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[Feature Release] OrderEase B2B Order Management Technology | April - May 2022

Posted by OrderEase on Jul 11, 2022 3:24:44 PM

2022 continues with more technology development and refinements that we, at OrderEase, are excited to share with you. In this post, we have put together a complete summary of new feature releases through April and May, 2022. Check them out and contact OrderEase if you would like more insights or training on how to leverage these enhanced features.  

Key B2B Order Management Solution Feature Releases:

Core Software

Integrations 

Trade Show Platform    


 

ORDER MANAGEMENT Core Technology Enhancements

New Functionality

Dropship & Dimensional Data Conversion for Units of Measure 

Knowledge Center

Shipping Window - Repeating Days Configuration

Settings to manage Inventory visibility for Customers and Sales Reps 

Text Messaging and Email Marketing

 

Dropship Management Pricing Capabilities

USER: Seller & Buyer

Easily sell in different channels at different prices using the dropship pricing levels and customer groups assignments.  You are no longer tied to setting a single global dropship price.

This functionality allows you to be more flexible with your dropship costing strategy. 

For example, you could assign your dropship catalog(s) to your Shopify or WooCommerce store, and set different prices for different regions or countries the orders are coming from. Or, if you have a different price for selling via Wayfair vs Home Hardware, this can be easily handled within dropship pricing management assignments. 

How do we do this?  In multiple places in the OrderEase system where we compute our wholesale price on a product, we changed the selection of pricing levels to omit any pricing level that is tagged as ‘dropship’.

Pricing Level > Properties Update

Property update making it a dropship Pricing Level

The pricing levels also help you quickly identify which are dropship or wholesale. Below is a products’ detailed view > Pricing tab.  

showing a dropship price level in a product detail view

 

In addition, within the catalog you have in OrderEase, you can tag certain products to be “Dropship” or both “Dropship and Wholesale”. Previously OrderEase catalogs were always defaulted to Wholesale view, now you can control a catalog to default as dropship. 

Catalog > Appearance Tab Update

Making a catalog a dropship sales channel

To make this new function easier to use, the system has had UI enhancements to ensure you don’t miss a beat by taking advantage of our new dropship pricing.

Within the “Sales Channels” selection on a Product Detail window, you have a disclaimer to remind your admin staff to go in and create a dropship pricing level to control the pricing!

Setting a reminder for admin to create drop ship pricing level

 

    >> Dropship & Dimensional Data Conversion for Units of Measure

USER: Seller

Have you ever run into a scenario where you sell in one unit of measure but your retailers want to order or sell in a different unit of measure?

Now OrderEase allows you to keep your internal processes the same and use the OrderEase platform to convert the data into your retailers’ desired unit of measure. 

For example, if you sell a case and specify the dimensions of that case in inches but the retailer needs the dimensions in centimeters, you can provide both types using the company settings,  “Inventory and Catalog Settings” page. Supplier admin users have access to this page.

Converting data into a retailers desired unit of measure

Knowledge Center

USER: Seller

The Knowledge Center is a new information management tool for sellers to share information and files with buyers or for internal information sharing. 

The original functionality was built with specific requirements to be able to share monthly social media materials to dealers of a group. Realizing what a great feature this would be for other clients, we added various capabilities and merged with our trade show environment to deliver a customized experience. 

Now when your buyers log in to search for their suppliers, they will be able to see the Product Knowledge Page(s) that you’ve assigned to them listed below your company name. These pages can be created and visible to the groups of your choice. 

 

Select which groups can view your product knowledge page

 

Next you can select and assign your customer group(s) who will have permission to view specific Knowledge Center pages. Since you can have multiple knowledge center pages with the ability to display different data, and to different groups, using the groups is a great way to control who sees what. To make the process of adding customer groups more efficient, you can add multiple groups to a single knowledge center.

 

Adding multiple groups to a single knowledge center

 

To help categorize the files loaded, you can create "Media Tags" and assign them to the files. Organize your files within the Knowledge Center by custom tag or file type (Excel, MP4, JPG, YouTube Link, PDF, DOC, etc). You can also edit and unassign all media from these tags should re-organization be required.

