As more suppliers are turning to order integration to improve efficiency within Unimarket, we thought we'd take the opportunity to point out some trends we've noticed and how both communities and suppliers can assist in ensuring a smooth transition to order integration.
What Order Integration means for Suppliers
When an order is approved and sent to the supplier from Unimarket, the order is sent as an electronic message. In that message will be the product code(s), quantity, price etc. Also included in the message is the Delivery Location (Address Line 1,2,3, City, State, Zip code etc.) which includes a unique identifier for that address (the Community’s Location Code). Where possible Unimarket configure the integration with suppliers so that they receive and process all the address information provided by the community, however, some suppliers do not have this flexibility and need to map the Communities Location Codes (ID's) to their pre-defined list of delivery addresses. This is why Unimarket pass the Community’s Location Code in the order message (and more recently on the pdf orders). In most cases, this mapping of the Location code means the order does not need any manual intervention and can be passed directly to dispatch. In other words, serious cost savings through ‘Improved Accuracy & Automation’.
What Order Integration means for Communities
When a Supplier has Order Integration, it means orders are created and almost instantly pushed directly into the suppliers system for dispatch. There is no need for manual intervention and no opportunity for items to be wrongly entered. In other words, serious time savings through ‘Reduced Errors & Improved Turn-a-round Time’
Where problems can arise when Suppliers are mapping to Location Codes
It is rare that location code information changes, however when a community makes a change (or adds a new Location Code), suppliers that have mapped address information need to be informed so a change can also be made at their end. Without doing this orders could be sent to the wrong address.
If a community does not make their Location Codes unique (e.g. many addresses with the same ID), then suppliers cannot successfully map to an address in their system and orders get sent to the wrong place.
What Communities can do to ensure a smooth transition to Order Integration
Ensure Location addresses are up-to-date and Suppliers are aware of the various delivery locations.
Keep Location Codes changes to a minimum (where possible), and notify Suppliers of any major changes – A minor change would be: ‘The Law School’ is now known as ‘The School of Law’. A major change would be ‘The Law School has relocated from 22 Tree Street to 33 Forest Road.
Ensure there are no duplicate Location Codes – One Location Code per Delivery Location.