The Departures Board in Shapeshift is very similar to the departures board in a train station or airport, except designed for a warehouse or sales floor. By limiting the information your team can see at-a-glance, and prioritising only the information they need, we boost efficiency and increase effectiveness and potential for flexibility.
Free your workforce!
First and foremost, the Departures Board is displaying your Sales Orders from TradeGecko. The orders are limited to those shipping in the current week, and displayed by day-of-the-week. In theory, if you’re keeping up with your shipment dates, you should have the current day's orders displayed first, and as they are shipped, the next days orders will move up and become visible.
Each line has a great deal of information available at a glance. The order number, and company name from the shipping address are the first two columns so you can identify quickly which order you’re looking for.
The next column is the Location taken from the shipping address. Which attribute is displayed can be adjusted in the settings, this column can also be hidden. This can help quickly plan routes or dispatch strategy for the orders.
The phone number is in the next column, it is taken from the Order.
The final three columns are highlighted green for finalised orders or red for active (un-finalised) orders. By displaying the active (un-finalised) orders we give the picking, packing and logistics teams a clear estimation of how busy they are likely to be in the near future to help with human resource management. For the sales or administration teams, we provide detailed task management.
These three columns show first if the order has specific notes added which need to be followed. Second whether the order has been packed yet. And third whether it has been invoiced. It is intended that this will keep everyone up with where the order is in the workflow.
Reducing the time staff spend at desks when their job is inherently mobile saves significant, cumulative hours every year. Picking, packing and shipping staff can use the Departures Board as a fixed dashboard in their workspace, or view it on mobile devices. They won’t spend time re-arranging the orders and filtering on the TradeGecko orders screen. This is going to help orders being missed ahead of time, and keep them free to work on picking, packing and shipping.
Keeping communication instant and effective between the picking, packing and shipping team, and the sales team is crucial to efficient running of the company. Being able to make last minute changes to orders in some industries can mean winning or losing customers. With the Departures Board, the sales team can see how far through the picking, packing and shipping process the order is and feedback to the customer quickly and correctly. The picking, packing and logistics teams can see how many orders are stacking up, as it happens, and communicate what that means back to the sales team or manage their human resources a little differently with enough advance notice.
When it comes to task management, both teams can see how much work they have to do, and how far through it they are at all times. Keeping staff in control of their own tasks gives them an understanding of when they’re busy, when they’re getting too busy, and gives them insights into how they might rectify that situation. It will reduce human-error and boost their motivation in the long-run. It’ll also mean they know when to ask for more help and how much when the company grows!
From the Departures Board Settings page, you can activate something called Credit Tools. With this feature enabled, each order shown on the Departures Board will respond to the Default Payment Term associated with the customer in TradeGecko.
First, if the default payment term contains the words
on hold (not case-sensitive) then when an order for that customer is finalised, it will not turn green, and a highlight_off warning will be displayed. This allows your finance team to take seamless control over whether or not ship goods to your bad-debtors.
Second, if the default payment term contains the word
advance — for example Pay in Advance — then when finalised, an order for that customer will not turn green, and a payment warning will be displayed. In order for it to turn green, the order must be marked paid in TradeGecko, or tagged with the word "paid".
Finally, if the default payment term contains the words
cheque — for example Cash on Delivery — then the order will turn green as usual when finalised. But a money warning will be displayed to remind shipping staff if they need to collect cash.
From the Departures Board Settings page, you can activate something called Location Groups. With this feature enabled, the Departures Board will group your orders per-day based on their location. This can be really useful for sorting delivery types, say to your local city, or further afield.
To set up a new location group (you can add up to three), enable it in the Departures Board settings. You will be able to see options for the group you're creating. We'll have to go through a logical process to set the group up. As an example, if I wanted to separate orders shipping to London, and display them first each day on the Departures Board, I might enter the following settings...
If City is London. Then prefix with [Ldn] and display the Suburb.
Setting the group up this way would mean that on the Departures Board I would see orders in London listed first, and the location column might read [Ldn] - Camden or [Ldn] - Bermondsey.
If you enable the Also search in tags box, you can tag an order with the search term (in this case "London") to override the group categorisation.
Each location group overrides it's predecessor. Now it can take a minute to work through this logic, so here's an example. (For international context; Manchester is a city which is not located in West Yorkshire.)
If Location Group 1 has the rule "If City is not Manchester" then you can go ahead and add Location Group 2 with the rule "If State is West Yorkshire" and that will work fine because for every location that is not in the city of Manchester, we may find that it is in West Yorkshire. The result would be the Deparures Board displaying first your orders in West Yorkshire, then the other national or international orders, then finally the orders within the city of Manchester.
However, if you put those two rules in the other way around, the second will negate the first because everywhere which is in West Yorkshire also is not the city of Manchester.
Do you need to have a separate Departures Boards for a each warehouse? No problem.
You can filter the orders on display to show only one warehouse by opening the Departures Board and navigating to the screen. Select the right warehouse from the drop down menu and click . The filter is saved in the URL so you can bookmark or share the page to avoid having to use the filter page again next time.
On the filter page, you can also add a tag as a filter. Only orders with this tag will be displayed. If you have a more complex logistics, consider using TradeGecko Connect to automate order tagging and use this feature. It's a really powerful tool.
Do you need to filter by Sales Channel? Let us know, that functionality is under development too.
The Departures Board has been designed to be as simple as possible. To put your team on a data-diet, so they only see what they need to see in the specific use-case described here. However, there are some extra little features not immediately obvious in the Departures Board.
You can click the sales order number or company name, and you will be directed to the order in TradeGecko.
You can click the location and you will be directed to a Google Maps search for the shipping address.
You can click the phone number, and your device will attempt to call the phone number in it’s international format.
In TradeGecko if you tag an order with
omit, it will not display on the Departures Board.
If an order has no shipping date (because it has been created by TradeGecko’s B2B Platform) it will be listed at the end of the week and labelled as such.