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Making the most of of Users, Channels and Brands

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In the last few weeks we have rolled out a significant upgrade to the fulfilment platform: ControlPort. This update introduces a few new concepts, and ultimately makes our model of the world a little closer to reality. In this article, we will explain the concepts and how our clients can make best use of them.

Our original model saw a relatively simple state of the world: Warehouse (us) > Client (you) > Customers (the ones who receive the orders). All your account information - including addresses and logos - was tied to your client account, and with few exceptions all orders were linked directly to that account as well.

Under the new system, we reflect better the reality of business. It’s more like Warehouse > Client > Users, Sales Channels, Brands > Customers. To explain each new piece in turn:

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Mulit-channel sales

These represent the separate streams of orders which end up being fulfilled under your ControlPort account. For example, you may sell on Amazon, eBay and through your own custom web-shop - each of these would be a separate Channel (mulit-channel).

Orders are tied to the multiple channels on which they were placed which allows for a greater control over how they are treated and reported within the system. Multiple channels can be toggled on and off, and a Channel can have specific behaviours, such as automatically holding orders to let you review them before they start processing. As ever you can still place manual orders directly into the ControlPort system, these simply have no association to Sales Channel.

Brands

A Brand is how your company represents itself to the end customer. It comprises things like the logo, trading name, returns preferences and customer-facing contact details. Selling mulit-channel often requires multiple brands. A single account account may have multiple separate Brands for different purposes - the end customer will only see the details for the Brand against which their order was placed.

Users

A User is a set of login credentials with some personal contact details for an individual who uses the client system. All client accounts start off with a single “Main User” who has full account access. Accounts have role-based privileges which control what they can and cannot see and do; available roles include Manager, Developer, Customer Service and Read-Only. Users logins can be selectively enabled or disabled, allowing segregated access to your account for staff and third-party contractors.

The combination of these three models allows us to flexibly represent your growing sales business. Each Channel can have its own Brand, or Brands can be shared across multiple sales channels. You can even restrict each User’s access to orders from within a limited subset of the your Brands.

The migration of your account to this new system is almost complete, the simple structure of your previous account setup has been mapped to the new structures (from 1 Client to 1 User 1 Brand 1 or more Channels). You can help us to complete the transition by doing the following:

  • Check that the details we hold for your account are correct, under Settings > Account
  • Update your default account user details, use your real name instead of “Main User” and provide your own contact details where they differ from the main account details, under Settings > Users
  • Add additional Users for the rest of your team
  • Change your password!
  • Contact out technical support to arrange for migration of any legacy eBay and Amazon connectors to our new Channel-based integrations to these platforms

By continuing to develop our systems to better match real-world multi-channel business processes, we continue to improve the process and experience of third-party fulfilment. Though there is plenty more to be done, this update is a significant step forward in giving you control over your staff, branding and sales channels. We hope you will make the most of it!

To find out how our upgraded fulfilment platform, ControlPort, can help your business, please contact us and we'll tell you more about how we work

March 7th, 2013 by Hannah Newman

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