehouse Management Systems are unable to provide it. Requirements like shipping, fulfillment, and inventory management call for different functional blueprints to support the online marketplace. Integrating to Amazon can’t be limited only to the ability to push price and quantity; the key is to have the warehouse act as a dropship distributor, all while able to manage the mundane tasks that are a part of warehouse management.

This is where the Business Activity Management module, the core governing the entire product suite of our OmniBridge™ platform, makes all the difference. The correlation of real-time events in the context of all transactions in the online marketplace eco-system allows the detection of potential downstream issues before they become detrimental to the survival and success of your store.

Let’s examine the followingreal-life scenarios:

We got a large order to sell the entire stock of a popular tablet device. We pushed updates to all channels notifying of zero inventory. However, 12 orders were pending on the Amazon marketplace, and by the time they cleared payment and were imported, there was no stock in order to fulfill the item. With WarehouseBridge, combined with MarketplaceBridge, pending orders are also deducted from available inventory to prevent these scenarios. If the pending orders are cancelled or fail to go through, that reserved inventory is released for order fulfillment, so that all orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, even if there is a gap between order statuses.

The MPLogix™ Product Management solution offers fully-automated, comprehensive offerings that include the following:

  • Comprehensive automated order integration
  • Real-time marketplace integration
  • API for tracking and status updates
  • API for inventory management
  • Multiple shipping channel support
  • Separate line item shipments available to reduce costs
  • Regional shipping support
  • Freight/LTL shipping support
  • Complete integration with all major carriers

Answering Your WarehouseBridge™ Questions

No.  WarehouseBridge™ is not an ERP system nor is it a full-fledged warehouse management system.  Although many core functionalities are offered by WarehouseBridge™, it is not the focus of the application.  WarehouseBridge™ is intended to provide real-time intelligent event driven extension to a warehouse management system that fills all the necessary gaps and provide the missing capabilities to fully support the online marketplace.  However, if you do not have a robust ERP or warehouse management system deployed, WarehouseBridge™ can operate in a standalone capacity.

Yes! Thanks to our outstanding development team, we can support any accessible and documented ERP or warehouse management system. Integration takes place through the utilization of APIs or data-file exchanges and allows continued current operations while adding the necessary intelligent event driven Business Activity Management capabilities to fully support the online marketplaces.

To excel and succeed on the online marketplace, to be able to fuse drop-shipping into your warehouse and FBA operations, and to support cross-docking for online marketplace orders, you need a system that can manage the warehouse daily operations in context of the online marketplace transactions.  ERP and WMS systems do not have the functionality and the tight integration with the marketplace that is necessary.  In fact, the majority of ERP or WMS solutions have no relevance to the online marketplace, lacking the quintessential elements needed in order to interact with these channels.

To begin with, WarehouseBridge™ is a part of the OmniBridge™ platform.  As such, this includes access to all the technology included in this platform. OmniBridge™ is an enterprise level Business Activity Management platform developed solely to support the online marketplaces and shopping channels.  So WarehouseBridge™ is a natural part of this platform.  Our innovative one of a kind real-time event driven technology provides the unique and essential functionalities to integrate warehouse operations – across multiple warehouses – into online marketplace stores that use drop-shipping and FBA.

EcommerceBridge™

The MPLogix™ ProductBridge™ solution is more than just an elegant and efficient automated solution to extend your product listings through the use of drop-shippers and with no need for advance purchasing for warehousing or FBA allocation. Built upon our innovative Business Activity Management framework, ProductBridge™ is a comprehensive event-driven Product Management system which, based on event correlation and historical data patterns, can both proactively and reactively respond with actions which prevent problems and boost sales.

There is nothing like this framework in the industry today, and combined with other advantages such as cross-docking, warehousing, and FBA support, as well as no requirements for additional staff or IT infrastructure, we are confident that ProductBridge™ is the very best product management solution available today for the online marketplace seller.
ProductBridge™ is fully-automated, infinitely scalable, and currently supports thousands of drop-shippers with ease in current deployments. Demonstrated scalability of this platform ranges from 5,000 to over 5 million products being offered on multiple channels. It can manage multiple internal warehouses if needed and seamlessly integrate both internal and external fulfillment options with the marketplace. This powerful platform stores multiple historical data-points and integrates them with our other services in order to form a complete data image, which our Business Activity Management framework uses in order to identify issues or opportunities which lie between the lines of direct data. This allows ProductBridge™ to boast advanced features which prevent errors in matching, data propagation, and item repricing by checking every single item update against a whole range of historical and interdepartmental trends.

