Vendor Catalog Overview

The Multiple Vendor Catalog module is an EBMS add-on that allows the user to view or select parts or products from a vendor supplied product list or file. This module includes many powerful features that allow the user to accomplish the following:

Vendors distribute product catalog information in a variety of file formats. Organizing and viewing this important information with a common interface can save a lot of time and frustration. Increased accuracy and efficiency can be gained by reducing manual entry within a proposal or sales order especially for special order items that are not stocked. 

Scenario:  An auto accessory shop sells various automotive aftermarket parts for a large range of vehicles.  This business orders most products from the supplier at the time of sale rather than stocking parts.  The suppliers offer a next day delivery of most product to give this business the ability to sell and install most parts in an efficient and timely manner.  The store can quickly identify aftermarket parts that fit a specific year, make, and model of the vehicle within the EBMS point of sale dialog.  The EBMS user can quote the solutions, create a sales order, add the new product to the catalog, create a special-order purchase order, and process the down payment all while communicating with the customer at the counter or on the phone.  This efficient sales process allows the user to offer a wide variety of aftermarket parts and installation at a competitive price. 

Scenario:  An outdoor power sales and service company specializes in the sales and service of five brands of lawn equipment but services many other makes and models of equipment.  EBMS attaches dozens of vendor parts catalogs as well as various lawn and garden supply catalogs.  This access to the product information, pricing, UPC codes, and other details for the thousands of parts from multiple suppliers gives the user the ability to order the needed parts for the many service jobs.  Common parts are stocked but many repair parts need to be ordered to complete the work order.  The purchasing, pricing, receiving, and parts management is all integrated into the EBMS software to manage the new equipment sales, parts and labor for service projects, and the refurbishing of used equipment.  The proper description, pricing, and barcode information is copied from the appropriate supplier’s product catalog along with the supplier’s stock levels.

Scenario: A building supply company includes a hardware department that sells a large variety of fasteners, tools, and other building supplies.  The sales staff have implemented the barcode scanning tools in EBMS to streamline the sales checkout process.  The company obtained vendor catalogs from the hardware suppliers allowing the user to add the various items into the EBMS product catalog simply by scanning the existing barcode located on each item.  Scanning the UPC code references the product within the vendor catalog and copies the product information into the EBMS inventory catalog system.  This efficient means of creating product within the product catalog as well as the automated process to update costs and item details gives this supply company the tools to manage their point-of-sale and inventory processes well. 

This module gives the user the following methods to add items into EBMS:

  1. The recommended method is to import only the items that have been purchased, sold, or quoted rather than the next option.   This can drastically reduce the product catalog size which can assist with the software performance and can reduce search needs.  

  2. The optional method is to import a vendor's entire catalog.  This step can reduce the search time but is not recommended if the vendor's catalog has a large number or products or if a small percentage of the products within the catalog are needed in the future to purchase or sell.  Review Bulk Import for more details on importing all items.

The recommended method simplifies inventory management within EBMS since only selected items are imported into the EBMS inventory list. This minimizes clutter within the user's product list.

The following file formats are recommended:

Important:  Do not edit the downloaded file by adding a column, renaming a column, or removing columns.  All data manipulation should be done with the Vendor Catalog Links mapping step used when copying data from the vendor file to the EBMS product table.  Review Add or Manipulate Data or Fields for instructions.

NOTE:  Do not name the downloaded file with a date since the file structure will be each time data is downloaded from the vendor.

Complete the following steps to attach a vendor's product catalog to EBMS:

  1. A standard Text Data Import feature within the EBMS software can be used to convert these files into EBMS files as well as automate the communication between the vendor's FTP site and the EBMS software. Review the Utilities > Text Data Import and Export Utility section of the main documentation for instructions on this step.

  2. Create a relationship between the information stores in the vendor product file within EBMS to the EBMS inventory catalog. Review Vendor Catalog > Create relationship with EBMS Product Catalog for more details on this step.

  3. Automate both the text data import and the vendor catalog update by completing the following steps:

    1. Automate the test data import process using Task Scheduler App.   Review the [Main] Technical > Automate using Task Scheduler App for instructions to schedule an automated process to download and update a vendor catalog.  

    2. Enable Update inventory from modified Vendor Catalog records after importing to update the EBMS product catalog immediately after the vendor catalog is imported and updated.   

Review the Accessing the Vendor Catalog from a Proposal or Sales Order section for more details on using this powerful feature.

The module includes a powerful tool to keep the information within the EBMS inventory item updated. This step will copy information such as pricing, product details, and costs from the newest vendor catalog to the inventory items within EBMS.    

Review the Updating Prices and other information from the new file section for details on this process.

This tool can also be used to copy a group of products from a standard file such as a vendor file. Review the Creating Inventory items from a Product Catalog section for more details on this process.

This Multiple Vendor Catalog module can also be used to update the EBMS inventory file with new pricing based on a specific date. Export the current price list into MS Excel and then import back into EBMS at the time the changes are required.

Multi-Vendor Catalog is an optional module. Review the Optional Features > Optional EBMS Modules section of the main documentation for details on how to identify or add optional modules.