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Anyone Using Royal Mail Despatch Express? 
 
J_T_
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I have a dodgy prototype Mage Module working which auto-generates shipping labels with Royal Mail Desptach Express. Saves re-entering data. Click one button on the order and it spits out a label on a dedicated office PC’s thermal printer within a second.

Right now it takes staff 40-60 seconds to enter them manually, so there’s not an awful lot of time to be saved unless you send 3 dozen parcels daily at least.

Just wondering whether someone may be interested in co-developing this further. If it halves development time per person, it’ll earn itself back a lot faster. Else this will probably stay on the shelve.

 
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HarryM
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Hi J.T.
We are using Interlink Express & Royal Mail as carriers and need an integration for both of these (although we are currently using Metapack Delivery Manager for label printing etc). Did you make any progress with Royal Mail Despatch Express integration? Perhaps we might share some resources?

 
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Pushwire
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Bump.

We are also using Royal mail and Interlink.

Currently customer has a choice of delivery options. Using MatrixRate plugin to calculate the charges.

If customer chooses Interlink we then have to enter the customer and order details (number of parcels, total weight) into the ship@ease online booking system. It would be massive improvement if we could get magento to talk to interlink to book the shipment and generate the shipping labels.

For Royal mail we use 1st class recorded delivery. The customer details have to be hand written into a log book. The weights of all the items added up and averaged and then this is entered into the Royal Mail order system online at the end of the day just before the parcels and letters are collected.

As the business is growing I can foresee all this duplication of recorded data becoming a real bottleneck.

Has anyone managed to integrate magento with Interlink and Royal Mail order system?

 
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kulturshock
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I am using royal mail despatch express and will be going live on Magento soon. It would be nice to have some integration.

 
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HarryM
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We are still using Royal Mail and Interlink Express but are now adding Fedex for international consignments. We are using Metapack to process orders and print labels, this costs us a small percentage of the con. value for each shipment but we don’t need to do any more copying and pasting. The system is not yet perfect and is still improving but we find it a pretty good solution. It will be much better when we have the Matrix Rates WebshopApps premium extension properly set up… I certainly recommend the extension - it’s very useful for multi country, multi tax zone multi option shipping solutions, but does require some setting up.

We average about 30 largish consignments a day in the quiet months and getting any of the carriers to integrate has proved impossible for us but the Metapack system does cover pretty much all bases and now seems like a good SME solution for Magento shops and has plenty of capacity to process masses more as we grow.

Hope this is helpful
Harry

 
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J_T_
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Glad to see some interest!

We still use InterLink Express and Royal Mail but we prefer not to give the customers the choice. We decide, we are in charge.

Full InterLink automation is virtually impossible. The software based ship@Ease (not talking about the web version) can’t poll a folder for data, you need to feed it manually. That sucks. In osCommerce I was dumping a CSV which then could be fed to ship@Ease and yes, it would work. But it’s still manual. I’m not too familiar with the online shipping software but last I checked, it had no API either.

I did have success with Royal Mail Despatch Express. This polls a folder so “all you need” is a way to get a text file from Magento to this folder. That’s easy on paper but took me a while to perfect. I bought a NAS with SSH capabilities. We have a fixed office IP. Upon processing/shipping an order, Magento generates the required file. Our web server scp’s it to the NAS. Royal Mail Despatch Express polls the NAS, sees the new label job and spits out a label.

Before this, I tried FTP but this was so slow, it was faster to just type the label in the RM software.

It still needs polishing and as it took me a decent chunk of time and money, I need to run it on 1.4 first before I’d consider releasing it.

If any of you are actual coders with time and inclination to assist development, please let me know and maybe I’ll hook you up.

 
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OrderFlow
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Both Despatch Express and ship@ease can both be configured to poll a local directory for data files and can also return a results file with a tracking reference where appropriate.

We have several customers who integrate with Royal Mail Despatch Express and DPD ship@ease.

Using our Realtime Despatch system just to integrate with these two couriers may be overkill, but if you\’re looking for a scalable solution that supports location based picking and the batch processing of orders please take a look.

http://www.realtimedespatch.co.uk/magentointegration.php

 
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MadCapsuleMedia
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This post is rather old. And I do feel a little bad for hijacking it. That being said, it keeps popping up in search results along my travels so I thought it was still worth a reply.

We have created both Interlink and Royal Mail Despatch Express extensions for various clients. Infact, the Interlink extension has been approved by Interlink UK...you can see our extensions in our profile http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/developer/MadCapsuleMedia#extensions

Regards,

 
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rich1231
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How about Royal Mail Dispatch Integration?

 
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seanmccauley
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How about integrated labels, ie peel off labels in invoices/packing slips? I think RM call is COSS?

 
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MadCapsuleMedia
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rich1231 - 12 December 2011 01:20 PM

How about Royal Mail Dispatch Integration?

Hi rich,

Our extension fully integrates with Despatch Express from Royal Mail.

seanmccauley - 17 December 2011 01:22 PM

How about integrated labels, ie peel off labels in invoices/packing slips? I think RM call is COSS?

Hi Sean,

Our extension supports specifying a different label printer to print your Magento shipments on - this means you can use almost any printer that your Royal Mail account supports. Our extension will even show you the status of your label in the Magento admin panel such as “label printed” or “label printer out of printer”.

I have attached a screen shot to show you what I mean. Additionally, if you wan’t more information there is a live demo and more details available here: royal mail magento instregration

Kind Regards,

Image Attachments
rmdeconsole.jpg
 
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cotc2001
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We are about to move over to magento but need some advice on the Royal Mail systems.
Royal Mail have set us up with Royal Mail despatch manager online (RMDMO) but from what I can gather although there is an extension for magento that you can batch send your end of day shipping details to Royal Mail , RMDMO won’t send back the tracking numbers automatically (so you can only export not import from it)

Whereas with Royal Mail despatch express (RMDE) you can do it both ways, send out the shipping details from Magento to RMDE and it then sends backs the tracking numbers which can automatically be imported to the orders and order set to despatched.

