Importing a Vendor Catalog File into The Uniform Solution

Step 1Adding The Uniform Solution Catalog Icon to your Desktop

You need to add an icon to your desktop to The Uniform Solution Catalog. Currently, the catalog version is the old TPS version, which is located on the PowerEdge110 in the Catalogs > USWm folder. Copy and paste a shortcut to the USW.exe on your desktop, then create an INI file within the USWm folder for this shortcut to work from. The easiest way to create an INI file is to copy one of the INI files that are currently in the list and rename the INI file to your name.  After you have created your INI file, add to the target string on the US Vendor Catalog properties screen.  See example below.

Step 2: Downloading and working with the vendor files

All vendor files are saved on the PowerEdge110.  Open the Catalog Files folder and located the current folder labeled with the current year.  When you open this folder, you will see all the Vendor folders.  See example below.

Locate the vendor you’re working with and open.  Inside Main folder, are folders labeled by months.  You will also see an Original folder.  The Original folder is where you will place the original vendor file that’s sent by the vendor.  We do not modify or make any changes to the original vendor file.

Open the Original and create a new folder using the month as the folder name.  Example: 2017 > 4ES > Original > Month and save the original vendor file in this folder.  Copy the folder you just created from the Original folder to the Main Folder. The Main Folder is the folder you will work from.  Examples below of the Original and Main folders.

Original File Location

Main File Location

Vendor Files
Most vendors will send their vendor files as Excel documents.  However, the file must be saved as a .CSV prior to importing into the vendor catalog.  Below is a link to “The Uniform Solution Vendor Catalog Import File Layout” showing the format that the vendor files must be in to import into The Uniform Solution software.

At-this-time, we only use columns A through M when importing the catalog.  If the vendor wants to enter information in the other columns they can but only columns A through M will be imported into the vendor catalog.

Reviewing the Vendor File and Preparing the File to Import into The Uniform Solution Software
Open the vendors Excel file and remove any headers or extra sheets and review the columns to ensure they are in the correct format. If columns are not in the correct format the file will not import or the information could be in the wrong columns when you import the file into the catalog.  Also, make sure no dollar signs are in the cost or retail fields.  If dollar signs are included in these fields the cost or retail will not copy into the catalog and the cost and retail fields will be blank in the vendor catalog.

After you have reviewed and have made any changes (if necessary) to the vendor file you need to save the vendor file as an Excel file first using the Vendor’s Code and date as the file name.  Example: CHE 12-08-17.xlsx.  After you have saved the vendor file as an Excel document the file will then need to be saved as a .CSV using the same naming sequence as you used when you saved the file as an Excel document.

Step 3: Importing a Vendor File into the catalog

Open the Catalog program and elete all the items listed in the current vendor catalog before importing the new vendor file. To delete the inventory for the vendor, right-click on the vendor and select “Delete Vendor’s Inventory Items”.

To import the vendor file, right click on the vendor and select “Import Inventory List for Vendor” and follow the prompts.

The “Please Select the File to Import to (vendor name)” screen appears.  Navigate to the vendor file on the PowerEdge110 and import the vendor file into this screen.   The “Please Select the File to Import” screen has a Preview button to view the files prior to importing. If the information looks okay, press the Stop button click OK and start the import process then follow the prompts.

The “Ready to Import?”

During the import process discrepancies could be found and if this happens, all discrepancies must be cleared before you can complete the import process. A screen will appear if values not matching the catalog are found and list all discrepancies found during the import process. The “Values Not Matching Catalog Standards (importing – Vendor Code)” opens when the import process finds discrepancies.  This screen has three tabs (Sizes, Colors and Descriptions) you must review all the tabs, and clear all discrepancies to proceed.


Sizes Tab:  Sizes for the vendor catalog are, located in the Size Standards list for the vendor catalog.  At times, vendors will add new sizes and when they do, you will need to add these sizes to the Size Standards list. The screen shot below shows a new size has been found.

To check to see if this size is already listed in the Standards, type the size into the Standard Size field.  If this size does not show in the screen, then the size will need to be added to Standards List.

To add sizes to the Size Standards, you can either write down the size that needs to be entered or make a screen shot if multiple sizes need to be entered.  Cancel out of the “Values Not Matching Catalog Standards (importing – vendor name)” to return to the Catalog List.

Click on the Standards button to open the Catalog Standards List. At the top of the list are tabs for Codes, Colors, Departments, Descriptions and Sizes. Click on the Sizes tab to bring to the forefront. In the Size field at the bottom of the screen, type in the size and press tab or enter.  If the size is not listed, you will need to setup the new size and you will need to also assign a Sort order to the size.  To add the size, click on the Sizes button on the bottom of the screen or right click in a blank area on the screen and select New Size. Enter the size in the Size field and add the Sort order in the Sort Order field.

Sort Order – You can view the Sort orders on the size screen.  It’s important to take time to view the sort order so that the sizes are listed in the correct order.

Click OK to save the size.

