Chapter 31: Using the Phone Interface

Purpose: This chapter provides an overview of the Phone Interface, which you can use to:

• receive orders taken by a remote Order Entry service or call center service, such as Matrix Marketing, SITEL, 1-800 DIRECT, WATS Marketing, Emery Worldwide, etc.

• track and maintain sales at a retail outlet

• replenish inventory for a retail outlet


Recommended method for processing remote orders: You should use the Generic Order Interface (Order API) rather than the phone order load to process remote orders because of the superior data security provided by the order API. If you do use the phone interface, you should have the Clear Phone Interface Files (J14) system control value set to Y.

In this chapter:


System Control Values for Remote Order Entry

Features and Restrictions of Remote Order Entry

About Retail Orders and the Phone Interface

Replenishing a Retail Outlet


Note: You can also process returns or exchanges by entering a new order with a return reason code and a negative item quantity.


Remote order entry service: A third party that your customers use to place their orders. This is known as "remote" Order Entry. These operators may accept phone orders for several different companies. The remote order entry service typically does not verify order information. Instead, you can send them periodic item, availability, delivery, pricing and offer updates. This type of order entry allows you to process a higher volume of orders because you use a separate, dedicated service in addition to your own order entry operators to take orders.

Retail outlet: A store location where you sell merchandise. If you operate one or more retail stores, you can use CWDirect to track and maintain sales by processing them through the phone interface. You can also use the phone interface to fulfill orders customers place at retail outlets if the items they want are backordered or not stocked at the store.

See About Retail Orders and the Phone Interface.

Replenishment orders: You can use the system to track and replenish inventory at a retail outlet or other remote site.

See Replenishing a Retail Outlet.

Remote Order Entry Overview

This is the process you use to load, validate, and correct orders entered by a remote Order Entry service. Once accepted, remote orders do not appear any different from orders entered by your operators on-site.




Important: Each of the steps above is optional. For example, it is not necessary to first populate the PHXMIT file; you can populate the PHORDS file directly from your remote service.

System Control Values for Remote Order Entry

Purpose: You must complete several fields in the System Control file to define how to load remote orders. Each field is described briefly in the table below.

You can work with each of the fields described in the table below by selecting the Phone Interface Values "umbrella" system control value.

System Control Value


Phone Load Method (C97)

Inputting Remote Orders (IPHO) populates the Phone Transmit (PHXMIT) File Layout based on the setting of this value as follows:

EMERY: Uses data from the Emery Interface file (PHBMIT).

TAPE: Uses data on the tape drive specified in the Tape Drive field, below.

COMM: Uses data received interactively.

Transferring Remote Orders (TPHO) populates the Phone Orders (PHORDS) File based on the setting of this value as follows:

HERRSCHNER: Uses data from the Phone Order Expanded file (PHORDE)

EMERY, TAPE, or COMM: Uses data from the Phone Transmit file (PHXMIT).

Tape Drive (C98)

Identifies the tape drive to use for Inputting Remote Orders (IPHO) if the Phone Load Method (C97) field is set to TAPE.

Tape Record Length (C99)

This value defines the length of a single order record on the remote orders tape. This value is used to check and ensure that you are loading the correct file. A record typically contains order information plus a header and trailer to identify the beginning and ending of a record.

This information is required if the Phone Load Method (C97) field is set to TAPE.

Default Order Type (C93)

The order type to assign to orders you receive through the phone interface.

The order type code identifies the method you use to receive the order, such as mail, fax, phone, etc. The system retains an order's original order type so that you can trace how you received the order and gather statistics about the number of orders and dollars for each order type. You define order types in the Order Type file; see Customer Service Chapter 1: Establishing Order Types (WOTY). Use a unique order type for phone interface orders so you can distinguish these orders easily in order inquiry or order maintenance.

Allow Price Overrides (D71)

This value controls whether the system reprices items on phone orders using the pricing method defined for the source code, or uses the item price from the order. You may want to avoid repricing for sales that have already taken place at a retail outlet.

