If you’ve been an Amazon retailer for a long time, you know the paperwork can be huge. Usually the staff is busy on Mondays and Wednesdays to download, process and take orders.
Most companies dedicate one or two employees to processing orders each morning, typically 10 to 15 hours per week per account. While this varies from vendor to vendor, any account with sales above $ 2M / year is likely to have a large paper path associated with it. In fact, even much smaller, growing accounts can feel the paperwork, and this is often overlooked when they join the vendor program.
Integration is the answer for many. “Get EDI” is communicated to you in numerous training courses from Amazon or is encouraged to integrate. We’ve all been to the Amazon webinars where the terms EDI and API are used and the integration is considered “done”. In fact, Amazon has been known to offer incentives and account rewards to companies that adhere to their integration standards.
Integration with Amazon can be a positive step in building a relationship with your vendor account manager. If you’ve talked to your account manager about this, he’ll likely find the integration almost a necessity if you’re serious about expanding your account.
Integration is about scalability
You need to assess whether your current human and paper-based processes are capable of handling the level of sales that you want to achieve in the next 12 to 24 months. Many people will work to increase sales by looking at ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale) and tweaking the optimization without considering the demands this places on their administration, warehouse, and finance teams.
Sometimes chargebacks and hidden costs can become unprofitable, so higher sales don’t necessarily mean higher profits without accurate and scalable processes. Without integration, you create a bottleneck in your company and have to hire more employees to manage order processing.
However, integration is not a panacea. There are limitations: you cannot create, upload, or edit your catalog through integration, and the product inventory status update is limited to once every 24 hours. Additionally, you need to consider how to manage inventory and inventory in other sales channels, how much you want to prioritize Amazon compared to other retailers, and so on.