Obtaining Catalog Items From Vendors

Both CounterPoint SQL 8.3.X and Version 7.5.X have a "Data Interchange" option that allows importing of external data.  CP SQL also allows for creating scripts that "bulk insert" data from a pre-determined file source.

Whether you are looking to create new item and vendor item data on a new system, or appending to what you already have, here are some pointers on what to ask a vendor for.

Most larger vendors can now provide you with a complete electronic catalog of all of their items. This may be available in a number of formats, but what is preferred is one (or more) of the following:

  • An Excel Spreadsheet

  • An ASCII CSV file with variable length fields (item description, category names, etc.)  in double-quotes.

  • A Tab Delimited file.

This type of data may be available on media, as an email, or possibly as a download from a vendors site.

Typical types of data that are required for a proper data conversion or data update would be:

  • Item Number – (your item actual alpha-numeric value). If you don’t have this, it can be auto-assigned, or it can be the vendors Item Number.

  • Vendor Item Number – (Vendor item number that references to your item – i.e. their catalog item number).

  • Barcode – (UPC number).  Several other barcode types are supported.  

  • Short Description – (Abbreviated description).  

  • Long Description – ( what you would normal want to see on sales receipts and display in the item look-up windows).

  • Additional Description – (Things such as the scientific name of a plant or flower, dimensions, catalog reference number, etc.). 

  • Item Category

  • Item Sub-Category

  • Cost – (Your cost from the vendor)

  • Retail Price-1 – (What you normally sell it for, before any discounts).

  • MSRP – (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price or competitors price).

  • Stocking Unit of Measure – (EACH, POT, LB). 


  • Alternate Unit of Measure – (6PACK, CARTON, CASE, PALLET),

  • Conversion factor for Alternate Unit – (i.e. 24 EACH’s in a CASE).

  • Barcode numbers for Alternate Units – (if applicable).

  • For Gridded Items – (Shoes, Shirts, Pants, etc.), CP SQL supports from 1 – 3 Grid Cells (e.g. Color, Size or Neck Size, Chest, and Sleeve, etc.): Grid Element Value1 – (This is typically a "COLOR" value); Grid Element Value2 (This is typically a "SIZE" value ); Grid Element3 – (This is typically and Style or other dimension).   

We would also need to know the vendor number that you currently use (or want to use) as the Primary Vendor for these items.

CCS has extensive experience with this sort of work.  If you have questions, concerns, or need assistance with this, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

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