Q: How can I work with items that are not in the Trade Service database, including having them priced?
The best way to handle custom items is to add them yourself to your dbItem data. You can do this in Apex through dbItem Maintenance or by entering them into a spreadsheet and importing them using the Apex import utility.
The key thing is to assign 11 digit UPC codes to the items yourself starting with "999999" followed by a five digit Item number of your choosing. The first six digits of the UPC number identify the manufacturer which you are setting to “999999”. There is no manufacturer 999999 so this will ensure that Trade Service will not overwrite your custom items in the future.
You may also consider using the pattern that is used by Trade Service for item descriptions so that your items fit into the same scheme. Trade Service uses the first word of the description as a manufacturer abbreviation (e.g. “STL-CTY”), the next word as the catalog number, and the remainder of the description to describe the item. All data is in uppercase. If you follow this pattern then Apex will automatically pick up your second word as the catalog number which you can use for searches and P/O line entry.
Lastly, you may want to use commodity code “9999” for your custom items so that you can find them easily.
Obviously your vendors will not know the UPC codes for your custom items so you will need to prepare a file that they can use to enter prices and send back to you. In Apex 9 there are a number of ways to do this:
- If you used a spreadsheet to enter the items initially you can just send them that spreadsheet.
- You can put the items into a “Template” P/O and have Apex export the P/O lines.
- You can put the items into your Quick Code list and have Apex export your Quick Code list.
Remember that in P/O Maintenance you can search for your custom items via the 9999 commodity code and very quickly add them to a template P/O or to your Quick Code list right from the search screen.
Once the vendors send back the files you can simply import them into Apex using the Price File Load selection.