NetSuite Gets in Ship Shape

By Heather Baldwin

A few months ago TonerZone, a Los Angeles-based supplier of toner cartridges to office supply distributors and printer supply resellers, was shipping products much like any other small business. A few employees, including the president, manually entered an order into the company’s NetSuite CRM application. Then they printed a pick ticket and gave it to the warehouse employees, who picked and packed the merchandise and re-entered all the information into UPS’s WorldShip system. “As president of the company it drove me crazy to walk into the warehouse and see people re-entering information I had just typed,” says TonerZone’s Ilan Douek. “I knew there had to be a better way.”

Now there is. In September NetSuite announced it had embedded UPS Shipping Tools to provide mid-sized companies with streamlined shipping management and simplified order tracking. The integration means companies, such as TonerZone, enter information once into NetSuite and the application then automatically generates shipping labels, tracking numbers and address confirmations. The software also sends an email to customers notifying them of the shipping information and other related functions.

“With the integration we haven’t had to retype any information,” says Douek, who estimates his company is saving about two hours a day, or $1,600 a month, in labor costs. Just as significantly, the integration has relieved a bottleneck at the shipping computer, eliminating back orders. TonerZone now ships about 100 orders a day, up from 40 or 50 a day. “We’ve doubled the number of orders processed per day without adding any employees,” Douek adds. “Customer satisfaction has increased because we can provide same-day shipping, and our customer service department is getting fewer calls about the status of customers’ shipments because they can check their packages on our Website.”

A key feature of the new capability is the direct link between the UPS tracking number, the sales order and the customer record. Both merchants and customers can track the status of the package, including when it was received and who signed for it. NetSuite allows UPS shipping in batch process and can input the order and create the invoice. It also produces regular or sticky shipping labels and generates tracking numbers from the front- and back-end operations for multibox and multistep fulfillments.

UPS OnLine Tools is a component of NetSuite Version 9.0 Professional Edition. After an initial start-up price of $9,000, which includes two users, the charge for each additional user is $75 per month. Features planned for 2004 include multiwarehouse capabilities, automated returns, shipping reports and international customs documents. For more information visit