Take a look at this jpg. ([url removed, login to view])
Here is what we need done...
In the first column we set the threshold of the order subtotal. In the second column we set the percentage formula. Here's how AmeriCart's silly formula works. "5.00P.2992" means charge a $5 flat fee plus [url removed, login to view]% of the order subtotal. (By the way, we define order subtotal as the total before any shipping or other discounts. ie The total for the product at list cost.)
You can go to [url removed, login to view] and step through our order process to see how the customer interface works now. Ideally we'd like to have the shopping cart know which state was in which zone and then use the appropriate rate table. So we'd also have to setup a database table that defines which states are in which zone, right?
In terms of the interface for entering the shipping rates on our end, we don't need anything fancy--if we have to into access or enterprise manager and manually tweak the SQL shipping rates table, that is fine. (Unless, of course, it won't take very long for you to program. Just be sure to break that out separately on your quote.)
We are really pressed for time to make our deadline on getting this new site programmed--every day we don't have it working we lose money manually programming orders. So, time is of the essence.