How to get a good Integrated experience
Here are some of the common issues we see when integrating and how you can fix them to get a better experience.
Get Your SKUs aligned
When it comes to integrating, you need a way to match items on any system you want to connect. You are in luck because any system you want to connect through, IDA already has a way for you to do this.
The Stock Keeping Unit or the SKU is used for this purpose. This single identifier has been used by companies globally for a long time to identify every single variation of the item available.
Nearly all modern systems will use the SKU as a way of identifying each unique variation. This SKU is then used to match items across each system and is why it’s a critical piece to get right.
To make sure you get a quick and easy integration, you should make sure that each of your variants have a unique SKU. You can use the Unmatched screen in the IDA Dashboard to make sure you have matched all items
Some issues we see with matching SKUs include having spaces in the SKU or using an underscore instead of a dash or vice versa. The SKU needs to be identical to be automatically matched.
If you are having problems getting your SKUs aligned, it might be worth using an app like Microsoft Excel to analyse your products and SKUs. You can export your lists from your systems and plug them into Excel to see what is happening.
It’s sometimes worth trying to open your exported file in a plain text editor as well like Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on a Mac. This helps identify when there are extra characters in your SKU.
Disable Old/Unused Products
With IDA, you will only sync those items that match and those that are active. This helps maintain near real-time sync to allow you to sell using one stock pool. If you have a large number of historical products or you maintain a seasonal catalogue, we suggest you deactivate any products not selling instead of relying on a zero stock count to make the product unavailable.
The best thing is to go through your sales channels and make sure you deactivate any products that are not selling now.
We only sync stock levels for matched products so if you have 2000 products in your manager system and only 100 active on your Sales channel, we will only sync the 100 products, so this will keep things moving fast and reduce the risk of delayed stock level updates.
Have A Manual Process
Due to the nature of integrated systems, we cannot guarantee 100% delivery of orders or stock level updates. Because we don’t manage the systems we connect, and we have no control of the Internet, which is how we talk to each of the system, we don’t have enough control to make sure the sync is completed error free.
In the cases where syncs could not be completed, you will receive a notification letting you know and, in some cases, you may need to complete a process manually. Having a manual process to ship an or-der or update stock levels will help in this situation.
We do run the sync regularly as well as use real-time notifications where systems allow for this to make sure we get the sync completed as error free as possible. And the regular sync means that for issues like time-outs, the process will normally run on the next scheduled event.
In any case, it would be very beneficial for you to have a manual pro-cess in place for times when things out of our control stop us from automating the process for you.