Importing items into free Purchase Order Software

I recently helped a Free-Procurement customer with importing his items into the Item Master File in SpendMap and I thought a couple of the tips I gave him would be useful for you as well.

What I’m going to outline here applies to importing most of the system’s Master Files, not just items…

One Item Per Line, No Header Info

When you set up your import configuration files (where you select the fields to import, specify the order of the fields, etc.), all the data has to be included for each item that you are importing (i.e. each record in the import file).  So, for example, in the case of importing items, if you want to import “header” fields that will be the same for many items (e.g. supplier, item category, etc.), that information needs to be duplicated and included for each item, like this…

WIDGET1, ACME, 123.45, EACH, SUPPLIES
WIDGET1, ABC-COMPANY, 321.54, EACH, SUPPLIES

There are actually two ways to do this.  If, for example, your import file doesn’t include the supplier code, you can either 1) add a column to the import file and copy the supplier code down the column for each item, or 2) if all of the items that you’re importing are for the same supplier, you can use the “Default if blank/missing” field in the Import Configuration and specify the supplier code there, then omit the supplier code from the import…since SpendMap won’t see the supplier when you import the items, it will use the supplier you specify in the “Default if blank/missing” field for all items.  Again, this second option assumes that all the items that you’re importing are for the same supplier, like if your supplier gave you a spreadsheet of their items.

Set Up Related Master Files First

When importing items, you may be including other Master File codes in the data that you’re importing (such as the supplier or category/commodity examples above).  If so, you need to set up the applicable codes in the other Master Files before importing the Master File that refers to these other codes.  If, for example, you try to import items that reference suppliers or commodities or units of measure that don’t yet exist in SpendMap, the records will fail validation during the import process.

For more details, see “Suggested Sequence for Loading Master Files” in About Master Files in the Online Help.

Item Catalog is Optional

Finally, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to use the Item Master for absolutely everything that you buy.  Here are some alternatives to using the internal item catalog in SpendMap.

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