 

Unassign all media from custom tags

 

Additionally, you can add different colors and highlights to your text to draw attention to specific areas. 

For better visibility and management of media within the library, a seller user can now filter by media tags in the library page by going to “All Tags” and selecting the media tag to filter media by. Now media content in the library page can be filtered by Media Type AND custom created Media Tags.

 

Filter images by media type and custom media tags

 

Filter documents by media type and custom media tags

 

Within permission settings, you will be able to choose and edit which of your staff can see and edit the Knowledge Center pages.

 

Choose and edit which staff can see and edit knowledge center pages

 

Shipping Window - Repeating Days Configuration

USER: Seller

As part of our continual evolution of the configurable shipping windows, suppliers can now create a shipping date rule to repeat on a weekly or biweekly basis. 

This configuration is designed to meet the unique needs of your business by allowing you to specify when this repeating date rule starts along with what time of the day this rule complies with. 

Cut-off times are based on morning starting at 8am, afternoon (being noon) and evening at 6pm with the time zone based on the time zone set at your company profile level.

For more information about the Shipping Window Rules and Customizations, check out our Q1 Feature Release blog in the section:  Shipping Window Rules and Customization

 

Create a shipping date rule within the configurable shipping windows

 

Settings to manage Inventory visibility for Customers and Sales Reps

USER: Seller

Introducing more refined control over your inventory display! 

Before this enhancement, when a product was marked active/inactive, the status did not pass through to the buyers’ list of products. OrderEase realized this was a problem that had to be solved with the expansion into the dropship space since inventory visibility is critical to ensuring dropship fulfillment. 

With this release, the OrderEase system checks and updates the retailer dropship product inventory based on supplier inventory, where appropriate. This allows the supplier to have control over their product offering based on availability.

Text Messaging and Email Marketing

USER: Seller

Sellers can now send out text messaging and email reminders to their customers. 

Buyers can set their communication preference for email and/or text messages. Not only does this allow you to communicate via your buyers’ preferences, but it also replaces manual and tedious order follow-up processes. 

Do your customers need to place orders by a certain day to ensure delivery?  Within OrderEase, you can see who hasn’t ordered yet by using a filter then send a reminder out to that group.

 

Communicate via buyer preferences and send out reminders

 

UI / UX Enhancements

Remove old contacts from customer companies  

Additional Types of Media Files permitted for products

Order Confirmation - Incomplete Order - Additional Details Added

Order Hold Management Update

Stronger password enforcement to improve account security

Order Page on mobile more responsive and informative

Excel Order Exports

Quoting Feature Refinements

Email System Notifications - Inclusion of User Defined Fields

Default Customer Group Assignment Update

Catalog “Pop-Up” Details Added to PDF Order Printout

Remove old contacts from customer companies

USER: Seller

OrderEase now allows seller users to delete a contact from their list in OrderEase on the customer page, rather than having to delete them as a contact entirely. This will help sales reps manage long lists of contacts over time.

Additional types of Media Files permitted for products

USER: Seller

Now that we support non-viewable media in the platform in the Knowledge Center we’ve also added the same functionality to product media.

The exciting use of this feature is the ability to add more than just an image to a product. You can now include sell sheets, specs, terms and conditions, or any other type of media supported within OrderEase.

When editing a product in the editor window, the following changes have occurred:

  1. Assign additional document types (not just png or jpg files);
  2. Displayable media files like png or jpg still need to be the primary media type;
  3. The product details modal now shows the thumbnails of the non viewable files types (e.g. word, excel) and allows their download;
  4. All media options included in product details to add as an ‘image’ files (see below screenshot)

Add other types of media to a product

Adding additional document types to products

Order Confirmation - Incomplete Order - Additional Details Added

USER: Seller

When your customer receives an order confirmation email, the email used to contain only the SKU and the recipient would have to log into OrderEase for additional information pertaining to their order. 

Now, the email includes the name of the product to create a more efficient process and eliminate the requirement to login.

Product name in email and login requirement removed

 

Order Hold Management Update

USER: Seller

OrderEase’s “Order Hold” feature not only allows you to set a duration to hold orders for a specific number of days, you can now set a specific date. If you haven’t used the hold feature before, this is a setting that allows you to have orders that your buyers submit set as ‘saved’ and then send to their assigned sales representative to review. 

