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Zenkraft Blog

Zenkraft Blogs about Logistics, LSPs, Integration with CRM, ERP and WMS applications.

Part 1 of 3: How we created a Pick and Pack station on Salesforce

Published on 22 November 2016 by in salesforce 

Recently, we built a Pick and Pack station inside Salesforce for one of our customers. We really believe in the potential value it can add to user interactions, which is why we’ve decided to share pieces of how this could work for your business. We’ve created two blog posts to explain how this works. It is also worth mentioning that this can integrate with any ERP system you may already be using on Salesforce.

In this first post, we’ll be discussing: UI, scanning barcodes and weights & scales.

  1. UI
    1. We start by typing in a sales order number (custom object), or selecting a previously open one.
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  1. Once on the ‘New Shipment’ screen, you can select the container size to use
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  1. You can then start adding the products to pack into the container using a barcode scanner. The barcode scanner extracts the text representation of the barcode and adds it to the input box. We then do a search for that custom field in the products list and confirm its the required product. Once satisfied that everything is in order, we add the product to the container, otherwise we show an error message to that effect.
  2. Each time an item is scanned (packed), the “Total left to pack” column in the “Item to pack” line gets automatically updated. In the screenshot below you can see that we have 1 container in progress and we have packed one of ‘Item A’ and one of ‘Item B’.
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  1. The next step is to “Finish container”. This will get the weight of the container (from the scales connected via our desktop app) and create a packing slip in PDF format that list items in that container.
  2. Once the containers for that shipping session have been completed, the user is able to click the Finish button. This will take into account all the shipping options such as the Service Type (Ground, Next Day Air etc etc), the weight of the containers and the dimensions, and will generate the correct shipping label.
  3. Implementing Scanning Barcodes
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    • We used the javascript below, which is a combination of a few implementations, to help us with barcode scanning. We tested around 10 different libraries and found that the one we chose  worked the best across a multitude of devices.
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  5. Weights & Scales
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    • We have a separate interface for connecting your scales to your salesforce instance. Very similar to the standard printing management screens. It’s an API call to our desktop app that allows us to get the raw weight from the USB device that we then use to add to the shipment container.

In next week’s post, we’ll be discussing how you can create custom labels and auto print shipping labels in Salesforce®.

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New UPS version 3.10 Released

Published on 17 November 2016 by in ups salesforce 

We’ve been working on our UPS app and added some new great features based on your feedback:

  • Added ability to edit package profiles
  • Delivered to” and “Signed For By” Tracking Information added to shipment object
  • 3 address lines now available for shipment destinations
  • Phone number format maintained through One Click Shipping
  • One Click Shipping to allow “Use Contact Address” via opportunity objects
  • Custom setting added to enforce preference details when sending labels via email
  • Custom Setting added to disable creating an activity line when sending emails
  • Custom Setting added to allow Company name to be truncated to 35 characters (UPS limit)
  • Commercial Invoices now have “Additional Comments” section
  • Updated Mail Innovation logic for First and Priority
  • Fixed typo for Mail Innovation BPM Flat
  • Minor bug fixes

See Docs for all UPS Release Notes

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Adding Twilio Voice to your Salesforce Logistics Operation

Published on 15 November 2016 by in ecommerce salesforce 

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At Zenkraft we like to experiment and find new ways to integrate our solutions with other cloud products. This time, we had fun researching and writing code around Twilio, a cloud communication platform.

One of the great features of Twilio is that makes it easy to add voice to your application. For this reason, we thought it’d be valuable if we could integrate this with our shipping apps for Salesforce, and allow users to get shipment status updates by calling a phone number.

We wanted to share with you an easy step-by-step process of how you could setup your own look up shipment status with Twilio voice. First of all, you’d know that you can allow customers to find shipment status from an inbound number from any object. For this particular example, we’ve integrated with a Case.


For our test, we exposed this URL “request URL”


Make sure that you put your VisualForce page we created earlier -called TwilioPage– into the Active Site Home Page section of this site:

The Twilio docs we used to build this demo are found here: https://www.twilio.com/docs/api/twiml/gather

We also uploaded Sample Code on GitHub for you to test this feature. Sample code available here: https://github.com/zenkraft/TwilioShippingTracking

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Dreamforce 2016

Published on 17 October 2016 by in ecommerce salesforce 

Dreamforce ‘16 was by far the best Dreamforce in 13 years. If you were unable to attend this year, or even if you attended and missed out on some of the fun experiences, fear not! We at Zenkraft are here to fill you in on all the great adventures we experienced, so you’re prepared and raring to go for Dreamforce 2017.

We saw Dreamforce turn 13, launching new spectacular products, with around 2,700 informative sessions, and bringing together around 170,000 people from all across the world. Dreamforce connects industry enthusiasts for four days of events, activities and thousands of live solutions from the world’s largest cloud ecosystem, to share and present life-changing technology and knowledge to those within the industry. Whether you’re a start-up of 1 person or a Fortune 500, Dreamforce is inclusive to all and will undoubtedly enhance the way you run your business.

Keynotes speeches, including Marc Benioff

This year the bar was raised, with some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs, guests and -of course- Marc Benioff to start the whole experience! Every year the most anticipated event at Dreamforce is when Benioff takes the stage to deliver his opening keynote speech.

Benioff kicked it off by taking us on a journey, describing Dreamforce as an annual “family reunion”, expressing his gratitude and thanking everyone for joining him again this year. He expressed his delight over the millions of users across the world which Salesforce has helped and will continue to help.

