Cloud-based CRM software vendor NetSuite (News - Alert) Inc. has announced
integration with the U.S. Postal Service’s shipping services, thus enabling companies using NetSuite’s solutions to offer USPS (News - Alert) shipping to their customers.
Through this integration, retailers, e-commerce companies, distributors and wholesalers can get instant access to all key USPS services, including price quotes, shipping label generation, package tracking numbers and full customs documentation — saving time on manual lookups and tedious pen-and-paper form completion. Not only can they more easily offer USPS delivery to their customers, they can also significantly cut the time it takes to carry out manual processes such as printing labels and manifest forms.
Companies can integrate shipping information from USPS shipping in with other business processes, so they can give customers shipping updates, as well as get a more holistic view of operational performance. This, in turn, reduces shipping error risk and improves customer satisfaction.
Last year the USPS re-vamped its shipping and mailing services division as part of its general restructuring under the Postal Reform Accountability Act of 2006. Basically this involved a consolidation of all product management, product development and commercial sales into one division, in order to allow the USPS to become more competitive in the shipping market.
Coinciding with this was the rollout of USPS’ new Intelligent Mail Barcode system, which enables customers to track letters and parcels as they move through the mail stream (just the same as they can do with FedEx and UPS). The 65-bar code is now required for companies looking to earn the maximum USPS automation discounts. This barcode basically replaces the POSTNET and PLANET barcode systems which are already in place -- and promises to raise the level of service the USPS provides to its customers.
One reason businesses continue to use the USPS for shipping is the fact that it covers the “last mile” like no other carrier can, with direct access to millions of mailboxes and P.O. boxes in the U.S. Plus it delivers six days a week.
Now, through this integration, any NetSuite customer with an interest in reliable, universal delivery can take advantage of this new option for managing order, shipping, tracking, and receivables processes.
"We are very pleased that the leader in cloud computing business software suites now provides USPS integration and are eager to provide a cost-effective, reliable shipping options to NetSuite customers," said Gary Reblin, vice president of Expedited Shipping for the U.S. Postal Service, in a release.
According to the release, NetSuite developed the integration in partnership with Endicia, which specializes in Internet shipping and mailing software for businesses.
NetSuite reportedly integrated several Endicia features, such as e-refund request capability, SCAN forms and package status, to help to maximize the benefits of the U.S. Postal Service for users.
NetSuite claims that because the USPS integration is part of its SuiteCloud ecosystem, “users are assured a stable, integrated, and seamless experience within the NetSuite application.”
The integration means NetSuite customer records can be instantly confirmed against the USPS database of valid addresses. Behind the scenes, the NetSuite solution automatically ties USPS’ tracking and delivery confirmation numbers to sales orders, invoices, and customer records, providing visibility into the shipment process, enabling users to examine a customer's comprehensive purchase history, right down to the delivery date.
NetSuite claims that through its existing integrations with UPS and FedEx, merchants have already shipped 2.5 million packages through the NetSuite integrated carrier solution.
"The addition of USPS to the NetSuite cloud shows the direction in which corporate America is moving in the 21st century — towards cloud computing," said Mini Peiris, vice president of product marketing at NetSuite. "Our partnership shows that the NetSuite SuiteCloud development platform has the power to enable more and more companies to embrace cloud-based applications for areas they may not have thought of before, such as shipping via the postal service."
NetSuite recently announced that its OpenAir subsidiary had made four key customer wins in the Asia-Pacific region. This included Australia-based technology consultancy AIPEX – which will now resell and support OpenAir’s cloud computing professional services automation (PSA) and services resource planning (SRP) software in the land down under.
The deal gives AIPEX the opportunity to profit by providing the industry's leading PSA/SRP solution to small to medium sized businesses in Australia -- and OpenAir the opportunity to greatly expand its presence in the region. Because AIPEX is also an OpenAir customer, it has first-hand product knowledge of the OpenAir suite, which means it is better positioned to help businesses improve their operations and reduce overhead costs using OpenAir’s cloud-based PSA/SRP solution.
The other three new customers that OpenAir is supplying its solutions to in the APAC region include Waugh Infrastructure Management, Fronde and Matsco Solutions.
Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard