What are APIs and How Can They Help Order Fulfillment?

Certain aspects of the fulfillment process may initially sound intimidating. Application Programming Interface, or API, sounds complicated, but in fact, its operation will make things less complicated for you. An API acts as a middleman in the information systems used to run a fulfillment company, transferring and translating code between the systems, allowing shipping capabilities to be communicated and accessed across multiple applications. APIs are commonly used by logistics companies to automate processes and data transfers allowing an instantaneous flow of information among 3PL providers and customers’ platforms. These could include an e-commerce website, shipping carriers, warehouse management systems (WMS), or order management systems (OMS).

An API can save employees valuable time: they no longer need to transfer the information by a file upload.

APIs provide their customers with three main advantages:

1. The Automation Advantage

An API provides a seamless connection that shares information across systems. Along with this automation comes the ability to customize. Every business is unique, and having an API that adapts to your specific needs can improve your workflow. An API will integrate with different shipping systems and provide the analytics that you need, which can improve customer experience, drive sales, and increase your ROI.

2. An API Improves Customer Experience

An API can improve your customer’s experience by giving them easy access to valuable data. An API can allow the customer to:

  • Extract product details from a database, including product descriptions, product IDs, specifications, images, pricing, quantity in inventory and so much more.
  • Look up order details–the API syncs order imports and export status.
  • Check on the status of an order and eventually access the tracking number.
  • Receive up-to-date information about where their products are and estimated delivery times.
  • Sort and filter the order data according to the date of packaging and shipping.
  • Cancel orders, return orders, create bulk import orders, and add inventory for an ordered product.

Further parameters can be added as the customer’s needs evolve.

With all that data so readily available, you’ll be able to utilize the information for customized output, API integration, and reporting. Customers have access to data and reports 24/7, 365 days per year. The dynamic reporting tool enables non-technical users to build custom reports without programming. Once created, reports can be generated on the fly or scheduled to be generated and delivered automatically.

3. APIs Adapt to Your Business

Every business is unique, and every business is continually changing. With an API, scaling is always an option because you don’t have to worry about outgrowing a homegrown system. Your system will stay up-to-date with the latest technologies as they emerge. Because APIs are completely customizable, you are able to specify the reports to fit each and every need that your customers may have.

Fulco Fulfillment Offers Excellent API Systems Integration

At Fulco, we know that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution for data transfers, which is why APIs are so valuable. Our order management systems uses Veracore, which integrates with various platforms including Amazon.com; Ultracart, BigCommerce, Shopify, Volusion, Magento, and WooCommerce.

The automation, adaptation, and customer service a good API affords will allow your business to run smoothly today and keep up with your changing business needs tomorrow.

If this sounds like the type of solution you have been looking for, reach out to Fulco by giving us a call at 973.361.1700 or filling out our contact form. Let us show you how an API can streamline your order fulfillment and increase your ROI.