If you set this value to Y, the system will use the price from the phone order file and will not reprice; otherwise, the system will go through the standard pricing process for the item, offer and source code.

Duplicate Checking for Customers (F71-F77, H88 and I11): Exact match on...

These values control whether the system considers a customer record received through the phone order load a "match" to an existing customer if the match code is the same.


The First Name field is set to N, and the remaining fields are set to Y. A new customer record received through the phone order load has the same match code as an existing customer, and all the name and address information is the same except for the spelling of the first name. In this case, the system considers the new customer record a "match" to the existing customer, and assigns the existing customer to the order.

The system always uses the current data in the Customer Sold To file for the existing customer, and does not update the existing customer record to reflect information received through the phone order load.

See Selecting or Creating Sold-to Customers in E-Commerce Orders for an overview of how the customer searches for an existing customer in e-commerce or remote orders.

First name

Last name


Street address

Address line 2




Email address

Additional System Control Values

Additional related system control values, available through a separate screen in Work with System Values/Features, are described below.

Allow Order Number Override in Phone Interface (G54)

Controls whether to use the Retail transaction number passed through the phone interface as the CWDirect order number.

Use Credit Card Encryption (I97)

If credit card encryption is enabled, the system encrypts the credit card number on the order in the CWDirect database to provide additional security of credit card data.

Note: Credit card numbers in the Phone Orders file are not encrypted because the information comes from an external system.

Use SCF Ship Via in E-Commerce (J30)

Defines whether the system overrides the ship via code on the order to the Preferred ship via defined for the ship to customer’s SCF (the first 3 digits of the destination postal code). See Ship Via Defaults for Remote Orders for more information on the ship via that defaults to a remote order.

Features and Restrictions of Remote Order Entry

The Phone Interface has the following features and restrictions:

• Pop-up windows, such as promotional pricing, upsell promotions, or customer actions, appear only when:

• you use batch Order Entry to correct a remote order,

• you have the Allow Price Overrides (D71) field in the System Control file set to N, and

• you assign an order type to the remote orders that allows promotional pricing and/or upsell promotions.

• The Promotional Pricing program reprices an item automatically if the item appears on the order; however, the system does not add promotional items to the order.

• The system applies any applicable customer discount when you accept the remote order.

• The system allows you to accept a batch of remote orders even if some orders contain errors. Only the error-free orders are accepted on the system. The remaining orders in the batch are placed in an E (Error) status and must be corrected before they become valid orders.

• The system does not allow you to load a duplicate batch of phone orders or to load the wrong file.

• Free gifts are added.

• The order-level email address is updated only if an address is specified in the Phone Orders file; see Email Address Updates through the Phone Order Load.

Zone reservation items: If an item is subject to zone reservation, the system applies the Standard Zone Reservation Rules or Alternate Zone Reservation Rules based on your setup. However, if the zone reservation rules that apply to the item would normally display the Select Order Line Option Window in order entry, the system always adds the item as a future order. See Shipping Zone Reservation Overview for a complete discussion.

About Retail Orders and the Phone Interface

You can use the phone interface for sales and returns at your retail outlets. The functions available include:

• tracking retail sales

• processing returns or exchanges

• fulfilling backorders

• tracking inventory levels at retail locations.

Retail sales: There are several fundamental differences between retail sales and other orders you process through CWDirect:

General ledger posting. When you update CWDirect with information on a retail sale, you can avoid posting to cash receipts and deferred liability. In order to avoid these postings, you should set the Mailorder/retail flag for the order type to R. You define order types in the Order Type file; see Customer Service Chapter 1: Establishing Order Types (WOTY).

Sales are already paid. If a retail sale is already paid -- for example, you have already received authorization and deposit on a credit card -- you should use a different pay type on the order. If you enter the credit card payment type and information, the system would attempt to process the deposit again.

No fulfillment is necessary. Express bill completed orders to avoid generating pick slips for them. You define an order as express-billed by using an express-bill ship via (there is an E in the Billing code field in the Ship Via file). Express-billed orders bypass reservation and are billed immediately.