Currently what we are doing is all via paper i.e taking the bardcodes off the postal stickers and using a hand barcode scanner to scan them in which is what we are trying to avoid and automate it more.

So am I right that RMDMO although the newer product it is also the weaker product.

 
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dunklk
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cotc2001 - 01 February 2012 11:23 PM

We are about to move over to magento but need some advice on the Royal Mail systems.
Royal Mail have set us up with Royal Mail despatch manager online (RMDMO) but from what I can gather although there is an extension for magento that you can batch send your end of day shipping details to Royal Mail , RMDMO won’t send back the tracking numbers automatically (so you can only export not import from it)

Whereas with Royal Mail despatch express (RMDE) you can do it both ways, send out the shipping details from Magento to RMDE and it then sends backs the tracking numbers which can automatically be imported to the orders and order set to despatched.

Currently what we are doing is all via paper i.e taking the bardcodes off the postal stickers and using a hand barcode scanner to scan them in which is what we are trying to avoid and automate it more.

So am I right that RMDMO although the newer product it is also the weaker product.

Hi,

I’ve been looking into this in some detail as we are about to move over to Magento Enterprise in the coming weeks. Royal Mail’s Dispatch Manager Online Helpdesk (08456 047 267) has been surprisingly helpful over the last few months. I think it must be quite a small office as I’ve spoken to the same guy (Caleb) quite a few times and he has been exceptionally helpful and really does know his stuff. So here’s the lowdown…

When we go live on Magento Enterprise we’ll be using Xtento’s Royal Mail RMDMO Integration module (http://www.xtento.com/magento-integration-suite/magento-royal-mail-rmdmo-export-integration.html). This is a nice module but all it really does is export order data in a format that Royal Mail Dispatch Manager Online can import. It doesn’t interface with RMDMO so doesn’t import tracking data from Royal Mail.

1) Dispatch Express vs. Dispatch Manager Online
Dispatch Express is a particularly old software system based system that Royal Mail are no longer spending any money on developing. Those were Caleb’s exact words (9th Feb 2012). Consequently, it is missing some of the features of the newer Royal Mail services (I think this mostly relates to the Tracked services and options available to customers who wish to receive sms and email delivery notifications).
In addition to this, I’ve been told that Dispatch Express is likely to be turned off once Royal Mail are satisfied that Dispatch Manager Online can do everything that Dispatch Express can.

2) Dispatch Express Direct Feed (tracking number import) feature IS coming to Dispatch Manager Online.
The feature that we’re really desperate for, and the only reason why our company even considered the Dispatch Express software is because of the Direct Feed feature that allows for the export of Royal Mail tracking data that extensions like Royal Mail Dispatch Express by Mad Capsule Media (http://www.madcapsule.com/shop/magento-extensions/royal-mail-despatch-express.html) can capture and import back into Magento (I’m no techie but I assume that’s basically how it works).
I’ve been told today that this feature is coming to Royal Mail Dispatch Manager Online in July 2012 and it will be called “on demand”.

So, with that in mind, I think we’ll be sticking with RMDMO until this new on demand feature is released, and then I assume we’ll need to find a developer who can write a mod (or update an exisiting mod) that allows us to take advantage of “on demand’ with Magento.

Hope this is helpful to someone! I’m leaving it here partly as a reminder for myself so I can check back in July! ha!

 
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cotc2001
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Dunklk , what OS are you running Despatch Express on?
I’ve finally got the CD from Royal Mail and managed to get it installed on Windows 7 eventually after changing screen resoloution and back so that the compatibility message was no longer hidden behind the install screen (which I read to do on a linnworks forum funnily enough) BUT everytime I try and run it it keeps wanting to download the PAF file.
It seems that the MSQL database server just won start up so it’s not saving it (confirmed it’s not saving when entering our postcode it shows only old business addresses and not ours)

Also when setting it up Royal Mail tracked isn’t a option in the printer configuration (all the others are there, Airsure, Inernational signed etc.)

Anyone got any help or clues to get the MSQL server up and running?

 
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dunklk
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cotc2001 - 09 February 2012 04:25 AM

Dunklk , what OS are you running Despatch Express on?
I’ve finally got the CD from Royal Mail and managed to get it installed on Windows 7 eventually after changing screen resoloution and back so that the compatibility message was no longer hidden behind the install screen (which I read to do on a linnworks forum funnily enough) BUT everytime I try and run it it keeps wanting to download the PAF file.
It seems that the MSQL database server just won start up so it’s not saving it (confirmed it’s not saving when entering our postcode it shows only old business addresses and not ours)

Also when setting it up Royal Mail tracked isn’t a option in the printer configuration (all the others are there, Airsure, Inernational signed etc.)

Anyone got any help or clues to get the MSQL server up and running?

I won’t be much help I’m afraid. We decided not to use Despatch Express in the end. We’re not using it with our current Shopping platform and won’t be using it with Magento. We’re also entirely Mac based and Royal Mail doesn’t support Macs at all for Despatch Express and barely for Despatch Manager Online.

If it’s any help though, when I was speaking to Caleb earlier he said you need to run Despatch Express on a 32-bit PC (not a newer 64-bit machine), I assume because the software is quite old and out of date. I doubt that’s your problem in this case though.
He also gave me the direct line to the Despatch Express helpdesk. Not tried calling it them so I don’t know if they’ll be any help but it’s worth a shot: 08705 333999

 
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