As a Co-op administrator, managing your vendor catalogs and contracts is an essential task that ensures your members have access to accurate and up-to-date product information. In this manual, we will guide you through the process of reviewing and fixing items in the catalog in a step-by-step manner.
The first step in setting up a vendor is to add the vendor's information to your system. This can be done by selecting the Vendor module on the left-hand side.
Click the plus sign button on the bottom right-hand side of your screen and select [Add Vendor].
Enter the vendor’s name (required) and the vendor email, website, and fax # which are optional. Click the [Save and Close] button to save this vendor to your list of vendors.
Repeat for each additional vendor necessary.
Setting up a vendor location is an important aspect of food purchasing for school nutrition programs. A vendor location is a physical address where a vendor stores and distributes products. To set up a location for the vendor select the vendor you are working with then select the [Vendor Location] at the top.
Select the (+) plus sign and enter the location name.
Select [Save & Close], repeat this step for each vendor.
Setup Contracts within Vendors
Once you have set up the vendor, the next step is to create a contract. Provide your inTEAM representative Ciera Johnson email@example.com with the following information to set up contracts.
Vendor (and Location, if applicable)
Upload Catalog & Contract File
After setting up the vendor and contract, the next step is to upload the catalog and contract file. To do this, you need to copy and paste the catalog information into the template used by the upload. There should be one file per vendor and a contract that contains pricing.
The Catalog Template can be found here in the Catalog Template article.
Review and Fix Items via Items
In order to help users quickly and easily identify items in the catalog that require attention, we have implemented a couple of filtering options. One of these options allows users to filter the catalog to only show items with errors, so they can focus their attention on resolving those issues. In addition, users can also filter the catalog by category, enabling them to view only a specific set of items at once. For instance, if a user only wants to see items related to dairy products, they can filter the catalog to show only those items. Moreover, users can also filter the catalog by error type, allowing them to view items that have a particular type of error. With these filtering options, users can quickly and efficiently navigate through the catalog and focus their attention on resolving any errors or issues that may arise.
Match - an exact match from GDSN was found and no further manipulation is needed for this item to be processed and imported.
Duplicate – This item’s Vendor Product ID appears twice in the catalog, which will cause issues when users try to match to this item because the system (and possibly the vendor) won’t know which item is being referred to. This may highlight an incorrectly entered value for one of the products or it may indicate an out-of-date item and one should be removed.
Bad Item Data - This process verifies the existence of calories, sodium, and saturated fat in the matched item. If any of these components are missing, they need to be addressed by conducting a search in the N2F Database before the item can be successfully processed and imported.
Discontinued Item - Refers to an item that has been removed or is no longer available for selection.
No GPC Classification - When the GPC classification is absent from the catalog item record, it generates an error. To rectify this, performing a search and writing the value during that process typically resolves the issue.
No Match - No item was found matching the imported information and searching the N2F Database for a Branded or Generic item is needed. If an item is not found searching N2F then adding it manually is required.
Manual Item - The item was created manually (this requires manual data entry for this item and no data from GDSN will be used).
The Search N2F Database feature allows users to initiate a search within the database. This feature can be utilized not only to search for items within the database but also to replace incorrectly matched items or fix items that have been discontinued. With the search, users can easily navigate through the database to find the exact item they need, using various search parameters and filters.
To add an item to the N2F database, you have three options. The first step is to select the type of item you want to add. Next, you can search for the item using the "Smart Search" feature or by entering a keyword in the standard search field. If you are unable to find the item through these methods, you can manually add it to the database.
Users 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. If you do not see a Branded item that matches, change the Type of Item to “Generic” and press [Smart Search] again.
You can also search for items using the search box, Enter Brand Name, Item name, Mfr Product ID, GTIN. The ability to sort the table by each column. Scroll through list until you see a match, verify Item Name, Pack Size, Net Weight, and other fields to find specific item.
With Generic items, to find process is a bit different. Generic items can be attached to multiple items depending on how the item is prepared. For example, you would purchase a whole apple, and the apple can be served whole. Sliced, puree, etc.
1. Find for correct “As Purchased” item
2. Select all “As Served” options to make these available to members for menu planning purposes
• Specific serving size, prep style, processed produce, etc.
• Accurate nutrients, meal credits, & servings per pound
• Individual wrapped/portion control items should match to a specific serving size
3. Enter the correct Net Weight for the pack to ensure proper forecasting.
Add Item Manually
When it comes to adding information for manual items, the process is similar to what you may have done in the past. While catalog data can automatically add some information, such as product name and description, you will need to source additional details, such as nutrient information, from the manufacturer or vendor. It is important to note that there are minimum required fields that must be completed, and any errors will be trapped.
Bad Item Data
To address "Bad Item Data" errors, you can access the Catalog Item and its associated N2F Items to view and edit the relevant information. By doing so, you can correct any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in the data, which will ensure that your system functions smoothly and efficiently. You can easily make these adjustments by editing its fields as necessary. This process is essential for maintaining the integrity of your data and ensuring that your system operates at its best.
The Catalog Item information page showcases the data provided by the vendor, while N2F offers information about the item sourced directly from the manufacturer.
There may be multiple pricing options available on the Contract Pricing tab. When setting up the Vendor, members have the option to select one or more contracts. It's important to keep in mind that prices are subject to change on a daily basis.
On the Associated N2F Items tab, users have the option to view and edit matched items, which is particularly helpful in the case of Generic items where multiple matches are allowed. The primary item is visible on list pages, but it can be changed at any time. In the event that you've matched an incorrect item, you can simply press "Unmatch" to remove it from the list. If you need to make changes or updates to an item, simply press "Edit" to view and edit its details.
When you add or enhance Associated N2F Items, it results in updates being pushed to the members. These updates are essential as they ensure that the members have access to accurate and up-to-date information regarding the catalog items. Therefore, it is important to regularly review and update the Associated N2F Items to maintain the integrity of the catalog data.
It’s best practice to when editing an item in the N2F Database, that minimally required fields will be highlighted if left blank. It's highly recommended to review all tabs to ensure all necessary data has been filled in. While critical data from the manufacturer is read-only, users can add missing data as needed. Any changes made by the co-op to this information will be pushed to members just like other updates from the manufacturer.
It's worth noting that editing an item in the N2F Database means that the co-op becomes the "source" for the member item. Therefore, any changes made by the manufacturer must be accepted by the co-op before being pushed to the member.
After reviewing the completed upload summary, please ensure that all expected items have been added or updated. This process will be repeated for all vendor item lists from various vendors. When you are ready to grant access to members, select "Visible to Members" on the Vendor Info Tab. This action will make the vendor, its contracts, and catalogs visible to members in your district.