For even more scalability and less investment, we can also add onto our ProductBridge™ offering OneDrop™. This exclusive service allows you to access the full breadth of an integrated and competitively-priced dropship inventory without needing to set up individual accounts with up to thousands of drop-ship vendors. With OneDrop™, you receive one account, one feed, and one source for up to millions of products spread across all online marketplace categories.

ProductBridge™ – BAM Driven Product Management Solutions & Services for Online Marketplace Sellers

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Essentially, any distributor – regardless of its technical prowess – can be “plugged-in” and integrated into the ProductBridge™ products database.  This is key because a significant percentage of the drop-shipper population does not have the technical prowess to integrate directly via sophisticated marketplace requirements including APIs, XML Web Services, Flat File Submission, etc.

Distributor integration in this context, covers all aspects of managing a drop-ship account spans Product/Inventory integration; Transactional (orders, tracking) integration; and Financial (invoicing, returns) integration.

Product Integration Elements

  • File type and transport mechanism

    Used to set up the technical data retrieval. File formats can range from delimited text and Excel to XML or EDI. Transport mechanism can be email attachments, FTP, webservices and many more.

  • Feed schedule and frequency

    Setting the times to retrieve the distributor’s feed, as well as for inventory age risk detections.

  • Product attributes and extended attributes

    Used in part for matching, restricted items, MAP and verifications as well as for condition, MAP, shipping restrictions and direct drop-shipping settings.

  • Weight and dimensions

    Used in part for shipping costs, shipping restrictions, and freight settings.

  • Cost, fees and quantity

    Used in part to compute actual cost, selling price as well as for price volatility and limits exceeded. Quantities are being used in part for product propagation as well as limits exceeded detections.

ProductBridge™ places no limits on the number of drop-shippers it can integrate.  It also does not place any constraints on product categories or special product types. In fact, supporting multi-sourced products and products that require a parent-child relationship (to handle product sizes, colors and more) is a snap.  An additional strong suite of ProductBridge™ is the extensive support for products across all primary fulfillment methods.

ProductBridge™ mitigates the risks associated with integrating those dropship accounts that are configured in a manner that could presents higher risk exposure.  For instance, integrating a drop-shipper that has an manually generated Excel sheet with shallow product attributes depth and is provided as an email attachment daily, requires different thresholds and risk assessments criteria to be set.

Since product data as provided by the distributor can often times be narrow in breadth or inaccurate, ProductBridge™ maintains its own product data warehouse, where real time connectivity to external resources such as Etilize are utilized to augment and/or correct product data.  Within the solution, brand authorizations and freight items can be managed at a global or at a distributor-level to protect against pricing conflicts and stock-out via intelligent reporting that can influence purchasing and pricing.

Product creation starts once a drop-ship source is integrated into ProductBridge™. The program will regularly pull the product data according the scheduler and classify the product offerings against the current catalog.  New products are mapped and pushed to ProductBridge™ products data warehouse for initial matching.  Quantity levels for existing products are updated (total qty. as well as per distributors’ warehouses.) as well as cost and special attributes.  Products that are no longer offered by the distributor (i.e. do not exist on the latest product feed) are deactivated for that particular drop-shipper (but are not deleted in order to retain historical integrity).

New products run through a rigorous multi-tiered analysis that utilizes synonym tables, a robust database of UPC and MPNs, and intelligent UPC code-verifying algorithms to identify potential matches to existing products. The system utilizes qualified product aggregators such as CNet and Etilize — as well as official brand stewards — to ascertain official product information so distributor item data is matched or augmented by the official item data.  In addition, brand synonym tables are utilized so brands that can be spelled in various ways (i.e. H.P. HP, Hewlett Packard, etc.) can be identified and linked to a singular brand name for searching/matching purposes.  Product classification is governed by business logic that analyzes extended attributes to determine taxonomies such as MAP, condition, freight, UOM (case/pack), EOL and much more.

ProductBridge™ allows for organization of brand authorization. As brands navigate through e-commerce, it’s important to manage which brands are authorizing sales in which marketplaces and identify who the trusted partners are. One slip with pricing or inaccurate product listing can result in revocation of brand-authorized selling privileges! Through the OmniBridge™ platform, authorization can be pursued and secured for mid to top-tier brands. The software instantly connects resellers/retailers to top brands, manages rebates that may be in place, and protects all parties when working with coveted brand names. Brand authorization is set at the distributor level with global brand authorization overrides, addressing cases where brand restrictions apply to all distributors as well as cases where brand authorization varies per distributor. Product classification also assigns a unique SKU to a distinct product, providing support for the same product offered by multiple distributors as well as products that require “parent-child” relationships (i.e., a base product offered in multiple colors, sizes, style, etc.).

