Understanding Order Shipping

This guide first explains the basic elements of the aACE shipping calculations, then highlights preferences you can leverage.

Shipping Price and Cost

During order entry, you can enter an estimated shipping price in the Totals section. This price is the amount you will charge the customer for shipping. In contrast, the shipping cost is the amount your organization will pay the carrier. The screenshot below highlights the estimated cost field (on the left, for $24.99) and the estimated price field (on the right, for $49.99):

PSO (Prevent Shipping Override)

There are two scenarios for pricing shipping on an order. The first is to charge the customer based on what the carrier charges you — either a pass-through or with a markup applied. In these situations, aACE will continually update the price as shipments go out and your shipping costs are entered into the system.

The second scenario is to lock the shipping price on the order using the PSO flag:

When you manually enter an amount for the shipping charge or manually mark the PSO flag, aACE will not alter the order's current shipping price. The price estimated when the order is input will "stick". Note: The shipping cost will continue to update as shipments go out.

You can make PSO the default setting for all new orders. To set this preference, navigate from Menu > System Admin > aACE Preferences > Order Entry, then mark the flag for “Prevent shipping override (PSO) by default”.  

To remove PSO and have updates again applied to an order's shipping price, you must 1) manually clear this flag, then 2) click the Shipping Info icon () and click Default. This restores the default order shipping amount logic.

Default Shipping Markup

You can set a value that will be automatically applied to each order's shipping price. This default value is calculated using the line item code specified in the Accounting module (Accounting > Preferences > Data Entry > Misc Line Item Codes section > Shipping). Typically this is the Misc LIC titled "Shipping". Note: If needed, you can create a different LIC to use for this purpose.

On this LIC, you can specify the Rate Type and Rate Value. The settings you enter here will be applied to all orders, unless there is an override from other shipping price automation settings (see below).

Shipping Price Automation

aACE evaluates and updates the shipping price when modifications to the order are made or when related records are posted.  Updates based on actual shipping costs are logged; you can review them by clicking the Information icon () in the lower-left corner. 

The estimated shipping price is evaluated in this order:

  1. Order delivery type — If this field is set to “Pick Up” or “Not Applicable”, then the shipping price is set to 0.00 and the PSO flag is marked.
  2. Free-shipping threshold — If the order meets your organization's settings for free shipping (specified at System Admin > Preferences > Order Entry > Free Shipping field), then the shipping price is set to 0.00 and the PSO flag is marked.
  3. Bill-to company's shipping rate setup — If this customer has a predetermined shipping rate (specified in Companies > Customer Details > Billing Setup > Ship Rate Type and Value fields), then the shipping price will be set to that amount. If the company’s ship rate type is “Fixed Price”, the PSO flag is marked, otherwise it is not marked.
  4. Line item code rate setup — If the line item being shipped has a predetermined shipping rate, then the shipping price will be set according to that amount. The PSO flag is not marked. The default shipping markup is set (and can be adjusted) on the Shipping line item code. It is set as the default in Accounting > Preferences > Data Entry > Misc Line Item Codes section.
  5. Manual input on Shipping Price field — If you manually enter a shipping price, aACE considers it an override and that value will be retained no matter what other settings are configured. To remove a manually entered shipping price, click the information icon () next to the shipping fields and select Default. Note: Simply deleting the value will set the shipping price to a manually entered 0.

To review the factors currently affecting the shipping price, click the information icon () next to the shipping fields.

Shipping Cost Allocation

aACE can automatically combine shipments from multiple orders that are being sent to a single customer at a single location. You can specify how the total shipping cost (and therefore the price to the customer) for the combined shipment should be allocated across the various order invoices. To use these features, your system administrator must configure two aACE Preferences:

  •  Order Entry — Click the “Allocate Shipping Cost By” field and select the setting that best aligns with your company policies (e.g. Quantity, Value, Net Weight, or Gross Weight).
    Note: If this field is left blank, the default is “Value”. Also, for weight-based allocation, you must enter the weights for each line item code.
  • Shipping — Mark the flag to "Append auto-generated items to pending shipments by location".

For example, suppose a customer put in one order for several small items, then also put in a second order for a single, larger item to ship to the same location. With the above order entry and shipping settings, aACE would automatically add the larger item from the second order to the initial order's shipment. On that combined shipment, you would enter the total shipping cost. aACE would divide the shipping cost between the two invoices for the orders, based on the allocation criteria specified.

Shipping Scenarios

The following examples walk through some of the most common shipping price setups.

Examples of Default Shipping Markup

aACME Education Solutions receives a call from their customer at the SU Physics Department. He orders a new wall-mounted electronic whiteboard. The whiteboard LIC record has an initial shipping cost of $24.99. The general Shipping LIC record has a default adjustment of Mark Up % at 10%. So the default shipping price for this order $27.49.

As another example, if the default shipping Mark Up % is at 10% and a shipment costs $10.00, but the order requires five items to be shipped individually, then the total shipping cost charged to the customer would be $55.00. 

In contrast, if you set the default shipping Rate Type to a Fixed Price of $10, aACE charges that price per shipment, regardless of actual shipping cost. With the example of an order that has 5 items shipped individually, the total shipping cost would be $50.00.

Example of Basic Shipping Price Update from Company

aACME Education Solutions receives an order from Highbridge Academy for 20 textbooks. Highbridge has an agreement with aACME though, that their shipping prices will always be limited to $29.99. This is recorded on Highbridge's Company record (Customer Details tab > Billing Setup section). 

As soon as the aACME sales person enters the first order item, aACE checks for shipping pricing settings, enters the $29.99 in the Shipping Price field, and marks the PSO flag. As the order and fulfillment process continue, the Shipping Cost will update, but the Shipping Price will remain the same.

Example of Shipping Cost Update from Quantity

aACME Education Solutions has another order of 35 workbooks for Full STEAM Charter School. The sales person creating the order estimated a shipping cost of $75. 

For an illustration, let's say each item will be shipped individually and each shipment will cost $3.00. In this case, shipments #1 through #25 will not impact the order, since the shipping costs for those shipments are less than or equal to the estimated shipping cost. However shipment #26 will update the order, as the actual shipping costs for the order will then be $78, exceeding the estimate. aACE will automatically update the order to add the actual cost for shipments #26 through #35.

On this example order, if we assumed each shipment cost only $2.00, then shipping all 35 items would only cost $70. Because the actual shipping cost would be less than the estimate, the order would not update until all shipping is complete.