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Setting up processes

Installing plentyBase

You need plentyBase to create and run processes in the plentymarkets back end. You can download the installation files in the plentyMarketplace.

1. Processes in plentymarkets

Processes allow you to automate many complex tasks in plentymarkets. Find out more about automatically processing orders in our link::https://www.plentymarkets.co.uk/knowledge/video-tutorials/automation/[video tutorials on automation].

The following process elements are available:

  • Work steps

  • Control elements

  • Procedures

  • Sub-procedures

process
Figure 1. Pattern of a very simple process

1.1. What is a work step?

Each process consists of at least one work step. Work steps are the core of your processes. Work steps are used to define which tasks and sequences are to be automated. Depending on the type of work step, you automate processing of either individual or several orders or of incoming items. You can add an unlimited amount of work steps to each process. The following types of work steps are available:

Table 1. Available work steps
Work step Explanation

Order group processing work step

Specifies which and how many orders should be processed. Filters allow you to limit automatic processing to specific orders. Furthermore, you can specify if and to what extent the work step makes any changes these orders. You can change the status, the owner and/or the flag of orders that were processed in this work step. You also specify the sequence in which orders are processed.

Order processing

Defines how single orders are dealt with after they are registered, e.g. scanned with a barcode scanner.

Incoming items

Use the work step to search for and register single incoming items, to search for orders and then book the items contained in the order and to automatically assign reorders.

1.2. What is a procedure?

Procedures are added to a work step. Use procedures to specify which actions are to be performed automatically when a process is run.

For further information about available procedures, refer to the Procedures/control elements page of the manual.

1.3. What is a control element?

Control elements are a special type of procedure. Control elements are used to control how the work steps of a process are executed. As such, you add control elements to a work space to control the way that the procedures of the work step interact with each other. For example, you can repeat procedures, jump to specific points within the work step or specify conditions that need to be met before a procedure is executed.

The following control elements are available and are described in more detail on the Procedures/control elements page of the manual.

Table 2. Available control elements
Control element Explanation Work steps

Jump

Skips to a specific part of the process.

  • Order group processing

  • Single order processing

  • Incoming items

Loop

Loop that repeats a procedure or sequence of actions until all orders have been processed by the work step.

  • Order group processing

  • Single order processing

Split

Fork for saving a condition for a target.

  • Order group processing

  • Single order processing

Filter

Limits procedures to the filtered orders.

  • Order group processing

  • Single order processing

Reset filter

Cancels the filter.

  • Order group processing

  • Single order processing

End

Ends a work step or process.

  • Order group processing

  • Single order processing

  • Incoming items

Dialog

Query with optional selection using up to 5 buttons

  • Order group processing

  • Single order processing

  • Incoming items

1.4. What is a sub-procedure?

Sub-procedures are added to a procedure. As such, you use sub-procedures to specify which actions are to be performed automatically when a procedure is run.

For a list of available sub-procedures, refer to the Sub-procedures page of the manual.

2. Creating a process

Go to System » System settings » Processes to create and manage processes. Proceed as described below to create a process.

Creating a process:

  1. Go to System » System settings » Processes » New process.
    Note: It the menu System » System settings » Processes is not shown, install the plugin plentyBase.

  2. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 3.

  3. Save the settings.
    → The process is shown in the menu tree.

Table 3. Creating a process
Setting Explanation

Name

Enter a name for the process.
Tip: Use a unique and descriptive name so that users can easily understand what the process does.

Visibility

Select which group the process should be visible for. Visible means that the process will be available in the Processes menu and can be carried out there.
General = The process is visible to everyone.
User = The process is only visible to a specific user. This user is selected from the User drop-down list.
Role = The process is only visible to a specific role. This role is selected from the Role drop-down list.

User

This option can only be used if you selected User for the option Visibility. Select which person the process should be visible for.
Note: Users with Admin rights can view all processes.