When you enter express-billed orders, you must define a value in the Affect inventory field. If the value in the Affect inventory field is Y, then you must also define a warehouse and location for the item.

See Fulfillment Chapter 30: Working with Ship Via Codes (WVIA), for more information on defining an express bill shipper.

Note: If a customer attempts to purchase backordered items or items that are not available at the retail outlet, you can use the phone interface to fulfill these orders by using a regular (not express-bill) ship via.

Retail transaction numbers. The phone interface allows you to pass the retail order number in the Retail transaction number field. You can use this number as the CWDirect order number if the Allow Order Number Override in Phone Interface (G54) system control value is set to Y, and if the number is not already assigned to an order.

The retail transaction number and related order number are stored in the Order Cross Reference file. See Marketing Chapter 50: Display Order Cross Reference (DOCR), for information on reviewing these cross-reference records; see Chapter 36: Printing the Retail Order Cross Reference Report (POCR) later in this chapter for information on printing a report.

In addition, if you load an order with a retail transaction number, the system creates an order history record. This line has a type of I, which identifies it as a retail transaction.

You can review order history in order inquiry by pressing F18. See Customer Service Chapter 61: Display Order History Screen.

Tax calculation. The system normally uses the customer's shipping address to calculate tax. You may need to use the store address as the ship-to address on retail sales to calculate tax on the order appropriately.

Tax override? If an order received through the phone interface contains a tax amount, GST amount, or PST amount, CWDirect updates the Tax override field (Future use Y/N 1 field) in the Order Detail file to Y. If the Tax override field for an order is set to Y, the system does not recalculate the tax amount, GST amount, or PST amount when the order is received through the phone interface, order maintenance, pick slip generation, or billing, and instead, retains the tax amounts the order contained when it was passed to CWDirect.

If you are using Vertex to calculate tax, the system looks at the Tax override field for the order detail line. If the Tax override field is set to Y, the system passes the transaction code X (sending tax to Vertex) and Vertex does not recalculate the tax amount, GST amount, or PST amount. See Chapter 44: CWDirect/Vertex Interface.

If you perform a return or exchange against an order line that has the Tax override field set to Y, the system does not call the regular tax routine to recalculate the amount of tax remaining on the order line and how much tax to include on the credit invoice. Instead, the system prorates the tax override amount across the units ordered on the order line to determine the new tax override amount and the tax amount to return. See Tax Overrides and Return Processing for the calculations the system uses to determine the new tax override amount remaining the order line and the tax amount associated with the return.

Replenishing a Retail Outlet

You can use the system to track and replenish inventory at a retail outlet by using the following procedure:

• Define the retail outlet as a warehouse. The information you define should include entering a Y in the Receive restock transfers field, and a location in the Auto restock location field. You may also want to enter N in the Allocatable field to prevent the system from trying to allocate stock for regular orders from this warehouse, and N in the Viewable in Order Entry field to prevent confusion for regular Order Entry operators. See Warehousing Chapter 41: Creating and Maintaining Warehouses (WWHS).

• Define the retail outlet as a customer in the Customer file. Enter the code of the warehouse you created in the Warehouse field. See Customer Service Chapter 28: Creating and Updating Sold-to Customers (WCST).

• Enter an order for the retail outlet customer in Order Entry for the amount of stock you want to transfer to that outlet. The system generates a pick slip for that order. When you confirm and bill the shipment, the system processes a transfer (T) rather than an issue (I) inventory transaction. The inventory levels for the retail outlet's associated warehouse will increase, while the related levels for the warehouse you replenished from will decrease.

• You may want to complete additional setup for the retail outlet, including using the source code and offer to control pricing, freight, and marketing analysis. For example, you might charge your retail outlets item cost only, or waive freight charges; you can define a special source code for retail outlets so you can control this. See Marketing Chapter 2: Working with Offers (WOFR), and Chapter 6: Working with Source Codes (WSRC).

Note: You can also track and replenish inventory at a retail outlet by performing a store restock. See Part N: Retail Stores.

OE03_01 CWDirect 18.0 August 2015 OTN