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Friday, 30 January 2009

Two Invoices for One Delivery

Hi All

In SAP one of the requirements we had from both retailers and distribution customers was to improve on how we gave extended credit terms for seasonal product such as Christmas cards. For example, when the initial Christmas order is shipped, if a pack of Christmas Cards is out of stock and subsequently a normal order picks up a backorder for that pack, then the only way to handle the differing credit terms (eg 30 days & 60 days) is to create 2 separate invoices for the one delivery. This is not the only scenario where two invoices can result, but it does illustrate that in this instance its not an error but a consequence of meeting one of our requirements from the system.

STL Blog Team

Update: Orders despatched on Thursday with no invoice

Hi All

We had a problem last night with our invoice printer which affected a number of orders despatched last night. We took the decision to ship these orders without invoices in order to meet our 8pm deadline with FeDex for next day delivery. We recognise that some customers would have preferred to wait and receive their order a day later with an invoice, but on balance decided to ship all orders to ensure they would be out for delivery on Friday in time for the weekend.

We do apologise for the inconvenience caused. Invoices will be printed and posted today and you can also contact our customer service team, quoting our 5 digit order number under the heading customer information on the label, to email or fax a copy to you.

STL Blog Team

Monday, 26 January 2009

STL System Update

In light of what we discovered yesterday in relation to some of our electronic orders, I have updated the below post:

Hi All

Since Tuesday last week, we have been able to achieve same day despatch on most orders, however, due to an electronic error a number of web orders have been delayed by up to two days. This error occurred on Friday so if you have any concerns about orders placed since then, please contact customer services. On 08457 056568 or e-mail

I also want to apologise again to those who were affected by the issue we encountered on the 16th January; where we fixed a blockage in the system releasing hundreds of backorders (as far back as 18th December). We have been working on a process with our SAP consultants to ensure that orders do not flood the system when an issue is resolved, allowing us to maintain the level of service you expect from STL Distribution.

This week our main focus is again on the goods receiving area of the warehouse in order to improve our availability and returns. I am aware of customers having to wait for credit notes and although it will take some weeks before we are on top of this aspect we are putting all available resources on to this. If you have any questions regarding outstanding credits please do contact Customer Services on 0845 705 6568.

Kind Regards

STL Blog Team

Monday, 19 January 2009

STL Update

I want to let you all know that unfortunately we were unable to dispatch all orders on Friday 16th January. I would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by this to those who are affected.

The reason for this is our team of consultants are still working on solving a number of bedding down issues in SAP where orders can get stuck in the system. Our team managed to fix one of theses issues on Friday, but as a consequence of this, a large number of orders were automatically put into the system. Prior to this we were well on top of our deadline. To try and manage the issue we brought into the warehouse a large number of office staff who along with warehouse staff worked late Friday evening and on Saturday. By 2.30pm on Saturday there were approximately 80 unpicked orders remaining.

Again I want to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused. All remaining orders will be picked and sent today (Monday 19th January) as our highest priority. We do not anticipate that this will prevent order placed before 4pm today being despatched today.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Carriage charge issue

Hi All

Thanks to your feedback we have been made aware that erroneous carriage charges have been appearing on a small number of backorders. The reason for this is as a result of the necessary migration of backorders from the old system into SAP.

As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance each process within the new system, we are continuing to look at ways to eradicate this legacy issue. This issue is currently with our technical consultants who are actively seeking a solution which would remove the charges from these specific orders still held within our system. The issue does not exist with regard to orders created in the new system and is therefore diminishing as these previously entered transactions are dealt with.

Where the problem has been discovered in advance of processing we are able to remove the carriage charge from the order, however, due to the large number of orders involved some incorrect charges have been issued. If you have been incorrectly charged for a backorder, please contact our Customer Services team.

Monday, 12 January 2009

STL System Update

Hi Everyone

Since Christmas we have continued to work hard in trying to achieve our same day despatch level of service. Since Tuesday last week we have been able to consistently achieve same day despatch (apart from a small number of Synergi and web orders, due to a failure in the SAP interface on Friday Afternoon). I am confident our team can continue to achieve this going forward and our management team will continue to monitor the situation very closely over the next couple of weeks to ensure consistency continues.

I am aware of a number of issues we have been experiencing with backorders and how they are being despatched. We have now addressed a number of the issues, but in some cases this will only take effect on new backorders and not existing ones. Over time we expect the incidence to reduce and are of course focussed on minimising the problem as it reduces our efficiency.

Our team has been working through a large number of promotional returns. Most of the Bibles and Music promotion have now been completed and work has begun on the Christmas promotion.

With regards to invoicing and credit notes the only issue we now seem to be experiencing with a number of orders is the invoice not being printed and despatched with the order. The value of the invoice should all be correct and it requires us via our customer service team to arrange for a duplicate copy to be sent. If a customer does have a query with an invoice relating to a pre-Christmas order, please contact our customer services team who will be able to resolve the issue for you.

I know that we still have a number of outstanding issues to do with availability and improving our fill rate. This is now our highest priority and we are moving resources into this area to improve the situation as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

IBS-STL Announcement

Over the past twelve months this country has suffered the effects of the global economic crisis, from which the Christian sector is not immune.

Due to the need to address the serious downturn in trading, both in the wholesale distribution and retail sectors, the leadership of the Charity has decided to restructure its UK operations. Graham Sopp will step down from his role of UK Chief Executive and take a new role of European Ministries Director, which will include responsibility for UK Resource Development and Fundraising.

Fred Slack will leave his role as Director of UK Fundraising after a suitable period of handover.

Keith Danby, IBS-STL Global President, will assume the responsibility of leading the UK Charity with immediate effect and will lead an in depth review of all aspects of the ministry in preparation for the new fiscal year. Further details of the new structure will be available following the completion of this review.

Keith Danby said, “These are unprecedented times and require every organisation to look closely at its costs, and how best to serve its customers in the existing uncertain economic climate. The work of creating, distributing and selling the Word of God and other biblical resources is of such importance that we must discover ways to balance viability with missional passion and zeal. The former International Bible Society has successfully managed to balance this tension for 200 years and the former Send The Light ministry for 50 years. The merged ministry of IBS-STL is committed to maintain this balance moving forward”.’

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Update - Reduced FREE Carriage

Hi Everyone

Hope you all had a good Christmas and relaxing New Year?

Before Christmas i announced that STLD would be reducing its FREE carriage limit to £50 (net invoice value). This offer will now continue until the 31st January 2009.

I shall update you later this week, as to how we are progressing with our despatch and order accuracy levels.