Service Levels and Target Ship Dates
Customer expectation are fairly high these days for most businesses when it comes to shipping the customer's goods out quickly. Service Levels inform ShipStream about when you've "promised" your customers to ship a given package in order to help you meet that promise and the Target Ship Date represent the day on which you've promised to ship a given shipment according to the appropriate Service Level.
Target Ship Dates
Specifically, a Service Level helps ShipStream determine the appropriate Target Ship Date for a Shipment after it becomes Ready to Ship. The Target Ship Date will be used when creating Picking Batches and Bulk Fulfill Orders to help your operations focus on the work that needs to be completed first before moving on to work that can be completed later. A Shipment which has a Target Ship Date that is the same as the current date is referred to as a "Same-Day Shipment".
By separating your shipments into those that must be completed today and those that must be completed before the next business day you can more easily manage your operations while ensuring that no shipments miss the service level offered to your customers without sacrificing the ability to optimize your pick routes by reducing overall number of times your pickers must go to a new pick location.
Service Levels use the "Same-Day Cutoff" time that you specify to determine for each Shipment if it meets the threshold or not. If it does not then the Target Ship Date will be assigned using the next day to occur in the Service Level taking into account the specified holidays.
You can add multiple Default Cutoffs to a Service Level to use different times on different days. If a day is not specified in any of the default cutoffs then it will effectively be not be considered a business day for processing shipments.
Absolute Same-Day Cutoff
Optionally, you may also specify an "Absolute Same-Day Cutoff" which could be used as either a grace period, or to offer a higher service level for select orders. Shipments of orders submitted with a "Requested Ship Date" matching the current day will be assigned the current day as the Target Ship Date even if the Ready to Ship time is past the Same-Day Cutoff only if it is not also past the "Absolute Same-Day Cutoff". Orders that do not have a Requested Ship Date will not be affected by the Absolute Same-Day Cutoff.
The "Default Cutoffs" will apply to shipments for all Manifest Couriers by default. However, you can override the default cutoff for a specific Manifest Courier by adding an override to the Service Level by clicking "Add Override".
The override can have one of two effects on shipments which are expected to use the Manifest Courier specified:
- Change Cutoff Time - this will replace the cutoff times specified for the same matching day (if any) with the new cutoff times.
- No Service - this will disable service for the given weekdays
After you've created a new Service Level you must select it in the configuration under System > Configuration > Shipping Settings > Target Ship Date for it to have any effect. Different Service Levels may be chosen for different Merchants and Brands by selecting the appropriate Configuration Scope. Service Levels that are referenced by the configuration may not be deleted until the configuration is updated.