How To: Understand Courier Bandings and Delivery Rates options in Khaos Control
Khaos Control allows you to integrate with over 20 couriers using over 40 third party software providers. This enables Khaos Control to ship sales orders throughout the UK and the rest of the World. A list of current couriers can be seen on the What Couriers are Supported on Khaos Control? page.
For those couriers the third party software provides three distinct levels of integration:
- Simple one-way integration where a file is generated that is imported or uploaded to the courier so a despatch label can be printed.
- Complex two-way integration involves communication to and from Khaos Control and the courier. Not only can you get despatch label printed directly but the consignment reference is brought back into Khaos Control. This consignment number is logged against the customer's record so if they call up you can open the respective couriers tracking page (assuming they have one of course).
- Full integration is where Khaos controls the label setup and consignment numbers (allocated by the courier).
Either way, whichever courier integration you choose, you will want to setup Khaos Control so that it automatically decides which courier is used and how much the customer should be charged per sales order. Khaos does this using:
- Courier Banding is how the system chooses what delivery rate to use on a Sales Order (based on many variables).
- Delivery Rates where shipping options and costs are setup, regardless of whether they are automatically chosen by a Courier Banding rule.
Once Courier Bandings and Delivery Rates are setup and tested, Khaos Control will take care of adding the appropriate courier and postage rate to sales orders.
Tips for Setting up Courier Bandings and Delivery Rates
Tip One - Conditions
A simple example of this is where only two despatch options are offered: All orders go Royal Mail 2nd Class for Free, unless the customer wants Royal Mail 1st Class at an additional charge of £1. You would only have 1 Courier Banding rule for Royal Mail 2nd Class but you would have two Delivery Rates; your Royal Mail 2nd Class which would be chosen by the Courier Banding and your upgrade Royal Mail 1st Class service.
Getting your head round how it all works is incredibly important. But there are two very important rules to consider when setting up delivery rates (including Courier Banding which triggers the Delivery Rate):
- Whether the answer to all the conditions is YES!
- The order they are considered i.e. the Priority.
A classic error or misunderstanding of this is when your first rule reads:
- Does the customer live in the UK = Yes
- Then set the courier to Royal Mail 2nd
- and charge them £0.00 or FREE
This means that any other rule, regardless of how sophisticated or comprehensive, will never be applied because the first rule (defined by its priority) will always selected for customers living in the UK.
Tip Two - Priority
It pays to future-proof the sequence of the priorities that are setup on your system. If you simply number the priorities 1, 2, 3 etc some point in time you will want to add or change them. This would mean renumbering the lot!
If you count in 10s or 100s it is easy to insert additions at any point, for example if you needed to insert a new delivery rate between the first delivery rate rule (priority 100) and the second delivery rate (priority 200) add the new delivery rate at priority 150. If you had numbered your rules as Priority 1 and 2 you'd have to rename everything after 2 onward.
Tip Three - Courier Groups
When using Channels 2.0, if you are using courier groups in your courier banding table, make sure they are defined in your Channels 2.0 global order type values grid.
If you always consider all these area when setting up your courier bandings and delivery rates then your system will be robust and less likely to choose the wrong service!