The sales representative can then modify the order as required with substitutions or upsells prior to submission to the order desk…or straight into the ERP system in an integrated environment.  The "Hold Duration" (and now date) setting allows you to choose the number of days this order can stay as ‘saved’ and reviewed before getting automatically submitted. 

This means that after 5 days, for example, if a sales representative hasn’t reviewed and submitted the order, the system will push it through automatically once that hold time is up.  This ensures there is time for review, but if the review doesn’t happen, the order is still submitted. 

The "Date" selection has been added to the edit window in Customer Groups > Properties Tab 

Important Note: the system will take the lesser of the 2 fields (Hold duration vs. Date entry) if both have an entry.

Customer Groups > Properties Tab Update

Customer groups in property tab allows you to hold orders for a specific amount of time

When Hold Date Entered Order Status Set to “Shared with Rep”

Hold order in the Orders List set as "Share with Rep"

 

Stronger password enforcement to improve account security

USER: Seller & Buyer

OrderEase continuously strives to improve the safety and security of our platform. Usually this involves a lot of backend coding and updates. This time our users get to see some of the improvements we are making directly! 

We have introduced new password enforcement across our system to encourage users to use stronger passwords.

Password Requirements are: 

  1. Min 8 characters
  2. At least 1 uppercase character
  3. At least 1 lowercase character
  4. At least 1 number
  5. At least 1 special character

In addition to the longer passwords and their complexity, we’ve added an eye icon that you can click to see your new password and make sure it meets the above criteria.

 

view of the login page with requirement for longer and more complex passwords

Icon allowing you to view your new password

Order Page on mobile more responsive and informative

USER: Seller & Buyer

The previous layout of the orders page on mobile was not as user-friendly as we would like it to be, so we changed to an updated design within our app. This is another update we’ve made to make the app more user- friendly, which is crucial for your business on the go!

More user friendly order page on mobile app, comparing before and after

Excel Order Exports, Buyer and Seller

USER: Seller & Buyer

It was a highly desired capability to export orders as Excel Files rather than only PDF print files. Now, when you click ‘Review’ on an order from your list, you have the option to Print as a PDF or click ‘Export’ to download as an Excel file. 

This is a useful tool if you want to be able to import orders from OrderEase directly into your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, or perhaps you want to make other adjustments to the Excel which weren’t possible before with the non-editable PDF.  

If you need additional fields or the order of fields rearranged for your importing into your ERP or other reasons, reach out to our team here at OrderEase to adjust. 

Try this new feature out today!

Additional fields for ERP importing or other, comparing before and after

 

Quoting Feature Refinements

USER: Seller & Buyer

OrderEase has completed several refinements in the design of our quoting feature. We are excited to share these with you.

1. While building an order and adding quoted items to the cart, both yourself and your customers can see the quantity of items that are quoted.

 

Customers can see quantity of quoted items, comparing before and after

 

2. Our quoted items setting now indicates a price is pending on an item rather than showing that at a $0 value. This creates a clearer understanding and helps those reviewing their orders to quickly identify items they are waiting to hear back from their Sales Representative about.

 

Pending price on quoted items

 

3. When a quoted item was included in a tiered discount (e.g. buy 31 get 10% off, buy 50 get 15% off, etc.), those levels no longer appear on the detailed product view along with a ‘pending’ status. This final feature refinement was added to offer further clarity for buyers, as well as pricing flexibility for your Sales Representatives while confirming the quote. 

 

Pricing removed from product view when a user isn't logged in, shows price for the quoted item is Pending status

 

4. While reviewing the catalog, the product displays as a ‘Quoted’ item and hides the price for these products.

Tile View

Hidden prices for quoted items in Tile View

List & Cart Views

List and cart view of quoted prices in list view

 

5. In addition to in system usability enhancements, we’ve also improved the email notifications. Now when buyers receive a confirmation email that their sales representative has confirmed prices on a quoted item, they go straight into the cart to review the final totals and click submit on their order.