Once the product data has been verified and supplemented as applicable by the external official data sources, it is passed onto the matching sub-system.  The main task of the matching sub-system is to leverage the various automation tools and programming interfaces offered by the various marketplaces in order to electronically match a product to its correct counterpart on each marketplace. The matching process is a multi‐tiered analysis engine that utilizes marketplace APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) as well as data, synonym tables, and sophisticated human language algorithms to identify potential.  The system grades each potential match and uses 7 different levels of grading and places each item according to its matched grade. The process is governed by our proprietary matching intelligence engine that produces the best match and optimizes browse‐nodes (sub-category) matching. The system retrieves competitive data from the various resellers offering the same item and flags the items where size, price, weight and dimension variations exceed user defined thresholds.

Each stage of new or existing product matching is protected with failsafe mechanisms created with a multifaceted approach that identifies and assigns weights to risk factors requiring human verification in the riskiest scenarios.

The pricing process is applied to all newly matched products, products where distributor’s cost has changed, products for which the marketplace fees have changes (e.g., ASIN switches), or in the case of specific marketplaces, products that are set for dynamic re-pricing.  The initial product selling price is computed per channel and is based on pricing algorithms that assess distributor cost, distributor dropship fees (flat or tiered), shipping cost, desired profit margin, and associated marketplace fees. Established by the seller, profit margins can be abridged (fixed margin for all channels) or granular (specific product per distributor). Shipping cost is a more complex case which can utilize “Zero Shipping” set-up (where shipping costs are rolled into the product selling price) or global/regional shipping on the marketplace; either way, the system manages the complexities inherent to computing shipping costs; It contains real time published rates for carrier per shipping weight and zone, published rates for fees such as residential delivery, fuel surcharge, insurance, signature required, etc., as well as the published dimensional rates for ground and air.  In addition, the system contains the applicable discounts by carrier.  Product shipping cost depends if the distributor offers 3rd party shipping or charges the seller for shipping.

Scenario:

Seller uses ship Zero Shipping for his Amazon store and the distributor is set for 3rd party.  Based on items dimensions and weight and average zone, the system computes published rates cost, and applied appropriate discounts.  Shipping cost –like distributor cost– can command a profit margin so the system computes total shipping price based on cost, margin and marketplace commission per product.

23,645

Dropship Distributors

36,420

Brands

488M

DISTINCT PRODUCTS

The platform intelligently propagates items to all marketplaces with many fail safes in place, such as item verifications, to avoid mismatched items. ProductBridge™ provides full control for a reseller to determine which products/brands are to be listed on which marketplace at any point in time.  Marketplace restricted items policies are a dual edged sward.  On one hand the restrictions are not granular enough and do not contain specific products or brands.  They are broad policies that describe in a free form manner the guidelines and policies.  On the other hand, they are extremely stringent and unforgiving, and even a very large store with years of implacable reputation and metrics can be permanently removed over a restricted product listing!

ProductBridge™ restricted item subsystem has each product put through a Comprehensive Product Restriction Assessment (C-PRA™) where product attributes and brands are analyzed in context of the marketplace restricted product policies (leveraging our human language algorithms) to score the associated risks. The C-PRA™ is used to categorize products for restriction risks. If the C-PRA™ score for an item is high (high risk), then the item is not listed until the Internal Product Overlap Coverage (IPOC™) verifies it. If an existing item returns a high score, the item is flagged as “Restricted Item Forced” and is placed into the restricted items database until a live resource can review the product.

In a perfect world, the power, scalability and utmost efficiency offered by ProductBridge™ makes it the most innovative product management solution available and places it miles ahead of any other solution available to the online marketplace reseller.

However, imperfections are part of life, and unless the system can sense potential errors and mitigate most of the consequences that will be caused by these inevitable errors, even the best solution falls short!

Let us consider the following situations:

  • A distributor issues several consecutive inventory feeds that contain no variation in price or quantity and are entirely identical.
  • A distributor’s feed availability is inconsistent and some feeds are missing.
  • Human error caused by a decimal point shift, dramatically reduced the cost for a myriad of items.
  • A recent distributor feed contains 40% fewer items in it or has a suspiciously large number of cost changes
  • The marketplace merged several categories, and hundreds or thousands of products are now susceptible to fee changes
  • New regulatory compliance requirements by the marketplace triggers immediate modifications to the restricted items policy that now exclude hundreds of products that were allowed to be sold.
  • Shipment volume velocity is not in line with expected velocity to reach volume for the shipping discounts offered by shippers used for competitively pricing products

This is where ProductBridge™ Business Activity Management module, the quintessential component governing the entire product suite of our OmniBridge™ platform, makes all the difference.  The correlation of real-time events in context of all transactions in the online marketplace eco-system allows the detection of potential downstream issues before they become detrimental, and proactively steers the ship to safe grounds.

