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How Hopstack Automates FBA Fulfillment Operations for Prep Centers

Here's how Hopstack helps Prep Centers in automating inbound, storage, prepping, and outbound operations for effective and seamless FBA fulfillment.

Team Hopstack
December 15, 2022
fba fulfillment automation prep centers

Managing multiple merchants’ shipments and ensuring compliance with Amazon policies often becomes an error-prone tedious task that relies heavily on spreadsheets and manual effort. This greatly reduces the cost and performance efficiency of the prep center operation. 

A straightforward solution to improve prep center efficiency is the automation of manual tasks. Automating the most-error-prone activities in a prep center is key to driving performance metrics including operational efficiency, fulfillment accuracy, and high throughput. 

Hopstack’s platform is built with driving efficiency via automation as one of the core value propositions, thereby eliminating the need for spreadsheets and manual processes for prep operations. In fact, customers on Hopstack’s platform do not ever need to log-in to their client/merchants seller central account for any prep operations. 

Hopstack’s Automation in FBA Fulfillment Operations

Hopstack’s platform helps prep centers automate and optimize every step of the fulfillment journey, from inbound, to storage and, to outbound operations, including automation of critical processes such as merchant onboarding, inbound orders, receiving, QC, putaway, shipping plan generation, order batching, picking, prepping, packing, and shipping. Hopstack covers every step of the fulfillment process from a unified warehouse platform to ensure end-to-end operations visibility. 

Product Information Synchronization with Amazon

Hopstack’s plug-and-play integration with Amazon Selling Partner API (SP API) enables  effortless fetch and automated sync of merchant’s FBA and FBM product information (including description, size, weight, form factor etc.) into the Hopstack platform. Merchant’s inventory levels at Amazon for FBM and at the Prep Center for FBA and FBM are synchronized in real-time thus enabling the merchants to customize the inventory release shipment plan. 

This allows the prep centers to manage, track and fulfill the required inventory and avoid duplications and other errors.

Shipping plan automation

Hopstack enables FBA shipping plan creation directly from the Hopstack platform (without the need to log-in into the Amazon Seller Central account) within seconds. The shipping plan creation can be automated on the Hopstack’s platform using a wide variety of criteria:

  • Inventory levels - Shipping plan created based on the stock on Amazon or in the prep center meeting a  inventory threshold criteria 
  • Recurring basis - Time based shipping plan creations, daily, weekly, fortnightly etc. 
  • Custom rules - Custom triggers based on a merchant’s business rule can be set to automate shipping plan creation

The capability to create and manage the shipping plans across merchants directly on the Hopstack platform eliminates the need for the prep center operations to log into hindreds of merchant’s seller central accounts to create shipping plans one-by-one, thus making operations efficient and eliminating the possibility of human error. 

Hopstack Amazon FBA Portal shipment plan

Automated prep and pack instructions

The Hopstack platform automatically fetches product-specific prep guidelines (liquids, fragile goods, clothing, hazmat goods, etc.) directly from Amazon. The platform also enables merchants to add additional product specific prep and pack instructions for the prep center. Hopstack also enables the enforcement of Amazon guidelines for package weight and dimensions during packing operations via plug-and-play direct integrations with  dimensioning and weight measurement hardware such as FreightSnap, CubiScan, Dymo, etc., while providing recommendations on box, case and pallet selection. The prep center workers have the flexibility to manually enter the product weight and dimensions during packing operations.

Hopstack Amazon FBA Portal

Automated label generation and prints (FNSKU, Shipping Label etc.)

Hopstack automates the generation and printing of various labels at every stage of the fulfillment process. Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit (FNSKU) labels for individual products are automatically retrieved and printed from the merchant’s Amazon Seller Central account for prep operations. 

Shipping labels are automatically generated and printed along with box/pallet labels for outbound orders from Amazon partner and non-partner carriers. Hopstack directly integrates with SP, LTL and FTL carriers and carrier aggregators to enable flexible shipment options to prep centers and merchants. 

Generate shipping manifest with partner carriers

Amazon partner carrier shipping manifests for FBA orders are directly generated and managed on Hopstack to enable ease in outbound shipping. 

Bottom Line

Hopstack’s approach to automate and streamline the fulfillment process has helped prep center partners cut down on errors and redundancies, and operate efficiently. Hopstack’s Prep center partners can now focus on business growth. Prep center partners on Hopstack’s platform have on average gained > 2X improvement in fulfillment throughput, reduced their manual errors by > 97%, and improved their warehouse space utilization > 47%.. 

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Team Hopstack

Hopstack brings you the latest articles, guides and long-form explainers on topics relating to warehousing technology and automation, supply chain and robotics