I am using 3 different drop ship suppliers as well as fulfilling some orders from my home office. The suppliers are standalone and do not have Shopify apps/ integrations.
At the moment it is very manual and I am wondering how I can optimize the following processes:
- I upload the products myself (i'm only using a small % of the product catalogue from each supplier)
- I'm managing inventory levels manually
- I am inputting orders manually by inputting customer details into the dropshipping websites to order individually
- I am then individually updating the tracking details when I receive them from the dropshippers
I would like to automate where possible but I'm finding it difficult with the multiple suppliers. Any advice is welcomed.
Here's what I would do:
Plan A) Hire a VA and create an SOP with instructions to perform all the steps.
Plan B) Once you have your assistant handling that, now you can free your time to start automating the process (then move your assistant onto other tasks).
- For products, can your supplier export products into spreadsheet form? (then you can arrange and upload via csv import)
- Managing inventory levels, if there's not an app already, you can have a developer create a custom app that gets a data feed and updates your store on a daily / hourly basis. The feed could be an API from the store, or if inventory levels are public, the app could crawl the data.
- I'd lean on an app for this one too. If it doesn't exist, the way I would build it is to set up an order listener so that when an order that comes in, it grabs the customer details then inputs them into the supplier's system.
-- alternatively, you can have an email sent to the supplier on each order (if they're down with that)
-- or you could export your orders every day, then send the supplier the spreadsheet (I've built a system that does this)
- For updating tracking, maybe you could give supplier access to orders to paste it in there? If not, you could have a custom app built where supplier enters the order number and tracking, and that updates your Shopify order.