Let’s examine the following real-life scenarios:

It’s the Monday of a holiday weekend and the updates that a distributor typically pushes out for inventory and pricing updates are not issued; As a result, feeds on this day are not updated to reflect sales that still occur during the weekend, and inventory levels for all items on the feed has not changed, resulting in inaccurate inventory listed on your marketplace offerings. On Tuesday, the distributor informs you that multiple orders that you submitted have been cancelled due to zero inventory, thereby putting your store at risk of unnecessary cancellations, bad customer feedback, and impacted store performance metrics. ProductBridge™ Business Activity Management tracks changes between distributor feeds and detects anomalies, such as feeds with zero inventory changes, and can proactively adjust marketplace listings sourced through the affected distributor to prevent the sale of bad inventory.

The MPLogix™ Product Management solution offers fully-automated, comprehensive offerings that include the following:

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ClearPath™

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MPLogix is more than just Business Activity Management and advanced marketplace logic. Our innovative business model and vast experience – spanning years in online marketplace business consulting – form a unique and very powerful business transformation solution: ClearPath™.

ClearPath™ is your opportunity to own the disruptions that are happening in the online marketplace, both to you and around you. It’s a powerful way to leverage a bold ambition that goes beyond incremental change, and to rethink your business and operating models to provide breakthrough value.

Achieving this goal requires an enormous range of services and expertise – which is exactly what we bring to the clients we serve. Business strategy, capability-building, operating model design, service delivery, technology, change management, marketplace risk assessment, and outsourced services, all connected and integrated to provide exceptional value and a sustainable platform for growth, once ready.

It provides you with a staggering opportunity to build a viable business that can continue to grow and generate tens of millions (and even more) annually, without the need for the very large capital investments, deep expertise and years of build-up otherwise required. Furthermore, break-even revenues can be achieved in months making it a great opportunity, particularly in today’s market where an online marketplace store with large volume, solid stature and robust ratings is a sought-after commodity worth 2.5 to 3.5 annual margins.

At its core, ClearPath™ provides a way for your business to significantly expand into the online marketplace, without a need for the initial expertise nor the manpower or operational capabilities normally associated with growing a business to the multi-million-dollar level. We hire the appropriate personal and train the specific individuals as our own employees.  We work with management and ownership to teach the unique expertise needed to run the online marketplace practice and acquire the skillsets necessary for a successful transformation.  Then, when your business unit reaches the stability and revenue goals set forth by you, a transition period begins where you start to assume full control over your practice.  Key employees hired for the purpose of the practice build-up will become your employees; the engagement moving forward will be based on software licensing and any professional services you would like us to continue and operate, such as the additional staff required for night and weekend operations and processing.

ClearPath™ is our recommended solution for the savvy, motivated business owner who possesses the drive and ambition to become a top online marketplace seller, but who recognizes the need to seek out valuable assistance in achieving their goals. We can build you the ladder of domain expertise, operational capabilities, technology and change management that you need in order to climb to the top.

  • Need support for extended hours and weekends (to cover 24/7/365)
  • Lack some depth of required domain expertise
  • Retain low overhead and avoid staff expansion
  • Would like to – at first - outsource the drop-shipping portion of the business

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As previously detailed in various sections, the online marketplace presents along its enormous opportunity, daunting challenges that practically make such opportunity a non-starter for most.  It requires a new set of domain expertise.  It demands 24/7/365 operations.  It alters pricing and margin strategies.  It presents new risk factors.  And it calls for a unique set of technical platforms for its execution.  All this flies in the face of all norms and current models that propose a single option to all who want to become a serious performer on the online marketplace: FBA. Here at MPLogix, we reject that single option in favor of pursuing the road less-traveled in order to end up at an even greater destination.

So, for all who are ambitious enough to go after this opportunity yet unable to do so, we offer our breakthrough, out-of-the-box business transformation practice build-up to get you there!

A strict process that entails critical phases for initial planning and execution path are the heart of the engagement.  In here is where goals, risks and change management requirements are discussed and detailed.  Once these are completed and reviewed and approved by you, we set out to draw an execution plan that will include timelines, revenue expectations and ultimate transformation plan.  This will dictate actual resources needed and specific project detail. Regular scheduled review meetings are set, so that constant communications and update sessions are a recurring scene.

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At specified critical timelines, we assess planned progress versus actual progress.  We may alter plans to meet new requirements, push harder to get the transformation completed so you can take full control sooner or expand operations to support your growing business while we still manage and operate it for you.

Want to know more about what MPLogix can do for you?

Schedule your free 60-minute consultation to discuss the goals and challenges of your online marketplace business and how to achieve significant growth with sustainable success.