Our Strategic Vision and Mission
Our vision is to become your go-to-delivery partner in Gauteng for frozen goods. Our mission is to provide the most efficient, reliable and integrated â€œDelivery as a Serviceâ€ to you and your company. We believe that the ability to automate the order assignment, execution, your customer kept in the loop during the delivery process, and the confirmation of task completion, are all critical elements to our mission.
To enable this vision, we require some level of automation in the tasking and feedback process between yourself, your customer and our automation platform. We have implemented a sophisticated Delivery Management and Automation platform, but basic automation will already go a long way to getting the basic blocks in place.
Think of the Automation Steps to Maturity in the following manner:
- Level 0 â€“ No Basic Automated Email Notifications via Custom Order Statuses â€“ require manual input
- Level 1 – Basic Automated Email Notification via Custom Order Statuses
- Level 2 â€“ Basic Automated Order Data Posting via Custom Order Statuses
- Level 3 â€“ Advanced Order Data Posting and Status Integration
- Level 4 â€“ Realtime Order Task Tracking
These articles discusses the free (and paid-for) plugins and tools available to you to achieve your first level (or maturity) and evolve as you become comfortable with the automation and management of your orders within the e-Commerce platform in use order status processes and data sharing capabilities. For clarity, we discuss the basics of cloud-based orchestration.
Order assignment automation is achievable in e-Commerce platforms such as WooCommerce (WordPress), Wix and Shopify at little or no cost. To facilitate the automated assignment of the delivery details in an order (as a TASK for Blue Sage Couriers to execute), require only the customersâ€™ contact and delivery (shipping) details from an order. Full order invoice or packing slips are not required during the daily planning cycles, and those can be on-send via email and pdf documents for inclusion in the route if required by the sender.
Blue Sage Couriers leverage cloud-based automation and orchestration software for this purpose. Our integration platform allows for integration from e-Commerce platforms such as WooCommerce, Wix and Shopify via the native REST APIs, or as a WEBHOOK XML or JSON posts. The integration is executed in a push / pull conversation essentially, whereby the source platform (WooCommerce, Wix or Shopify) either push the order to the our integration platform via a WEBHOOK, and the orchestration process filter on a specific task ACTION or, monitoring the e-Commerce installation for ORDER STATUS changes via the e-Commerce platforms’ REST API that include a specific task ACTION for Blue Sage Couriers.
|What is a webhook?||What is a REST API?|
|A webhook (also called a web callback or HTTP push API) is a way for an application, such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Wix or Shopify, to provide other applications (in this instance, our orchestration platform) with well formatted real-time data records. A webhook delivers data to other applications as it happens, meaning you get data immediately, unlike typical APIs, where you would need to poll for data very frequently in order to get it real-time. This makes webhooks much more efficient for both provider and consumer. The only drawback to webhooks is the difficulty of initially setting them up, and inability to provide feedback to the post to the submitter.||A REST API (also known as RESTful API) is an application programming interface (API or web API) that conforms to the constraints of REST architectural style and allows for interaction with RESTful web services. REST stands for representational state transfer and was created by computer scientist Roy Fielding. REST is a set of architectural constraints, not a protocol or a standard. Many e-Commerce platforms, such as WooCommerce, offer the ability to integrate the store (orders, customers, products and coupon), via its own REST API.|
Webhooks allow for a one-way action or post, whereas REST APIâ€™s allow for conversational or transactional integration. For this interaction to work in an e-Commerce platform such as WooCommerce, one would need to deploy the integration via the WooCommerce REST API, as this interface will then allow us to automatically mark the task (order) as COMPLETED or FAILED (or perhaps FAILED DELIVERY and RESCHEDULED DELIVERY).
The following scenarios apply to common customer WooCommerce installations as observed to date.
- Basic WooCommerce installation, without major customization and automation and integration;
- Medium complex WooCommerce installation, with some level of automation and integration;
- Fully leveraged WooCommerce installation, with the ability to automate and integrate.
The diagram below summarise the process flow, as it will apply to all three scenarios.
Basic or Manual Tasking
To be continued