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?
Brian Van Bogart SoftBums commented
Just to put in my $0.02, when I originally requested this feature over a year ago, there wasn't really a good way to do it because there was no direct access to printers via a web page. However, now that there's ShipStation Connect and Google Cloud Printer support, this would be pretty simple to accomplish. I routinely print packing slips to our warehouse printer remotely from my phone via the ShipStation app, so it wouldn't be much of a leap to build a rule that could just do that without manual intervention.
The reason I'd be looking for it is to print packing slips as soon as an order is downloaded from a marketplace, to let the fulfillment staff know about it and to eliminate extra steps in the process. While it might be nice for some to automatically print labels as well, we wouldn't be looking to do that ourselves. Packing slips would be enough, and greatly appreciated as well.
My thought behind the automatic printing would be that the interface would automatically print the labels and packing slips on batch completion (i.e. eliminate the need to press the "Print Labels" and "Print Packing Slips" buttons). So everything that needed to be done as far as combining orders would have already been completed.
If instead this feature were to be designed to automatically print labels and packing slips as orders come in, then to mitigate the problem with combining orders, there would have to be some kind of user-specified delay (or time-of-day setting). If the customer doesn't place another order within X minutes/hours, then it's assumed there won't be another order from them.
Thank you for all the info, everyone! Going off of @David's comment, how would you handle orders that needed combining if there was the ability to automatically print your labels and packing slips?
It would be nice to have an automation rule that prints a packing slip ONLY when the # of items bought exceeds the lines on a label (3 domestic / 5 International).......So I do forget to pack the extra items.
Right now I have to flag those with a tag color to let myself know to handle them manually.
David Lopez Pomade Club commented
I have a small home business on the side. I only use USPS. My Workflow:
First, i combine orders from same customers then I check to make sure all orders (with multiple items) have correct weights. I still don't fully trust my automation rules but it is 98% accurate. Then I make sure the customer requested shipping method matches the current method. I then print labels, packing slips and pick list for every batch. I do 3 batches a day.
Side note: One thing I hate is having to click the green "Create Labels" button on the popup that pops up after i click "Create Labels" on the right sidebar. I dont need this "confirmation"
I then proceed to print my labels. When i started using shipstation, i was printing the label and packing slip in one 8x11 label page. It was convenient but i was wasting a label for every order (500+ orders a month) because we do not send packing slips with orders. So i purchased a new printer with 2 trays; one with label paper and one with regular paper but it did not work well because if label paper tray ran out of labels, it would automatically print a shipping label on regular paper tray (tried changing this behavior but unsuccessful). So now i use 2 printers; one for shipping labels @ 2 per sheet and one for packing slips also 2 per sheet and also used for pick list.
I am happy with the setup. I use google cloud print only. i print shipping labels from work for my wife to pack. I even use cloud print at home. Shipstation connect almost never works. Printers are always offline or not detected by shipstation connect so i stopped using it.
My suggestions regarding this auto printing idea:
I would love for the software to auto print. It would help when im too busy at work to print labels for my wife to pack. I would help a lot to be able to at least print simple, single orders automatically and leave more complex, multiple orders to a human. I would also like to be able to only auto print orders where the customer chooses First Class shipping method because sometimes when they choose priority i still ship it as first class for various reasons.
Not sure why this isn't already an option, but automatic printing seems pretty standard.
I would like to see automatic printing of labels and packing slips upon batch completion (instead of having to click the "Print Packing Slips" and "Print Labels" buttons).
I'm adding my vote for this feature, with a modification to select whichever printer one wishes to use (we use Shipstation Connect). Thanks!
Kacy Thompson Under-Glow commented
This would be awesome to have and save so much time!!
Ryan Unick Manasquan Premium Fasteners commented
I agree with Trent. Ideally, I would like two packing slips printed every time an order is imported into print station.
Ashley Harris commented
An Automated rule when a new order is imported, a packing silp is printed to your default shipstation connect printer. This way when i get home from work i know what orders i need to fill and can begin packing them without having to get on a website. Just grab the slips from the printer and go.
Trent Woolsey SureCan Inc. commented
This is a features that we would really love to see happen! To Gymdoll's point we also have to print two different slips for every order and once you print one you have to go back to the print tab and do another and this is very time consuming!
Benjamin Jones Maker Guide LLC commented
Please add this feature! I am currently looking into using Autohotkey to automate printing orders off the shipstation website, but having the ability to automatically print the orders and the shipping labels built into shipstation would be amazing!
Please add this feature! I've had to create an ugly workaround by creating a custom order email and an automation rule that automatically emails each order to my printer, but the custom email doesn't have all the right information on it (no variants, no receipt information).
Brian Van Bogart SoftBums commented
Please add this feature ASAP! I am switching from a competing product that does have this feature and while I love ShipStation I'm missing this badly right now. We used to just pick up packing lists from the printer and start working on them without needing to perform any extra steps or look for them. As it stands now we need to look for new orders and manually print orders. This also requires we keep track of which ones were already printed to avoid multiple printouts for each order.
This is a super useful feature, and I really think you should make it a top priority.
Please add this feature so we don't have to change providers :-(
This would be crazy awesome.. Just imagine waking up to a stack of labels all ready to just fill and drop off instead of loading up ShipStation and selecting orders and all that stuff to print.. any order with issues could just be set aside and marked with a notification
Ray Lenci The Lenci Group commented
Just to have the ability to simultaneously print a packing slip to a different printer, when a label prints would be great.
I presume you would have to know your shipping weight in advance to print shipping labels?
Be nice if you could just add this to the Automation Rules so it can be added by those who want it, and I would love to be able to have 2 copies print.
This would be amazing. This would keep my warehouse team on task by automating the printing of labels. Please do this