The Big Damn Guide To VendorCentral Direct Fulfillment (Dropship)

All The Questions Answered. And More.

Introduction to the Guide and What we’ll talk about

We rarely see Vendor/Customer Product-Fit that perfectly mirrors of each-other. Specifically I mean that your products sit somewhere along the scale from commodity-high-volume-mover to branded-high-value-high-margin.

This is relevant because if your product is consumed or purchased in multiples, there are INCREDIBLE incentives by joining Direct Fulfillment.

Why are we writing this guide

We do Direct Fulfillment. With Confidence.

  • We can pitch the value proposition to your executives/sales/accounting teams
  • We can setup inventory feeds with your EDI Team (AND do it ourselves with your inventory files!)
  • We can forecast with your product team
  • We can train your warehouse team with order-processing
  • We can automate your order-processing back into your ERP

Who we are and why are we right for this job?

Most Amazon Manufacturer’s representatives are “Ex-Amazon” which gives them a potential leg-up on the inner workings of Amazon-supply-chain processes and unknowns.

Most commonly is that they don’t have much more information, but they have confidence in the unknowns.

Unlike ex-amazon employees, we have been Amazon-reps since 2008 and seen every problem that has possibly been thrown at Amazon VendorCentral suppliers.

The Big Picture: Why should you care?

  1. Channel Diversification
  2. Operational Growth and Self-improvement
  3. Elastic On-Ramp: Grow at your Own Pace
  4. Sales growth (expanding your selection)
  5. Sales growth (through better inventory availability)
  6. Chargebacks: Before and After
  7. Shortage Claims: Before and After
  8. Recap - No Chargebacks / No Shortages / No Freight Allowance / Higher Sales / Easier Shipment Process

Starting Out: How does it work?

Instead of receiving a purchase-order to fill Amazon warehouses, you will instead be shipping directly to the end customers. This can be in parallel with your regular purchase-orders, where Amazon will randomly decide to utilize DF instead of their own inventory.

  1. Share inventory levels with Amazon (optionally automate this step with technology)
  2. Amazon adds those quantities to the buybox (10+ units available right now)
  3. When Customer clicks “BUY NOW” the DF dashboard shows a new PO!
  4. Process the Dropship PO as normal, but print the shipping labels from VendorCentral (Amazon Pays Freight!)
  5. Click the “Confirm Shipment” button once the item has been picked up by the carrier

At any time you can zero-out your DF inventory, and Amazon will stop the flow of orders.

Getting Started: Inventory Files

To be incredibly clear, on your normal replenishment/warehouse PO’s, Amazon requests inventory allocations and your company confirms/rejects depending on your available inventory… Direct Fulfillment requires SOME available inventory to be loaded. It does not have to be your actual accurate inventory, but Amazon will not activate any pages until you load something to sell. And unlike warehouse/replenishment POs, You only want to publish inventory if you are literally ready to ship it!

Some Options here:

  • Setup an EDI Feed with your actual live allocatable inventory
  • Setup an EDI Feed with a buffer (divide your inventory by 2, subtract 10)
  • Forward an inventory sheet to us (daily), and we’ll upload with a buffer

If you manufacture-on-demand then we would workout a realistic number and upload daily.

At this point you would also want to consider adding NEW Carton-quantity SKUs to Dropship to sell full case-packs. This step is not to be ignored! We have clients that sell 7x more (Yes 700%) from converting singles to 5-packs (and continuing to offer singles to 3P Sellers), understanding this isn’t for everyone but for people that do, you are crazy to ignore it.

TK Amazon pushes your live “available” inventory to the customer front-end.

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