Save 8 hrs/day with NetDespatch (for free)

Dorset based novelty gift maker, Made Lovingly Made, has speeded up its order fulfilment processes with the help of a web-based integration solution from NetDespatch, which seamlessly connects the company’s order management system with its parcel delivery network.

Made Lovingly Made makes unique personalised gifts and novelty products out of ethically sourced wood, from cufflinks and necklaces to key rings and jigsaw puzzles. Produced in Made Lovingly Made’s workshop in Christchurch, Dorset, these products are sold through the company’s own website and the marketplace.

Prior to implementing the NetDespatch solution, Made Lovingly Made had to manually download orders and then print the despatch labels in bulk, and the growing business really needed more automation and flexibility in its fulfilment and despatch processes.

The NetDespatch Retail Solutions team, who evaluated Made Lovingly Made’s operations and suggested utilising the powerful NetDespatch Import Engine, which they could configure themselves, to map the data from their website and, and transfer it to the NetDespatch servers.

The retail Solutions team also suggested the use of Parcel Despatch, the NetDespatch innovative online scanning solution, would enable the retailer’s despatch department to scan the barcodes on pick-and-pack notes to print off labels as required. Once all labels have been printed for the day, the Sales Order Summary can be printed, which automatically transfers the data to the Carrier’s Online Business Account.

The NetDespatch solution enables us to quickly process all of our Royal Mail orders for despatch,” says Tony Carr, Director of Made Lovingly Made. “On a busy day, the solution saves us eight man hours.

How much did all this cost? Nothing! NetDespatch works closely with postal and parcel carriers, and provides a cost-free shipping solution for their customers. It seems unbelievable, but there are no costs involved for installation, training or support, and the system is available instantly online.

If you’re interested in getting a free automated despatch solution you can contact NetDespatch on 01978 367475 or through their website.

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What will be the effect of Royal Mail's change to OBA users? Has anyone else noted that from October if you have an OBA it will be compulsory to use Despatch Manager Online, requiring the purchase of a thermal printer? This is irrespective of whether DMO works effectively with your business process, and whether or not it improves efficiency. How will this effect solutions like NetDespatch? I will need to redesign part of my daily process to accommodate this Royal Mail change, and I suspect it will take longer to link the correct label to the correct parcel.

Martin • 10th April 2015 •

Little discussion of this big change. From Sept all parcels will need a unique barcode via DMO. Inevitably this will mean big changes to software/processes for many etailers. Those, like us, using mainly untracked RM48 will need to computerise dispatch and label printing at no small cost.

Merlo • 10th April 2015 •

DMO is not becoming compulsory, I've asked, and others have asked, and it's a myth being spread on eBay forums, which has been started by overzealous RM staff who seem to be on some sort of bonus to get users to switch from OBA to DMO.

Joe • 10th April 2015 •

No myth- all parcels will have to be barcoded in September. I have the official email from RM informing me.

Merlo • 10th April 2015 •

Yes, they'll be barcoded at DO/SO level, I also have the email telling me that DMO is not becoming compulsory and that RM account managers are saying it is when it's not. I've also asked RM on Twitter and they say it's not becoming compulsory.

Joe • 10th April 2015 •

I hope that is the case. Last month I was told by 2 staff that this year they will be eventually switching everyone over from OBA to DMO. Would be annoying to switch and the system we have works perfectly with what we need.

fusion • 10th April 2015 •

Hi Martin, Joe, Merlo, Fusion. Yes, all parcels will have to have a new special 2D barcode in September. Today this is currently only available through DMO and NetDespatch. If you want to use NetDespatch (which is free for etailers) and/or have our Retail Solutions Team advise on how you can easily change your labels and improve your business processes, please contact your Royal Mail Account Manager today. For those of you who haven’t met us yet, NetDespatch is Royal Mail’s authorised solutions partner for Tracked, Untracked, Special Delivery, Local Collect and International parcels. We don’t just produce labels, you can print your Sales Order Summary which automatically does all your OBA postings for you. You can also review any orders you've previously submitted.

Elliot from NetDespatch • 10th April 2015 •

I have been using DMO since it was introduced but my RM account manager told me last week that it was going to become compulsory for everyone with an OBA. So who to believe?

Jonathan • 10th April 2015 •

heard nothing here though we would think it highly likely that DMO will become compulasry

Tinker • 10th April 2015 •

See below- I have recently been trying to contact yourself in regards to a conversation surrounding your current shipping solution. Royal Mail are committed to your business and with that said we are looking to minimise losses through the process of introducing a 2D barcode for all parcels. This is something that we will be integrating hopefully by September. I have attached a document for you to have a read through with all the benefits of investing in this new and improved technology, please also refer to the link below for further information surrounding DMO, API and COSS. What I would like from your self is some information into what kind of shipping solution system you are currently using whether it be Royal Mail’s DMO or a third party such Linnworks Can you please either respond via email or give me a call at your earliest convenience. Kind Regards

Merlo • 10th April 2015 •

we use oba ppi large letters and small parcels nothing specific or compulsory mentioned about those, seems it depends how you wish to read the email on what it means

tinker • 10th April 2015 •

OBA will be removed between August and October this year and everybody has to move to DMO. The channel management companies are aware of this and our account managers have already informed us.

Craig • 10th April 2015 •

I'm a small user of OBA (approx £500 a month) - I've had no communication whatsoever about DMO, and I continue to use OBA. I'd like to think they'd give a decent amount of notice before making this mandatory... S.

Simon M • 10th April 2015 •

I'm glad I've read this thread as this is the first I've heard of the compulsory DMO. We use OBA but have not received anything in the post/email. Has there been an official announcement or mailer about it?