Role

This option can only be used if you selected Role for the option Visibility. Select which role the process should be visible for.
Note: Users with Admin rights can view all processed.

Changeable

Select who can edit the process.
Activated = Users that can view the process also can edit it.
Not activated = Only users with Admin rights can edit the process.

Warehouse

Select a warehouse. The warehouse with the warehouse ID 1 is selected by default.

Colour

Select the colour in which the process it to be shown in the Processes menu.

2.1. Creating a work step

The following work steps are available:

  • Order group processing

  • Single order processing

  • Incoming items

2.1.1. Creating a work step “Order group processing”

Proceed as described below to create a work step of the type Order group processing.

Creating a work step “Order group processing”:

  1. Go to System » System settings » Processes » Select folder » Select process.

  2. Click on New work step.
    → The window New work step opens.

  3. From the drop-down list select the type Order group processing.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The window Work step: Order group processing opens.

  5. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 4.

  6. Save the settings.
    → The work step is created.

Use the context menu

If the processes already contains a work step, you can also use the context menu to add additional work steps. Use your mouse to right-click on a work step and select to insert a work step before or after.

Table 4. Settings for the work step Order group processing
Setting Explanation

Settings

Name

Select a name that describes the work step as clearly as possible.

Number

Enter how many orders should be processed per run.

Next step

Select whether an additional work step should be started manually or automatically. This setting is only relevant if at least two work steps are configured.
Awaiting input = The next step or procedure is not started automatically. The process is paused until you click on Start in the menu for carrying out the process.
Start automatically = The next step or procedure will be started automatically.

Position

You need to create the work step first to select this option.
Newly created work steps are assigned the next available position by default. Select a different position to change the order in which several work steps are executed. Work steps are sorted in ascending order. As such, the work step with the lowest number is started first.
Tip: Alternatively, you can change the position of work steps using the context menu. To do so, use your mouse to right-click on the work step and select Move up or Move down.

Filter

Add

Click on the green Plus icon and select a filter to only process specific orders in this process. Table 5 describes the filters available for the work step Order group processing.

Select orders

New status

If you want this work step to change the status of the orders, select the status to be assigned to orders at the end of the work step. You can also select Without changes if you do not want to change the status.

New owner

If you want this work step to assign a new user as owner of the orders, then select the user from the drop-down menu. You can also select Without changes if you do not want to change the owner.

New flag

If you want this work step to change the flag of the orders, select the flag to be assigned to orders at the end of the work step. Select Without changes if you do not want to change the flag.

Sorting

Sorting

Select the order in which the orders should be processed. Orders can be sorted in ascending or descending order by:
Order ID (default setting)
Item ID
Customer ID
Invoice number
Item number
Storage location position
Note: Only the first item within an order item is taken into consideration for the sorting.

2.1.2. Filters of the work step Order group processing

Use the filters to only process specific orders in the work step Order group processing. Table 5 describes the filters available for the work step Order group processing.

Table 5. Filters of the work step Order group processing
Filter Explanation

Order data

Number of order items

Select an operator from the drop-down list and enter a number into the field. This will search for orders that include a certain number of order items.

Order warehouse

Select a warehouse from the drop-down list to only search for orders that contain items from this warehouse.

Order type

Select a specific order type if you only want to process this type of order. The list also includes some combinations of order types.

Date

Select a point in time, e.g. Yesterday or e.g. in the past, to filter all existing orders. You can select more than one option.

Owner

Select the user whose orders you want to filter.
Active user = User who is currently logged into the system.

Email address

Select an option to only filter for those orders that include an email address in the customer data record or that do not include an email address in the customer data record.

Express delivery

Select whether you want to filter orders with express shipping or not.
Yes = Only orders with express shipping
No = Only orders without express shipping

Total quantity of items

Select an operator from the drop-down list and enter a number into the field. This will search for orders that include a certain number of unique items.

