Tips for getting vendor pricing:
The first step is to provide the vendor with a copy of the "Discount and Net Price File Format" which can be found in the Help Menu. Once the vendor e-mails back a price file, open it up and look at it. When viewed in Notepad, it should look similar to: 98001000114C 3744.753.
If it does, create a folder named Price files with sub-folders for each vendor, and save it to that vendor’s folder. Then load the pricing. This is where it gets tricky. Pick the vendor you buy most of your product from and verify the 11-digit UPC number they are providing pricing for on commodities, PVC, Wire, Conduit.
For example “WIRE THHN-12-BLK-19STR-CU-500S /R” IS UPC Number 98010022900. Then set up quick codes for those items.
Once that is done set up a template P/O for those items. Then click the Analyze button. On the Comparative Pricing Analysis screen make sure you have checked the following boxes: Match Equivalent Items, Display Detail, Show Unit Prices, Preferred Only, and Column 3. Make sure in the Vendor Maintenance screen that you have selected "Preferred", and allow in Low Price Column. Print the analysis. If one of your vendors has not provided a discounted price it will show End/Book or Column 3 pricing with an asterisk next to it. Then you can go back to the Template, at the bottom of the screen you will see a button labeled (Review), click on it and it will show you the associated UPC number for each item.
Alternatively, you can right click on any item and select Show DB Item to see the UPC number. You can then show your vendor the UPC number they need to include in their price file. If you want to take it to the next level you can create a template including all the items in your estimating system, or about 5,000 of the most common items used and go through the same process. At the same time you can set up quick codes and cost codes.
I have a couple of vendors that have the pricing procedure figured out and they provide a weekly update via e-mail on all items in there inventory. This includes commodities like Copper Wire, EMT, Rigid Conduit, IMC and PVC Conduit as well basic materials like Boxes, Fittings etc. Their invoices match our purchase orders 99% of the time. Needless to say they get the bulk of our daily orders.
There are a couple of other vendors that have a difficult time providing commodity pricing, but no problem with items such as Boxes Fittings. However, since the bulk of the dollars on a given order relate to the commodities, their incomplete price files limit the orders they get. There has been talk in the past of enhancing Apex so that it loads vendor pricing in an Excel format. This would make it much easier for us to help the vendor create a price file for commodities, or we could even create the file for them and they can just fill in the prices.