Email System Notifications Inclusion of UserDefinedFields

USER: Seller

It’s important for many of our sellers to have additional pertinent information about a customer at their fingertips. 

To help with quickly referencing these details, we took data points existing in our system called “UserDefinedFields” and added these to the Order Submitted notification email that goes to the supplier. 

With up to 4 User Defined Fields, keeping track of things like Regions, Groups, Assigned Rep, or additional customer numbers, can make reviewing an order at a glance and invoicing a breeze.

 

User defined fields added to order submission emails

Default Customer Group Assignment Update

USER: Seller

For sellers who use OrderEase for their every day order management, it’s especially important that any buyers who come onto the platform to have fast and immediate access to catalogs and pricing. 

To assist with automating this process, we have added an assignment within groups to set them as ‘default’.  This means any new customers will be allocated to a default group. The list of customers assigned to the default group appears in the ‘Customers Pending Your Approval’ area. This can save you a lot of time if you have a group that the majority of your customers fit in.  

If a new customer goes into the default group, but you want to provide them more discounted pricing, you can easily assign them to the applicable group when you go through the approval process. 

 

Where you set the default group new customers are added toat is set as the 'default'

 

Catalog “Pop-Up” Details Added to PDF Order Printout

USER: Seller & Buyer

When configuring your catalog, often a lot of important information is added to the pop up that appears when you or your buyer enters your catalog. Information like shipping details, discounts and payment terms are handy to access while building the order, but what about when printing the PDF? 

We realized that “catalog details” information is just as important within OrderEase as well as the details within the PDF order which  then gets emailed or printed. Now, this pop up content gets appended to the bottom of your PDF orders for quick and easy reference.

Catalog details pop up on bottom of PDF orders


INTEGRATIONS Technology Enhancements

Sage50 Integration Interface

QuickBooks Online Integration 

→ Spire Integration 

Seller V3 API

Integration Activity Log

Integrations Launch Page

Sage 50 Integration Interface

USER: Seller

In the first quarter of 2022, we developed a Sage50 Integration. Now, we have released a user interface to make the configuration quicker!   Below are a few screenshots to show you just how intuitive it is to configure your Sage50 settings for the integration with OrderEase.

 

Step 1: Welcome

Supplier administrative users can access this feature in Settings.

Sage integration welcome page

Step 2: Configure Settings

Navigate through the potential settings you wish to configure for your integration. 

Sage integration settings page

Step 3: Activate

As a supplier admin user, you can manage your product and customer data sync and activate your account.Sage integration activation page

Step 4: Download and Install the Integration

For the fourth and final step, you can download and install the Sage integration application by following the instructions provided.

Sage integration download and install page

While configuring the integration utility on your local server, you can set ID values for the API key in the installed app and enter their authentication information to complete OrderEase integration.

 

Setting ID values for API key in the installed app

 

To showcase the status of all fetches, syncs, etc run by the API, there is a log page displaying the communications in the event any troubleshooting is needed.

 

Log page displaying communications for troubleshooting

 

Quickbooks Online Integration

USER: Seller

Along with a Sage50 interface, we have also developed and released a QuickBooks integration interface.  You can have your QuickBooks Online data flowing into OrderEase within minutes with this easy-to-use interface.  The interface allows you to import a small data set so you can see what it looks like before you complete the full integration.  

Below are some screenshots to show you how intuitive the interface is.

 

Step 1. Welcome

When a user clicks “Connect” an Oauth pop-up will be activated, prompting you to sign into QuickBooks to authenticate the connection between QuickBooks and OrderEase. This allows you to re-authorize your connection if you ever change QuickBooks accounts or lose the connection somehow.

Pop up for QuickBooks sign in

 

Step 2: Configure Settings

Supplier administrative users can now make adjustments to each QuickBooks integration setting available to be set, allowing a user to set their own configuration preferences. This way, you can determine how data will communicate between QuickBooks and OrderEase.

Quickbooks integration settings page

 

Step 3: Test Your Connection

Before completing the integration, there is a test phase where you can see how the synchronized data looks.  We pull in the data from 5 customer accounts and 5 products in the test phase.  If data clean-up is needed within your QuickBooks account, you will be able to do this and test the synchronization again.