Weight

Orders can be filtered by weight in grams. Enter a value and select the equals sign to filter orders with an exact weight. Enter a value and select the appropriate operator to filter orders within a certain weight range. You can filter two different weight ranges by using both text fields at once.
Example: For a weight of 3.5 kg and higher, enter 3500 into the text field and select the operator >=.

Referrer

Select the order referrer of those orders that you want to filter. You can select more than one option.

Customer class

Select one or more customer classes.

Country of delivery

Select the country of delivery of those orders that you want to filter. All countries of delivery can be selected here. Not only those that you activated in your system.

Client (store)

Select the client (store) of those orders that you want to filter. You can select more than one option.

Flag

Select the flag of those orders that you want to filter. The option None will filter orders that do not have a flag.

Pending pick list

Pending pick lists * are those that have not been completely processed yet. In order for the filter to be effective, a pending pick list has to be available in general. If this is not the case, then orders will not be filtered by the specified conditions. Instead, orders will be loaded by other filters set up. Options:
*Use
= Continue processing a pending pick list.
Do not use = Start a new pick list.
If the filter with the setting Use is looking for the corresponding orders and finds a pending pick list, the orders of this pick list will be loaded. All other filters set up for this work step will be ignored then. You have to set up a box storage rack in the item registration procedure as a condition for the following processing of the loaded pick list.
If you deactivate the filter by selecting Do not use, then a new pick list will automatically be created assuming that the previously mentioned condition is fulfilled. However, if there is a pending pick list available when selecting this option, then the process will be cancelled and an error message will be displayed. In this case, the pending pick list has to be processed in advance.

Packstation

Select whether you want to filter orders with Packstations or not.
Yes = Only orders with Packstations
No = Only orders without Packstations

Invoice amount

Orders can be filtered by invoice amount. Enter a value and select the equals sign to filter orders with an exact amount. Enter a value and select the appropriate operator to filter orders within a certain invoice amount range. You can filter two different weight ranges by using both text fields at once.
Example: For an invoice amount of 39.90 euros and higher, enter 39.90 into the text field and select the operator >=.

Status

Select a status if you only want to filter orders with this status.

Loyalty program

Select one, several or no loyalty program to only process orders from this loyalty program or orders without a loyalty program.

Shipping service provider

Select a shipping service provider to only filter orders that use this shipping service provider.

Shipping costs

Orders can be filtered by shipping costs. Enter a value and select the equals sign to filter orders with an exact amount. Enter a value and select the appropriate operator to filter orders within a certain shipping costs range. You can filter two different weight ranges by using both text fields at once.
Example: For a shipping cost of 3.90 euros and higher, enter 3.90 into the text field and select the operator >=.

Shipping profiles

Select one or more shipping profiles to only filter orders with this shipping profile.

Shipping region

Select a shipping region to only filter orders from this region.

Outgoing items

Select how you want to filter by outgoing items:
Not booked = Only orders without outgoing items booked
Booked = Only orders with outgoing items booked
Today = Only orders with outgoing items booked today
Yesterday = Only orders with outgoing items booked yesterday

Payment

Select the payment status by which you want to filter the orders.
Check payment = Filters all orders in a specific status that should be checked (manually). This means that unpaid, partially paid and overpaid orders will be listed.
Unpaid only = Only orders for which no payment was received.
Paid only = Only fully paid orders
Partial payment only = Only orders for which a partial payment was received.
Initial payment complete = Only orders for which a complete initial payment was received.
Overpaid only= Only orders for which an overpayment was received.
Unpaid and partially paid = Only orders for which no or only partial payment was received.

Payment method

Select one or more payment methods to only filter orders with this payment method.

SEPA

Type of debit

Select whether you want to filter orders with First debit or Recurring debit.

Type of mandate

SEPA core direct debit = Allows a biller to collect funds from a payer’s account, provided that a signed mandate has been granted by the payer to the biller
SEPA business to business direct debit = Enables business customers in the role of payers to make payments by direct debit (B2B).