Benioff, alongside Harris Parker and Shubha Nabar, announced the newest Salesforce feature, Einstein AI, presenting the potential impact of this feature to the Salesforce Ecosystem. Zenkraft are excited to combine Einstein with our logistics app, to provide real-time predictions into logistics data.

If you’d like to watch the keynote in its entirety click here to watch it all!

Cloud Expo – Moscone South

This year, as Bronze sponsors, we had more fun than ever before, being exposed to more events, conferences, and face-to-face engagements. Our booth #2208 was always covered by the Zenkraft team ready to demonstrate the benefits of our shipping apps.

Giving ‘swag’ is a ritual at Dreamforce, attendees walk around speaking with companies and going away with their hands full, a great way to get your hands on your year’s supply of pens, notepads and technology information!

Over the 4 days we were there we provided more than 50 demos of our native apps, communicated with clients and formed new connections for future business. The ability to interact with a range of consumers and to hear their feedback allowed us to understand our consumer database and the networking experience was next to none.

The Zenkrafts team at booth #2208

Happy Hours, Parties & Dinners

With more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States, San Francisco is everyone’s culinary dream. The streets of San Francisco are filled with Dreamforce goers and Trailheads going out for dinner and happy hour, and when food and drink is in abundance, it’s hard to resist the temptation.

Each evening, events were hosted by partners and Dreamforce enthusiasts all around San Francisco. With a variety of different events to attend and join, it was hard to pick our favourites, but to point a few: The People’s Party at Temple Nightclub, Cirrus Insight Happy Hour at Thirsty Bear, B2B Marketer’s Bash featuring Flo Rida at The Warfield and AscentERP annual get together at The District. We also have some great memories at our ‘team building’ time dinners at the Trou Normand and PABU.

Zenkraft team - Day 1
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Dreamfest – U2!

Every year brings with it a performance from amazing artists and bands, so when we heard that one of our favourite bands will be performing at Dreamforce 2016, it was a no brainer. We just had to go to see one of the most famous bands on the planet,U2!

To get to the stage we hitched a ride with the on site shuttle bus, which took us from Moscone Centre to the Dreamfest stage at the “Cloud Palace”. The atmosphere on the shuttle bus was an experience within itself! Once we got there, we found our way towards the front of the stage where U2 played some of their greatest hits, and also raised awareness for the amazing work carried out by RED, showing his support and encouragement. We’re excited to see what Dreamforce 2017 has in store for us!

Talks, Sessions & DreamPitch

Over 2,700 topics were discussed at DreamPitch, all insightful and interesting in different fields of technology, and this year Dreamforce welcomed on to the stage early-stage startups that have built apps on the Salesforce App Cloud, to present in front of esteemed investors and entrepreneurs.

By far the most exciting experience for us was when Zenkraft was featured in one of the Dreamforce talks. The ‘Connect Everything with Apps’ session was presented by Salesforce’s Solution Engineer Laura Durrance, with Eric Edelson and Cleo Schiff from Fireclay Tile speaking about the big difference our apps have made within their business. Eric, Fireclay Tile’s CEO, spoke about the difficulties and problems they faced before they used Zenkraft’s solutions. They discussed the benefits of both using pre-built apps already available on the AppExchange, and the benefits of building your own apps.

Overall we had an amazing experience at Dreamforce 2016, and we’re so excited to attend again next year! Hope to see you all at Dreamforce 2017!

Connect Everything with Apps Session

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Are you coming to Dreamforce ’16 with us?

Published on 01 September 2016 by in ecommerce salesforce 

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We are super excited to be attending Dreamforce again this year! In exactly five weeks time, the annual event will take place during what promises to be an incredible four days of networking, learning and fun. As a Bronze sponsor, we are looking forward to addressing any questions you may have regarding shipping inside Salesforce, as well as discussing specific strategies relevant to how you can improve your firm’s logistical process and efficiency.

Our team will be highlighting two new apps that have been in development recently. First is the new multi-carrier app, supporting over 30 Carriers and 100% native to Salesforce, launching soon. Support for Canadian shippers has been a heavily requested feature and so we’ve also been working on developing a new app for the Canadian courier, Purolator. Please visit our booth to receive tailored information on how you can take advantage of these new apps inside your CRM platform (booth # still to be confirm, follow @zenkraft on Twitter for the latest updates).

Dreamforce is a huge event, offering hundreds of sessions, opportunities and potential new solutions. With that in mind, we have compiled a quick list of what we believe are the most important tips based on our previous experiences that will help you to make the most of your time at Dreamforce.

• Connect socially: take advantage of social media by utilising hashtags such as #df16. Not only will this enable you to connect with the right people but it is a great way to get the latest updates on after-parties and other events taking place after the day’s proceedings have come to a close.

• There’s no need to bring a laptop: you’ll be walking around all day so it’s best to carry as little as possible, such as a tablet to take notes, which brings us onto our next point…

• Plan ahead: Moving from one session to another can take up to 15 minutes depending on the location and it’s a good idea to try to arrive early as there are often queues if you haven’t pre-registered. Don’t worry if you happen to miss an event, many of them are available to view on YouTube afterwards.

• Spend time at the Cloud Expo: this is the best place to explore new solutions to benefit your company and help you to succeed with Salesforce.

• Dress comfortably: business-casual but most importantly comfortable trainers for all of the walking. October is a warmer month in San Francisco but the weather can be unpredictable so pack layers.

If you haven’t yet registered for Dreamforce, use our exclusive promo code to receive a $100 USD discount on registration fees: EC16ZENK. What’re you waiting for?

We can’t wait to see you there! If you’re feeling the same, you can book a call with our team or start a 7-days trial for free from the AppExchange.

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