Automatic printing of Packing Slips for new orders
Because this original request I made for this was closed when an unrelated feature was introduced, I'm creating a new one.
I would very much like to be able to have the automation in ShipStation be able to print. This would allow me to have it automatically print all new orders that have downloaded, so that warehouse personnel know an order has come in when the printer starts spitting out packing slips. This is something we're used to having in a different product we switched from to ShipStation and it's the main thing we miss. With printing being done through ShipStation Connect now, this should be entirely possible too.
The other thing that would have be added is another feature that ShipStation really does need anyway: an indication of some kind that an order has already been printed. This would allow automation to "print all unprinted orders" as well as greatly reduce the possibility of orders being double-packed when more than 1 person is working shipping. We've had this happen multiple times simply because there's no good way to tell when an order has already been printed right now.
ShipStation’s new layout (formerly called V3) does currently show when both labels and packing slips have been printed through ShipStation (either via ShipStation Connect or downloaded from the Print pop-up… if you use the browser print option, we cannot track the print status). You can see the print status in the Shipments tab by showing the Label Printed and Packing Slip Printed columns, or by opening the Shipment Details screen.
We will consider the feedback around auto-printing packing slips when orders import, but there are a number of challenges around this approach that need to be overcome (for example, how to handle when the printer workstation is asleep or there is a hardware issue and printing is unsuccessful – ShipStation doesn’t have a way to receive that kind of feedback from the printer and it would not be desirable to show a packing slip as printed when it actually hasn’t been).
Could you let us know what platform you used previously that provided this ability?
There is a workaround to get this done. We had to get some custom development just to get this completed.
Since I am a software developer, we have managed to get every new order to automatically print as it comes in to ShipStation. The method used was Zapier + PrintNode.
Unfortuantly there are no out of the box apps for Zapier and PrintNode, so we created a custom PrintNode App just to integrate with Zapier. It is a premium solution (Not free ~ $25 USD per month) but it works like a charm and it is worth every penny. Once it is configured, our production life is that much better!!
But I do agree, this is a "No-brainer" solution, that shipstation should have implemented years ago.
This is such an important feature to us that I don't know if we can work without it. We just started onboarding with ShipStation, but we might have to go somewhere else if we cannot find some way to work around this. Our previous solution could Auto-print packing slips when a new order came in, so I thought it was a no-brainer that ShipStation could do it. I was quite wrong.
For our workflow, it wouldn't matter if the process was real-time or scheduled (run rule every 10 minutes, for example). What matters is having a clean way to print NEW orders only so our team can keep track of orders in production. We don't want duplicates, and we certainly don't want to miss an order.
In our previous system, this action was triggered every five minutes. It worked great most of the time, but there were some rare occasions where the slip did not print for some reason. In these situations, we would usually find out about the issue on the day the order in question was due to be shipped. Not ideal, but our workflow at least allowed us to re-print the missing order and move on.
The point here is I would rather have a feature that is not 100% perfect than have no feature at all. Even if ShipStation cannot tell if an order printed successfully, that is OK. It's not ideal, but it is OK. Just put up a disclaimer notifying us to be alert for any failures and work toward a better way to monitor for failures.
I love ShipStation, and I was over the moon with joy to be coming back to it. The interface is FAR superior to what we were on before and the customizations are a breath of fresh air compared to our previous solution. However, this one missing feature has thrown a massive wrench into my plans. I still love ShipStation, but I am definitely less confident in my decision to return.
Sarah Bayly 2 Green Monkeys commented
It would be super useful to show if the packing slip has been printed in the AWAITING SHIPMENT view - this is where I see new orders (and know if I need to print a packing slip or not) NOT in the SHIPMENT view!
Scott Kallen Kallen Consulting commented
I can't believe you can't detect an unsuccessful print--I thought that was one of the reasons you built ShipStation Connect.
As for other products? InstantLabel does this, as does Shipworks. SAP has this facility as well.
Tim Silva TACRIG commented
Please make auto printing a feature. This would help a lot!
PLEASE, by all means, do this! Every "challenge" is wokrable. Feel free to consult me for ideas how.