Claire • 10th April 2015 •

I don't think there has been any official announcement but our account manager did inform us about a month ago. The main reason is because all mail from September has to be barcoded to reduce lost post. We also currently still use OBA but with the processing of up to 300 orders a day we actually welcome the move to DMO which we will do but we are waiting on the channel management companies having a live integration with it. Net Despatch looks quite interesting though so we are looking into this.

Craig • 10th April 2015 •

Thanks for clarifying Craig. I don't even know if we have an account manager. We do between £1k-£1500 a month with RM and never had anyone contact us. So off we trot with our daily bags and pay our bills on time. Ho hum. Might have to give them a call to see what the deal is.

Claire • 10th April 2015 •

Claire - would be grateful if you could report back what you find out please? I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. Thanks, S.

Simon M • 10th April 2015 •

Simon, I've just spent 45 minutes on the phone to someone who was very knowledgeable about the whole thing. Anyone who uses CRL on OBA from October will be having to go over to DMO. They have a migrations team who are contacting all CRL customers and have been since June last year to let them know. In all honesty, having gone through it all it sounds like it might save a fair amount of time. Just the outlay for the printer which makes me go hmmm. But yes DEFINITELY happening. The barcodes are initially going to be used for internal purposes but then they may roll it out for our benefits. Going to have a look at the demo online later. Thermal printer is £252 incl VAT by the way.

Claire • 14th April 2015 •

Had the same discussion today with RM and it does seem to be the way ahead. It also seems that they have a definite end plan for the bar codes on the label and they are implementing in stages. Royal Mail also have a deal in place for the printer with the use of a discount code from RM. Lee

Lee Pearce • 14th April 2015 •

Hi Claire - thanks very much for reporting back - very much appreciated. I'll take the "wait and see" approach now, but with another £250 put into reserve :-) S.

Simon M • 15th April 2015 •

Hi Claire. We have had an account manager since we began with OBA but to be fair we don't hear much unless we have any questions and she is always there if we need the help. We also have a business manager and his job is to make sure we are making the most of the OBA service by updating us with new services from time to time. It was him that informed us about the end of the OBA system and we confirmed this with our channel management software who were also aware of it. We do have a higher spend with Royal Mail but as I said, we have had these contacts since day one so give them a call and hopefully you will get some helpful info. No matter the volume, you will have a manager and maybe just unaware of it. The end of OBA is a bit of a pain but to me the first priority for Royal Mail is to invest in more mailing sacks! Preferably ones without football sized holes in them!

Craig • 10th April 2015 •

The only thing I see is that barcoding will become compulsory and that each PPI user will have their own unique barcode or QR code. I guess we'll find out in August or September or October or whatever date the 'compulsory' change is purported to be.

Joe • 10th April 2015 •

I do over £7k a month with RM and have been told categorically that DMO will not become compulsory, but that barcodes will. These will be applied at the first sort level if they are not on the shipping label. The barcodes are not for tracking but for faster routing and auto sorting of parcels within the hub. It has been suggested to me that over time there might be a surcharge if you don't use DMO (or more specifically a small discount if you do) but that barcodes cannot become compulsory because it would be impossible for stamped mail that wasn't individually presented at a post office and would also be impossible for those still using paper posting cheques. My contact has told me repeatedly that DMO will remain optional and to refer anyone who tries to claim that it's compulsory from their sales team back to him.

Roger • 10th April 2015 •

common sense many would just buy stamps or move to my hermes or some other co. if royal mail made life too complicated

tinker • 10th April 2015 •

Just been looking into this DMO malarky Bit of a cheek I have to plonk down £200 for a new printer before I can use their service!!!

Simon M • 10th April 2015 •

It is interesting to hear that different people are being told different things. We were told we had to move. Actually within 24 hours they had emailed us login details for DMO and a link to buy the new printer! We operate everything in the company from the offices to the warehouse on iMacs and the printers are a nightmare with macs. We use dymo shipping printers which work great and I would absolutely prefer not to use DMO. OBA works. Why change it? Very interesting and frustrating.

Craig • 11th April 2015 •

We currently use OBA but contacted Royal Mail about DMO. We were told that they are going to move everyone over to DMO later this year and that OBA is not available to new customers. I looked at DMO as there is a barcode on the label which may give the impression of tracked and we were thinking that it would cut the INR claims. Once i said i would probably move across and would like to see a demonstration, i received login details and a roll of labels straight away, however we are yet to purchase a printer and have told them i will contact them when i am ready, they do seem a bit keen to move accounts across. There are plenty of 2nd hand ones available at a greatly reduced price. I have still yet to fully investigate, but i use packing partner and they have a facility to produce the file to upload to DMO to make the labels. Anyone else use Packing Partner with DMO Lee

Lee Pearce • 12th April 2015 •

Hi all, With NetDespatch you’re able to print your Royal Mail labels to any printer, not just thermal printers; you can also use any browser as well as PCs, Macs and mobile devices. I thought you might be interested to see an example of the Royal Mail 2D Barcode label produced by NetDespatch. The NetDespatch solution is completely free to retailers, and we can work with you to make the solution work with your current business process, or advise you in ways you can make your life easier. If you’d like to find out more information about NetDespatch, visit our Retailers page ( or alternatively speak to your Royal Mail Account Manager.

Elliot from NetDespatch • 14th April 2015 •

Sorry! It looks like I showed you a High Volume label. Yours will probably look more like this:

Elliot from NetDespatch • 17th April 2015 •

I have my "Discount Code" from Royal Mail, you get it from the DMO Migration team at Royal Mail, so i think your eligible when you move from OBA to DMO. You can get the printer for £150.00 plus VAT, so a worth while saving. Also, its worth remembering that Royal Mail supply the labels, so you will make a continuous saving if you currently buy your own address labels. Lee

Lee Pearce • 15th April 2015 •