Archive for the ‘Amazon’ Category

Amazon Integration Services – The Technology Stack

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

I just finished up an Amazon integration project for FBADirect.com.  The client does a large volume of business on Amazon and also uses Amazon FBA for fulfillment.  We created a web based application where our client could create Amazon listing.  The application creates bulk listings and also schedules shipments into FBA.  We provided the entire solution from requirements and analysis to deployment on Amazon’s EC2 cloud.

I wanted to talk a little bit about the technology I used.  I picked grails since time is money, I’m a JEE developer and I like Perl.  Okay, so I use groovy now instead of Perl so grails seemed like a nice choice.

Grails rocks.  I built a mid-sized domain model with about 20 tables (Items, Skus, Orders, Inventory, Customers, etc) and let grails generate the rest of the application. The default CRUD web application solved 90% of the customer’s needs.

The biggest challenge was integrating with Amazon’s  Market Place Web Service and FBA Web Service interfaces.  I used the Amazon Java client which seemed to be a straight forward web service binding.

Other parts of the tools set  included the SpringSource Tool Suite and a several grails plugins such as quartz for batch job scheduling  and for the spring security core for user management.

The one bump in the tool chain was a database version tracking.  Next time I’ll use the grails liquibase plugin.

Amazon Integration Services – The details

Friday, December 31st, 2010

We recently completed an Amazon integration project.  I suspect that “integration project” might leave you wondering what exactly we did.  So here are the details of the solution we provided.

The client needed to list a lot of products on Amazon, i.e. a couple thousand products at a time.  We wrote a web-based application where the client could upload an inventory file.  The file described each product with a UPC or ASIN a SKU, price, quantity, etc.  Our application then creates the listing on Amazon for each product.

Our application automates the steps an Amazon merchant goes through at seller central to upload an inventory file.  Our solution makes uploading inventory an easy process and will scale up to thousands of products.  This helps the merchant to avoid the pain of using the clunky Amazon interface which is time consuming and manual.  Also, we can create a custom adapter that pulls the products from your database or whatever back-end system  you use.

Our client was also using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).   As part of the same system we automated  the assignment of Amazon fulfillment network identifiers (FN SKU), notification to FBA of inbound shipments and checking for shipment receipt at the Amazon FBA warehouse.

If you are finding yourself fighting with a large number of products and your IT system is not up to the task of maintaining your Amazon listing, contact us for a free evaluation.

Amazon Integration Services

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

We are happy to announce that we are now offering Amazon integration services.  If you are doing business on Amazon and need to connect your back office system to Amazon we can help you out.

For our most recent project we automated the business processes of a mid-sized book wholesaler.  The wholesaler’s biggest challenge was that inventory tended to spend too many days in the warehouse.   This had a direct impact on the bottom line as space utilization and turnover rates are key metrics for the business.

Some of the delays were due to a complex re-packaging and labeling process.  The majority of the delays were in communication and coordinating with external parties involved in the transaction.

In conjunction with the wholesaler we analyzed and re-engineered the business process.  The net result was an 80% improvement in utilization and turnover rate.

The key features our system provides are automated listings on the Amazon market place and seamless integration with Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA).  We have a solution that automates communication with third parties and provides bar code labeling for shipments.  Our integration services can help Amazon sellers to have seamless back office processes which, fundamentally, will impact their bottom line!

Groovy Corner – Software Solutions Designed by Beaver Creek Consulting

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The world of buying books is an ever-shifting landscape.  A company called Groovy Corner has partnered with Amazon and I noticed that they always seem to have the cheapest prices on popular book titles.

They are using a software system that allows for instant communication with their third party vendors.  It, also, provides for immediate labeling which allows a book wholesaler to ship to an Amazon shipment service.   The particular software, that accomplishes this task, works behind the scenes in order to compete with other vendors in terms of pricing and positioning.  Groovy Corner seems to be one of the few vendors that has this service right now, but I’m sure that other retailers will begin to compete very quickly.  Inevitably, the end result will be cheaper products delivered to us which is what the smart shopper continues to seek.

I have become a loyal buyer of Groovy Corner only because it seems as though they are at the top of any category of items that they sell within Amazon in terms of quality, price and ratings.  The benefits of automated software keep getting better and better for an end user like me and I wanted to share this tip while it’s current!