Jeff Diamond Lifely Gifts commented
This is a basic feature of a shipping solution. Print a packing slip when an order comes in.
You guys need to get it done. it's been YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - It's 2021, it's time to do this.
You could make most of us happy by just adding a few simple automation rules.
Then work on the "challenges" like "sleep" or "hardware issue" later by adding more robust features and fixes.
Please make the effort.
Can you at least implement a beta version of this feature, with a warning that slips may show as printed when they haven’t due to hardware issues? I know for us (and many like us) this would suffice. Then develop a solution to the secondary problem later?
Christopher Baker Subvet Customs commented
Found this thread when looking for this functionality. I currently use auto rules through outlook but would love to nix that and consolidate. We love this to keep track of orders.
Nantwich Cheese Nantwich Cheese Company commented
We would find this feature incredibly useful!
Unless I'm missing something, I see no way to automate sending a packing slip by email...that would be very helpful. But looking at this, it seems to be that a good solution to this would be to add a "print Document" automation action, letting you select which document template (Packing Slip, picking slip, whatever), and which printer...i.e. ShipStation Connect printer. While doing this, also add packing slips to the email action.
Trent Kammerer Cheap Sprinkler commented
Does that work for custom packing slip templates?
Under Automation Rules you can set a rule - orders to send to email - even pick templates
Go to settings - Automation - Automation Rules - Edit the default or create another - scroll down to send email
More Human More Human commented
Is this work-around currently available through ship station? How do I set up ship station to email a copy of all orders to a certain address, and can I specify wether to email information in the body of the email, or as an attachment?
I have found a work around for this issue: My HP Officejet all-in-one allows automatic printing if an item is emailed to the printers web email address - Auto send orders to email - use the printers email address and there you go. I do not know if other brands do this I just know HP does.
Eric Falsken Every Little War commented
I don't care about whether or not a packing slip had been previously printed. I just want the option to automatically print ALL imported orders automatically upon import, to a printer of my choice. (via Shipstation connect is fine)
Cody Thierauf commented
"for example, how to handle when the printer workstation is asleep or there is a hardware issue "
Shipstation connect already handles this. So does the standard windows print manager.
Slips would print when new orders are imported. There's no reason why that should be hard to implement.
This is such a simple solution that Shipstation keeps ignoring for whatever reason when it's clearly one of the most requested features for YEARS.
Clearly, getting positive confirmation that a packing slip was printed is desireable, but may not be possible. As such, I would be good with an interim PS status...like "Packing Slip Queued". Maybe another scan that could confirm the packing slip is printed and ready for picking and packing. Then if any are stuck in the queued stage, someone can go in and reprint those if needed.
I use a subscription service called 'printnode' (www.printnode.com) for some other progams I have that send labels to a printer. Works well and holds jobs if the printer is offline or out of paper.
Many HP printers have print by email, that could be an option..to email the PDF to a specific email address and it will print out on the printer.
I've used another service (no longer active) that would send print jobs to a windows service running on a computer that the printer is connected to (USB, TCP, whatever). That print service connected to the web server and monitored for incoming print jobs I believe. I think it also was aware of printer and job status and could tell if a job hadn't completed printing. I don't have more info on that, unfortunately.
StickerTalk, LLC. commented
Admin said, "You can see the print status in the Shipments tab."
This is the WRONG place to display this. Once I've shipped the package I know that the the packing slip was printed. We need this visibility in the "Awaiting Shipment" tab. Please fix this.
Trent Kammerer Cheap Sprinkler commented
Thank you for the response! This feature is critical for us to move to the Shipstation platform. The reason we want to use Shipstation is mainly that we can put a barcode on the packing slip
Currently, with our set up, we have a customized order notification generated by Shopify and have it sent to an email address by Shopify. From there we have a workstation with a printer attached with a piece of software we bought that listens for emails, prints the email and gracefully handles printing outages etc. My only ask would be to have an option to email the packing slip to an email address once Shipstation receives a new order. From there we can build the tech (already have) to ensure it gets to the printer.