After you have entered the new size or sizes and set the sort order, you must re-run the “Import Inventory List for Vendor”.  Follow the steps listed in Step 3: Importing a vendor file into the catalog.  When you get to the size screen, type the new size in the Standard Size field then select the size in the list and click OK to clear the size discrepancies.

Colors Tab: Click on the Color tab to bring to the forefront.  If you have colors listed in the “Values Not Matching Catalog Standards” screen you will need to add the color(s) to the Color Standards in the catalog. To do this, you must first select all the colors in the list.  You can do this, one of two ways.  You can click on each color to highlight or you can use the spacer bar and the down arrow to highlight all the colors in the list. After you have highlighted all the colors press the Fast Add button to add the colors to the Color Standards.

Descriptions Tab: Click on the Descriptions Tab to bring to the forefront. To add the description to the Description Standards or to pull up a description matching this description in the list, start typing the description name in the Standard Desc: field, if the description already exists the description will appear in the Standard Desc: field.

If the description is new, you will need to add the description.  Type the new description in the Standard Desc: field, click on the description in the list to highlight and click the OK button.  The “Inventory Description Not Found” screen will open asking if you want to setup this description; click YES.

Enter the description and click OK to save.

Click on the description in the description list to highlight then click the Assign button or Ctrl+A to add the description to the standards.

Once you have cleared all the discrepancies on the Sizes, Colors and Description tabs, press OK and the “Ready to Import?” screen appears click YES and follow the prompts.

The “Catalog Import Results” screen appears providing you with information on what items were added, duplicate items and items with duplicate UPC’s (if any).

Click OK to return and a .TXT document will appear if the import found Duplicate Items, Invalid Sizes or Duplicate UPC’s.  We normally disregard the duplicate items and invalid sizes because these types of discrepancies do not impact the import process.  The vendor could have accidentally listed the item twice in the file. If this is the case, the item will only be imported once. The listing of invalid size is because the vendor has listed item such as a cap or medical instrument that does not have a size.

However, if you find Duplicate UPC’s in the .TXT file that is generated then you must provide this to the vendor to fix before going forward with importing the file.

Step 4: Copying the Vendor Catalog to your Inventory to Test and Provide the Vendor with the PDF Files.

Open the Catalog, tag the vendor by clicking on vendor’s name, then click on F2-Copy/Sync. Copy the vendor catalog to inventory and create the PDF documents for each screen that appears.  The number of PDF documents created is determined by the number of screens that appear during the copying process. If the vendor is new to the catalog only one PDF document will be created. When you press the Print List button keep the default name for the document but add the Vendor Code in front of the name. Example: CHE Price Changes.pdf, or CHE MisMatch.pdf.   When you get to the discontinue and new screens, you will name with Example: CHE NEW and CHE DISC.

All vendors must approve their vendor files before posting.  The PDF documents that you create are the documents that you email to the vendors.  Once the vendor has reviewed they will send an email advising approval to post the new vendor file.  Do not post without approval from the vendor(s).

Step 5: Posting the Vendor Catalogs to the FTP site.

Upon approval from the vendor(s) you’ll create and post the vendor file to The Uniform Solution FTP site. On the Catalog List, open the vendor (i.e., edit vendor), go to the catalog tab, update the “Last Updated” field to today’s date. If there is a password on the vendor catalog, make sure the catalog has been locked (Shift + F9 to put padlock the catalog and enter the vendor password.) This can be found in the Reg Mgr. under the Vendor tab). Next, right click on the vendor you’re going to post and left click on “Save Current Vendor to Single File Download.”

The “Create New Catalog File and Status File?” screen appears. Click YES to start zipping up the file that is posted on The Uniform Solution FTP site.  When the process is complete, the “Catalog File(s) Complete” screen appears. Click OK.

Left click on the F10-Updates button and click on “Post Vendor’s File to Website.”

The “FTP File Transfer Status (Passive Mode)” screen appears and starts transferring the file to the FTP site.

When the file has been posted to the FTP site, the “Catalog Website Updated for Vendor” screen appears. Click OK.

Next, you want to verify that the file was posted.  Left click on the F10-Updates button and select “Verify All Catalog Update Files on Website”.

The “FTP File Transfer Status (Passive Mode)” screen appears and starts checking the FTP site for all vendor files.

When the verification has been completed, the “Website Verified” screen appears, and the message advises all files were found.  Click OK

Step 5: Verifying the Vendor Download.

Close the catalog version of the software and open the US+ program and download the newly posted vendor update to ensure that the file downloads correctly.  After you download, copy the vendors changes to inventory to ensure that the vendor catalog copies to the inventory correctly.

Once the catalog has been posted, send the vendor an email advising that the catalog has been posted.

Step 6: Removing the Old Vendor Files from the FTP Site.

The final step in the catalog update process is to remove the old vendor files from the FTP site. To do this, setup The Uniform Solutions FTP in your FTP program.  Eddie can provide you with the password to logon to the FTP site.

Once connected to The Uniform Solution FTP, click on the Catalogi folder to open and remove the old catalog files being careful not to remove the wrong file.

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