Payment frequency

One-time payment = Standard orders
Recurring payment = Regularly occurring orders such as subscription orders, etc.

IBAN & BIC

Select whether you want to filter orders for which IBAN and BIC are available or not available.

SEPA direct debit mandate

Filters orders depending on whether or not the customer has signed the SEPA direct debit mandate.
active = Only orders from customers who confirmed and signed the SEPA direct debit mandate are processed.
not active = Only orders from customers who did not confirm and sign the SEPA direct debit mandate are processed.

Available procedures and sub-procedures

The following procedures and sub-procedures can be selected for the Order group processing work step.

Table 6. Work step Order group processing; procedures and sub-procedures
Procedure Sub-procedures

Address label

Offer

Item registration

  • None

Order

Order confirmation

Documents

Email

Credit note

Note

Adjustment form

Warehouse pick list

Delivery note

Dunning letter

Packing list

Pick list

Polling

Invoice

Return label

Return slip

SEPA Pain001

SEPA Pain008

Serial numbers

Shipping center

Outgoing items

Register incoming payment

  • None

2.1.3. Creating a work step “Order processing”

Proceed as described below to create a work step of the type Order processing.

Creating a work step “Order processing”:

  1. Go to System » System settings » Processes » Select folder » Select process.

  2. Click on New work step.
    → The window New work step opens.

  3. From the drop-down list select the type Order processing.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The window Work step: Single order processing opens.

  5. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in [table-processes-single-order-processing].

  6. Save the settings.
    → The work step is created.

Use the context menu

If the processes already contains a work step, you can also use the context menu to add additional work steps. Use your mouse to right-click on a work step and select to insert a work step before or after.

Table 7. Settings for the work step Order processing
Setting Explanation

Position

You need to create the work step first to select this option.
Newly created work steps are assigned the next available position by default. Select a different position to change the order in which several work steps are executed. Work steps are sorted in ascending order. As such, the work step with the lowest number is started first.
Tip: Alternatively, you can change the position of work steps using the context menu. To do so, use your mouse to right-click on the work step and select Move up or Move down.

Name

Enter a name for the work step. Enter a name that describes the work step as clearly as possible.

Next step

Select whether an additional work step should be started manually or automatically. This setting is only relevant if at least two work steps are configured.
Awaiting input = The next step or procedure is not started automatically. The process is paused until you click on Start in the menu for executing the process.
Start automatically = The next step or procedure will be started automatically.

Available procedures and sub-procedures

Table 8 shows the procedures and sub-procedures that can be selected for the Order processing work step.

Table 8. Work step Order processing; procedures and sub-procedures
Procedure Sub-procedures

Address label

Item registration

  • None

Order

Order search

  • None

Reorder search

Documents

Email

Credit note

Note

Delivery note

Packing list

Pick list

Polling

Invoice

Return label

Return slip

Serial numbers

Shipping center

Outgoing items

2.1.4. Creating a work step “Incoming items”

Proceed as described below to create a work step of the type Incoming items.

Creating a work step “Incoming items”:

  1. Go to System » System settings » Processes » Select folder » Select process.

  2. Click on New work step.
    → The window New work step opens.

  3. From the drop-down list select the type Incoming items.

  4. Save the settings.
    → The window Work step: Incoming items opens.

  5. Carry out the settings. Pay attention to the information given in Table 9.

  6. Save the settings.
    → The work step is created.

Use the context menu

If the processes already contains a work step, you can also use the context menu to add additional work steps. Use your mouse to right-click on a work step and select to insert a work step before or after.

Table 9. Settings of the work step Incoming items
Setting Explanation

Position

You need to create the work step first to select this option.
Newly created work steps are assigned the next available position by default. Select a different position to change the order in which several work steps are executed. Work steps are sorted in ascending order. As such, the work step with the lowest number is started first.
Tip: Alternatively, you can change the position of work steps using the context menu. To do so, use your mouse to right-click on the work step and select Move up or Move down.

