Part 1 - Getting Started, Setting Up Item Database, Reviewing Data Quality, & Exporting Data

What product is this article for? 

YesGDSN Connect

GDSN Connect providers users with access to product specs from GDSN and the ability to export that data electronically into their back of house software applications 

Getting Setup & Adding Items 

GDSN Connect has multiple methods in which you can setup your Item Database and add new items. 

Initial Setup

  • Software Item Upload - Preferred approach for the initial setup to sync records from your existing back of the house software using the Software Item Upload process. 
  • Vendor Item Upload - Preferred approach for the initial setup of a district that has not records in your existing back of the house software using the Vendor Item Upload.  This will allow you to setup your database and automatically match items using vendor reports that contain GTINs.  This can also be used prior to the initial Software item Upload process to quickly setup vendors with products that have GTINs. This will to be repeated for each vendor.

Adding Items After Initial Setup

Import Items from BOH Software

This is the preferred way to get started because it will create a mirror copy of all the items used within a district's existing back of house (BOH) system and then enhance them with data from the manufacturer via GDSN.  

Detailed instructions for this can be found at the following article: Software Item Upload

Upload Items from Vendor Report

To quickly setup from scratch, you can upload one or more reports from each vendor to setup all the items on that report in local item database. These reports are typically easy to get from each of your distributors, and if they contain GTINs or UPCs, it makes the matching process completely automatic. 

Brief instructions are show below, with more detailed instructions available in this article: Vendor Item Upload

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. 

Search the Nourish to Flourish Database (N2F)

Searching N2F Database is like “Shopping” for items from all manufacturers, and is useful for finding new items and adding them one at a time to your database. 

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. 



Search a Vendor Catalog

For members of a co-op or for users who have uploaded their own catalog or order guide from a vendor,  you can search that catalog and add items to your local database. 

To view contracted items, start by selecting the 

  1. Vendors Module on the left-hand side 
  2. Vendor
  3. Items Tab
  4. Press [+] and then Search Catalog

Within the Catalog, Catalog Items are grouped and matched by the GPC Classification to help organize 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. 



Data Quality Checks

The Data Quality Checks section highlights items that may have some issues with various aspects of the data and allows a user to easily review and address those issues.  After adding items to your local database, we recommend reviewing and addressing these issues prior to exporting them to your other software.  

Please refer to this article for detailed instructions: Data Quality Checks

Product Updates

The Product Updates section shows items in which the manufacturer has updated the specifications.  You must review these updates and accept (or reject) them before they will updated within your system.  

Please refer to this article for detailed instructions: Product Updates

Exporting Enhanced Data into BOH Software

Once the data has been updated, it can be exported from GDSN Connect and imported into your back of house (BOH) software application.  Instructions will vary based on which software system is being used.  

Please refer to this article for detailed instructions: Data Export

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