Test your connection with QuickBooks to verify data

Step 4: Activate

Here you can manage your integration sync settings and schedule. When you enter a date to Import Order from QuickBooks, our API will fetch all orders from QuickBooks based on the date selected and add them to your order history.

Once activate is triggered, an OrderEase representative will be notified and will contact you to do a final validation of data and ensure you have optimized configurations within OrderEase.

Hiding sync buttons by default

 

Account activation toggle with confirmation pop up with QuickBooks data transactions

 

Logs: This is a data table display only page that shows the status of all fetches, syncs, etc run by the API.

 

Quickbooks transactional log run by API

 

Spire Integration

USER: Seller

A Spire integration has been developed and is currently undergoing front end development to make it just as easy to configure and activate as our QuickBooks Online and Sage50 integrations!

Spire integration front end development process

showing where notes will appear in OrderEase from the Spire integration development


 

Seller V3 API

USER: Seller

Version 3 of the OrderEase API is now available in Swagger, which is publicly accessible. Click here for a link to the Swagger page to access the V3 API’s.

Major changes include (but not limited to):

  1. Increased security: we moved to a rolling key versus a static key.
  2. More user friendly and approachable code: V1 and V2 were made for internal team members to implement the integrations, or more advanced developers with OrderEase assistance on some elements. V3 allows better lookups and more consistent data packages to be exchanged making it far more end user friendly and publicly functional.
  3. Inclusion of business rules: We have included our restrictive business rules in our front-end within our API calls, where this was not the case for V1 or V2 (ie. Order state transition rules from saved (open) to submitted are now controlled via the API).

 

Integration Activity Log

USER: Seller

When working on an integration, or troubleshooting errors, having access to a list of activities to try to pinpoint the error is crucial. To respond to this need, OrderEase now provides visibility to logs which document all activities that occur within your integration.  You can review information in the logs such as:

  1. Changes to configurations or settings - who did it, to what, and when
  2. Exchange of data - who did it, when, from what, to what
  3. The Integration source (ie. QuickBooks Online)
  4. Companyid
  5. Appropriate product, customer or order values

 

Activity log for integration troubleshooting and more

 

Integrations Launch Page

USER: Seller

OrderEase is excited to add a quickly accessible location that houses all of our all currently offered integration capabilities. Access this page by clicking on the new menu item titled ‘Integrations’. Learn more about each of these options by launching the page.

Integrations launch page for supplier

 

Integrations launch page for buyer

 

TRADE SHOW Technology Enhancements

Order Summary Report from Reports Page

Orders Export from the Orders Page

Video Calls Now Include your Name AND Company Name in Screen

 

Order Summary Report from Reports Page

USER: Exhibitor

We had been asked by vendors for a summary of show orders for the ability to export and track processing of orders after a show.  

Our solution, enabling a report export called ‘Order Summary’.  This generates a summary which displays one order per row, providing a high level summary of all orders received and easy tracking! This report is available to both vendors and attendees in their Reports page.

Trade show order summary report page

 

Orders Export from the Orders Page

USER: All Users

If you’ve ever participated in an OrderEase hosted virtual trade show, anything to do with orders required you to go into the Reports page.  Now, you can quickly download your orders right from the Orders Page into an Excel file.

Exporting trade show orders into excel

 

 

Video Calls Now Include your Name AND Company Name in Screen

USER: All Users

As a participant in the video calls in our tradeshow platform, users wanted to be able to quickly identify who other call participants were, in particular while joining a networking table in the “Virtual Lounge”. 

To aid in quick greetings, we added “username - company name” to the top of a participants’ video.  What a great way to see who you are meeting with!

Participant identification on screen during video calls

 

And That's a Wrap!!  Do you have feedback or ideas?

Our team is always moving forward, fast and furiously, listening to feedback from our users so we can continue to provide leading-edge technology. Feel free to share your positive experiences with a video or written testimonial, or  forward any improvement suggestions so we can continue to deliver the ultimate user experience.  

Topics: Buyer, Supplier, Retailer, Buying group, Trade Show, New Releases & Features, Integration

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