Name

Enter a name for the work step. Enter a name that describes the work step as precisely as possible.

Next step

Select whether an additional work step should be started manually or automatically. This setting is only relevant if at least two work steps are configured.
Awaiting input = The next step or procedure is not started automatically. The process is paused until you click on Start.
Start automatically = The next step or procedure starts automatically.

Available procedures and sub-procedures

[table-table-incoming-items-procedures] shows the procedures and sub-procedures that can be selected for the Incoming items work step.

Table 10. Work step Incoming items; procedures and sub-procedures
Procedure Sub-procedures

Item label

Item search

Reorder search

Note

Incoming items (reorder)

Single incoming item

2.2. Editing a work step

You can edit existing work steps by pointing your cursor at the work step. In the context menu shown, click on the Pencil icon.

2.3. Adding a procedure/control element to a work step

Proceed as described below to add a procedure or a control element to a work step. For further information about available procedures, refer to the Procedures/control elements page of the manual.

Adding a procedure or sub-procedure to a work step:

  1. Go to System » System settings » Processes » Select folder » Select process.

  2. Move the mouse cursor over the work step for which you want to add a procedure or a control element.
    → The context menu of the work step opens.

  3. Click on Add.
    → The Add window is displayed.

  4. Select a procedure or a control element from the drop-down list.
    Carry out additional settings as desired. Pay attention to the explanations on the Procedures page of the manual.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The procedure or the control element is created.

  6. Move the mouse cursor over the procedure or the control element to edit the position or other settings.

Use the context menu

If the work step already contains a procedure, you can also use the context menu to add additional procedures or control elements. Use your mouse to right-click on a procedure and select to insert a procedure before or after.

2.4. Adding sub-procedures to procedures

Proceed as described below to add a sub-procedure to a procedure. For a list of available sub-procedures, refer to the Sub-procedures page of the manual.

Adding a sub-procedure to a procedure:

  1. Go to System » System settings » Processes » Select folder » Select process.

  2. Move the mouse cursor over procedure for which you want to add a sub-procedure.
    → The context menu of the procedure is shown.

  3. Click on Add.
    → The Add window is displayed.

  4. Select a sub-procedure from the drop-down list.
    Carry out additional settings as desired. Pay attention to the explanations on the Procedures page of the manual.

  5. Save the settings.
    → The sub-procedure is created and displayed in the Procedures tab.

  6. Move the mouse cursor over the sub-procedure to edit the position or other settings.

Use the context menu

If the procedure already contains a sub-procedure, you can also use the context menu to add additional sub-procedures. Use your mouse to right-click a sub-procedure and select to insert a sub-procedure before or after.

2.5. Managing error handling

It is possible to fix errors so that processes are not aborted due to one or more faulty orders. To do so, you can add one of the combinations of procedures and sub-procedures to certain procedures. These procedures are only run if an error occurs. For example, if you add the troubleshooting procedure Order with the two sub-procedures Change status and Add order notes to a procedure, faulty orders are assigned a new status. In addition, a note is added to the order.

2.5.1. Available procedures in case of error

Table 11 shows the procedures that can be executed if an error occurs.

Table 11. Available procedures in case of error
Procedure Sub-procedure Explanation

Email

Send

The Email procedure together with the Send sub-procedure sends an email template if an error occurs.

Order

Change status

Changes the status of the faulty order. The status changes to the status that is selected from the drop-down list.
Tip: The easiest way to find faulty orders is to assign a separate status. You can then filter for this status in the Orders menu.

Order

Add order notes

Saves a note with the order that created the error.
Individual note = Allows the user to enter a message during the process. This message is saved as a note for the order.
Predefined note = Opens a window. Enter a message into the Message area. This message will be saved automatically for errors during the process.
None = Notes are not saved in the order. This option is recommended if you want to save the error message only as the order note.
Save error message as additional note = Place a check mark to save the error message displayed in the process as an order note.

