Software spotlight: August roadmap update

In the first of what will now be a regular update on our roadmap, here is a honking binder full of changes that we’re either already working on, or is already in the pipeline for development this quarter.

Wholesale orders

New client feature

Changes to the add manual order screen and more functionality for wholesale orders is being worked upon, including;

  • A new add order screen
  • New order types for wholesale, destruction and rework
  • Replacement of amendments with more detailed “order instructions”
  • More detailed information on wholesale orders, such as collection and delivery times

Order picking changes

FC operation

This project will increase FC throughput and capacity ready for peak 2022.  We are making changes to the process and algorithms that we use to caputre orders, along witha new set of specially designed trolleys will speed up pick as well as pack. It will further improve our world class accuracy. This is part of a full rebuild of all of our capture, pick, pack and labelling processes.

  • Database changes to allow us to utilise new hardware and trolleys
  • Back-end changes to create a new technology stack to modernise future development
  • CommandPort UI/UX Re-design

N.B. UI = User Interface, the screen you look at; UX = User eXperience, how you interact with the UI

New Pick UX

FC operation

We’re going to simplify the pick screens by making them less cluttered, easier to follow and bigger to look at. We’ll be doing this in a new technology stack which will make future development faster, as well as allowing us to incorporate the new single and multi item trolley designs. This will not only improve productivity and accuracy, but will also make it faster to train new team members during peak periods.

New Pack UX

FC operation

Once we’ve rolled out the new Pick UX, we’ll be working on a refresh to Pack. This is work that will be release in phases, with an initial phase to be delivered during Q3 ready for peak, and a more thorough re-write being completed during Q4 for release in early 2023. I’ll keep this brief for now, given how much else there is to write!

Streamlined pack paths

FC operation

We don’t want to give away too much of our secret sauce, but suffice to say we’re streamlining both the physical layout and allocation logic for different types of orders to make packing more efficient. That basically means order will be routed to the right trolleys for picking and then to the right type of desk (and the right team members) to get packed.

Shipping label print improvements

FC operation

We’re pretty unique in getting live shipping quotes from multiple carriers during pack based on the actual package (rather than relying on rules or estimates). Unfortunately this can slow the process down if we don’t get those quotes back super fast. As part of our re-write, we’re making a number of significant improvements that make pack more productive, without compromising our ability to get the very best shipping price for clients on every package.

  • Re-writing connectors involved in quoting to respond faster
  • Improving multi-threading to increase the number of simulatnous quotes to be returned at once
  • Decreasing image render time
  • Changing when and how we print labels within the pack process

Reduction in paper waste

New client feature FC operation

As part of our commitment to the environment, we’re going to be making changes to how we print labels and packing slips to reduce both the amount of labels we use and increase the energy efficiency of our printers. We are doing this as part of the redesign of the pack process and will be rolling out new label designs and printers over a number of weeks.

More business insights

New client feature

Our platform is unique in the amount of data it holds, however some of our more detailed reports can be a little technical to understand. We’re going to revamp a pile of client facing reports, make them easier to find, improve their layout and generally make them easier to use. We’re also updating our guidance on best practices and providing videos ways that you can use these insights to get the biggest improvement in your business. Of course, our clients can always speak to a real human for one on one advice on how to grow their business too.

We’ll provide a full set of details once this is nearer to release, however we’ve got a lot more planned too, so watch this space.

Gift cards

New client feature

Currently if a customer leaves a “gift note” in your store, we print this for the receipient on the packing slip. A while back we built a beta feature to allow bespoke gift card printing on demand to take this to the next level, but we were never that happy with it and so it was never fully released. Now we’re revisitng it, have some new ideas and will be dusting off the old feature to give it a new lease of life. Clients will soon be able to stock a range of physical cards, into which we can print the customer’s message on a customisable template. This will be out ready for Q4 and will be a great feature for Christmas.

We’ll be adding in more detailed updates as and when each feature is nearing release, as well as occasional updates on the whole development roadmap. If there are any related features you’d like to see, please do let us know them and we’ll look at whether then can be incorporated into development.