Creating Automation rules
Before creating rules, it is important that you fully understand the implications of what you are automating. Automation can be a powerful tool which can save you time and money, but this is only achieved with careful consideration of what you automate.
We advise you to carefully map out and plan your automation rules before creating them within Brightpearl. Here are some useful points to consider:
- Are any of the conditions of this rule in conflict with one another?
- Will this rule conflict with another rule using the same conditions?
Automation rules consist of four main components:
- Orders are the sales orders that the Automation app will monitor. When it sees the orders coming in, or changing over time it will apply the actions if they meet the conditions set. Sales orders can also be the target for actions.
- Conditions are used to qualify the orders, allowing you limit the changes you make to the specific scenarios that you choose. For example, only apply actions to fully paid orders from Channel X (where being fully paid and from Channel X are the two conditions you've set). A sales order will need to meet all the conditions for the action or actions to be applied.
- Actions are the changes you want to happen as a result of a sales orders meeting the conditions set. For example, fulfil the order and change the status of the order.
- Schedule is how often you want Automation rules to be processed
Important: When creating automation rules it is important that you review the conditions and actions you've set, both within the rule to ensure they will work as expected, and to also compare them with any other rules you've created. Automation will allow you to choose any conditions available, but will not compare these conditions and actions with other rules to see if there are conflicts; you will need to review your rules for potential conflicts yourself.
How to create an automation rule in Brightpearl
- Go to Settings > Brightpearl Apps > Automation.
- Click Add rule.
- Enter a rule name. This name can be as descriptive as you like to help understand exactly what the rule is for.
- Add the conditions the watched record will need to be meet for it to qualify. Ensure the conditions you choose are not in conflict with one another.
- Add the actions Automation should carry out to records which meet the conditions.
- Select when you want the rule, or leave this as 'use default schedule' if you want the rule to be run as soon as possible after the conditions are satisfied
- Save your new rule as a draft - do not enable the rule just yet.
- Review the conditions and actions of your other rules to ensure they are not in conflict with your new rule.
- When you are happy the new rules, open it to edit and check the Enable rule box before saving.
Your new rule will now apply to any new records.
Best practice for rule creation
Use the 'Set new status if any actions fail?' option
It's possible that Automation will not be able to carry out the actions. In order to ensure that you have visibility of issues that arise, we strongly recommend that you use the option to set a new order status in the event of any issues. You can then either periodically check this order status within Brightpearl, or have an email sent to you whenever an order is set to this status (in Settings > Sales > Sales statuses).
If Automation cannot carry out the action for a legitimate reason, such as not being able to fulfil an order due to insufficient stock, this will not trigger the order status change. The order will continue to be monitored until the actions can be completed.
Monitor your rules
Once you've created a rule, you should always monitor the effect it's having by viewing the logs. The last 30 day's worth of changes made by Automation can be viewed by selecting 'View log' on the Automation settings page. These logs can be filtered by Order ID, Rule and Status so you can easily finding what you're looking. You can jump to orders and make changes to rules directly from this page by clicking the links in the logs.
Even once established, it's best practice to periodically (at least monthly) check the logs for errors to ensure that things are running smoothly.
Use status update to test your conditions
If you're unsure about whether the conditions you've created are targeting the correct orders, create the rule in full, but instead of applying all the automation actions you're wanting to use (invoicing, fulfilling etc.), just update the status to a new temporary status. In this way, you can reassure yourself that your conditions are correct by monitoring orders coming into that status. Once you're happy, add the other actions. In the event of a mistake, correcting a status change is much simpler than un-invoicing or having to backtrack on fulfilment! And don't forget to process those orders you get during testing, as normal.
This sounds obvious, but you should write your rules in a way which avoids errors. Poorly written rules may cause errors as a matter of course (such as routinely attempting to change invoiced orders, or fulfilling an order which has already been fulfilled - neither of which are possible).
You want any errors you get to be the result of genuine problems that need investigating, rather than being a number that you habitually ignore. If you're seeing errors when there's nothing really going wrong, you need to improve the rule.
Ensure you use conditions to exclude any scenarios which would cause the error, such as setting the condition 'Invoiced = No' to rules with the action 'Invoice order'. Again, use the log within the Automation settings to identify errors and correct.
Use statuses in your conditions, and update statuses after you've applied your chosen action
It's good practice to map automation to a specific part of your workflow, and a good way to do this is by using order statuses. In this way, you can avoid Automation acting on orders when you might not want them to.
For example, you may have multiple rules set up to update the shipping method depending on product SKUs contained in the order. However, it's possible that more than one of these rules could be true, as orders might contain SKUs from multiple rules. Avoid the conflict by using conditions to target orders