2.5.2. Adding a procedure for error handling

Proceed as described below to add a procedure for error handling.

Adding a procedure for error handling:

  1. Go to System » System settings » Processes » Select folder » Select process.

  2. Use your mouse to right-click on the procedure.
    Tip: A grey beetle identifies the procedures that troubleshooting is available for.
    → The context menu opens.

  3. Click on Add procedure for occurring errors in the context menu.

  4. Select a procedure from the drop-down list.

  5. Save the settings.

  6. Carry out additional settings as desired.
    → The procedure is created. Procedures for error handling are flagged with a red frame.

  7. Save the settings.
    → The procedure is created. Procedures for error handling are flagged with a red frame.

Visualisation of troubleshooting
  • Procedures to which you can assign procedures for troubleshooting have a grey bug icon in the top right corner.

  • If a procedure for troubleshooting has been assigned to a procedure, the bug is red.

  • Click on the bug icon to show or hide the troubleshooting procedures set up for the process structure.

  • You can recognise procedures for error handling by the red square.

3. Controlling visibility of processes

The folder structure of the Settings » Processes menu shows the visibility and availability of the processes for other users. The following folders available.

Visibility of the menu System » System settings » Processes

For user accounts of the class Variable, the System » System settings » Processes menu is only visible if they were given the necessary rights in their user profile.

Table 12. Folder structure of processes
Folder Explanation

My processes

Processes that the current user can edit.

Processes of other users

Processes of other users This folder is only visible for users who are assigned to the class Admin.

Processes per role

Processes for users with the role of the logged in user. If the user is not assigned to any roles, this folder is shown. Users who are assigned to the class Admin will be able to see the processes for all roles.

Global processes

Processes that are available for all users.

4. Reusing a process

Copy processes to reuse them in the same system or to edit and export and import them to another system.

4.1. Copying a process

Proceed as described below to copy a process.

Copying a process:

  1. Open the plentymarkets Client.

  2. Go to Settings » Processes.

  3. Move the cursor over the process that you want to copy.

  4. Click on the triangle to the right.

  5. Click on Copy process.
    → The Copy process window opens.

  6. Enter a name for the process.

  7. Click on Copy process.
    → The process is created and opened for editing.

Alternatively, open the process and click on Copy process.

4.2. Exporting a process

We recommend using the export and import functions for exchanging processes between different plentymarkets systems. To do so, proceed as described below.

Exporting a process:

  1. Open the plentymarkets Client.

  2. Go to Settings » Processes.

  3. Move the cursor over the process that you want to copy.

  4. Click on the triangle to the right.

  5. Click on Import process.
    → The process will be exported as a ZIP file and saved in the Downloads (MAC) or Documents (Windows) folder on your computer.

Alternatively, open the process and click on Export process.

4.3. Importing a process

Proceed as follows to import a process.

Importing a process:

  1. Open the plentymarkets Client.

  2. Go to Settings » Processes.

  3. Point your cursor at the folder My processes.

  4. Click on the triangle to the right.
    → The option Import process will appear.

  5. Click on Import process.
    → The Import process window opens.

  6. Enter a name for the process and click on Upload files.

  7. Select the ZIP file from your computer and click on Open.
    → The process will be imported into the My processes folder.

System-specific settings are not imported.

System-specific settings, for example printer settings in the Print sub-procedure are not exported and will therefore not be imported either.
Tip: To check which procedures or sub-procedures were not completely transferred, open the imported process in the Processes menu. The error messages show the IDs of procedures and sub-procedures that require additional settings.

4.4. Swapping processes in the plentymarkets process bazaar

Go to the Processes category of the plentymarkets forum to find the plentymarkets process bazaar. This is where generous plentymarkets users make their processes available to other users.

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