Part 1 - General Navigation, Getting Support, Uploading & Matching Items, Item Database and Item Setup Summary

GDSN Connect is intended to assist existing software with the ability to prepare for an Admin Review. 

General Navigation

Getting Support

Adding Items to Item Database

General Navigation

The instructions below assume that the users’ Districts are set up and users can sign into GDSN Connect. The homepage is where you can access the Sidebar to the left of the screen and the Dashboard. The Dashboard will provide you with quick links to help you get to the area you want to go to faster. On this page, you have quick links to our user guides, and helpful articles from our knowledge base to help you troubleshoot any issues you may have and answer any questions you may have on how to use this software.


The Sidebar is how you can navigate to the different modules inside of GDSN Connect. All modules will have filters and search bars to filter the amount of data you see. All data headers can be used to sort the data in each range you see additionally clicking on the data header will rearrange the data you see. On each module, you’ll see the [+] plus sign button to create a new entry.


Universally throughout the software is the ability to edit, delete, copy and view entries by using the 3 dots. In addition, you can view entries by clicking on the entry name.


Getting Support

The easiest way to get support is by clicking on the blue Help button. Clicking on the Help button brings you to the Knowledge base help center where you can find articles to help you use GDSN Connect. Here you can access articles based on your need, for example, if you need assistance with tolls then Guides would be the best place to start, this will help you navigate throughout the software. You can access the articles at any time, if you do not find what you are looking for you can reach out to your consultant and/or submit a help desk ticket.


Adding Items to Item Database

Adding items to your Item Database can be done using 3 different but unique methods. Adding the items using the Nourish to Flourish Database is best to be used when going shopping for items. Adding items via the Catalog is best to be used from a procurement view. Lastly adding item via Bulk Upload with Set Up Wizard is best when initially getting started in GDSN Connect. 

Nourish to Flourish Database (N2F)

The first is by searching the N2F Database. Searching N2F Database is like “Shopping” for your items and/or new items. Certainly, useful for adding one product at a time. 

To search the N2F Database select

  1. Menu Items modules
  2. The [+} at the bottom right of the screen
  3. Search N2F database tab

Items can be searched by Brand, Manufacture Product ID, GTIN, or search term. The search will return a list of items will that match the terms that have been searched for. You can sort the list by filtering the results by Brand, Manufacture Product ID, GTIN. Viewing the Notes column to the far-right side will show a $indicating that the item is a part of a Catalog, hovering over the $ will show the Vendor and the price. You can also, filter the list down Items on the contract by selecting. This can be done by checking the box that says Only Contact Items. Once you find the item you are looking for select the item and click add on the top right-hand corner. If the item added is on contract it automatically set the items up within that Vendor, if the item is not contracted it would go under an unspecified vendor and you can go in and add the Vendor, Product ID and price. 


**Non-food items can be viewed under the Vendors Module

Catalog Search

Every vendor catalog provided will have the ability to be searched. Adding items from the Catalog gives the perspective from a procurement view. You can search the catalog to find the items you want to use and add to your local database. These items are already set up and matched.

To view contracted items, start by selecting the 

  1. Vendors Module on the left-hand side 
  2. Vendor
  3. Items Tab

Here you can see items already added to your local database from this contact and to add more items select the [+] on the bottom right and click Search Catalog. Select the specific procurement category. Items are grouped and matched by the GPC Classification to help filter the results. By clicking on the name of the item you can see the product information from GDSN, Nutrients, Serving Size, and any information that the manufacturer has uploaded about the product. To add the item to your local database, select the 3 Dots and Add Item. In the Notes section, any item already in your database will show. Also, in that section, you may see a Brown Box Icon, which will show a donated value. At times some information about an item may be missing from the manufacturer. This will require you to complete/add the missing information before adding the item to your local database. 


Bulk Upload with Setup Wizard

This is the recommended method to adding items to GDSN Connect, especially during the initial set. This gives the ability to set up multiple items at once instead of one by one, keeps product specs up to date, saves time, and minimizes the for error. Using the reports from your existing software makes it easy to set up the District Menu ID and District Item ID values that will be used when importing back into your existing. Uploading the items is done vendor by vendor basis. It’s best practice to upload no more than 500 items at once. 

NOTE: Export instructions from existing software will be in separate software-specific notes.

Vendor Upload

Request items from Vendors view Request Report from Vendor(s)

To upload MRPC items, start by selecting the 

  1. Vendors Module on the left-hand side
  2. One of the Preconfigured Vendors
  3. Items Tab
  4. The [+] at the bottom right of the screen
  5. Upload Items Tab

The Upload Wizard will have the contract preselected, select the Paper Icon to upload the report from existing software then select Match. As noted before the report from existing software should contain a Description of the items, Vendor Product ID, District Item ID, and District Menu ID.  

Non-Co-op Vendors

Adding a Non-MRPC Vendor can be done by selecting the 

  1. Vendors Module on the left-hand side
  2. The [+] sign at the bottom right of the screen
  3. Add Vendor
  4. Fill out the required information indicated with a red asterisk
  5. Items tab then
  6. The [+] sign
  7. Upload Items Tab

An excel template for this can be downloaded on the same page by selecting the template icon. The excel should contain a Description of the items, and GTIN. Additional information will help make matching faster and more efficient when GTIN isn't available by having the Vendor Product ID, Pack Size, Brand Name, and Net Weight. You can start the matching process by selecting the Paper Icon to upload the excel file and then selecting Match.

Matching with a Generic item requires a Net Weight before searching for an item. Also, when matching a Generic Item you’ll select the item as purchased and the option on planned serving (Unheated/Heated/Sliced/Whole). The information generally comes from USDA Food Buying Guide. This system is set up to allow you to have multiple items on a menu linked back to a single purchased item. 

Reviewing and Fixing Items

When the upload file has been processed you will see 6 options for the information uploaded in the status column. 



Match - an exact match from GDSN was found and no further manipulation is needed for this item to be processed and imported

Duplicate - the item already exists in the user's Item Database from this Vendor and no further manipulation is needed for this item to be processed and imported. If the prices had been updated, it will update the pricing. Also, if the item is set up with another Vendor, it will only add this vendor to the existing item without creating a duplicate item.

Manual Item - the item was created manually (this requires manual data entry for this item and no data from GDSN will be used)

Bad Item Data - the matched item is missing required information and will need to be corrected before the item can be processed and imported which can be corrected by searching N2F Database

Bad Input Data - the input data from the uploaded file is invalid and will need to be corrected on the file and re-imported to match this item via N2F Database Search

Not Match - no item was found that matches the imported information so searching the N2F Database fora Branded or Generic item is best, if an item is not found searching N2F then adding it manually would be vital.

To correct any errors, select the blue text under N2F Item Name Tab. An N2F pop-out will appear with items that are similar to the Brand, Manufacture Product ID, or GTIN. Review the list and select the item that matches. You also have the ability to search for Branded or Generic items. If you are not able to match the item from both you can add the item manually. 

Review the completed upload summary and ensure all expected Items were Added or Updated. This process will be repeated for all Vendor Item Lists for all Vendors. This process will also be repeated each year or when new items are ordered. If a single new item is ordered, it is unnecessary to go through the import process. Rather, users can add a single item via GDSN search. For more detailed instructions please visit this link - Vendor Item Upload 


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