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Importing an existing inventory spreadsheet

This article covers how to format your spreadsheet and import items into Backbar.

When getting started with Backbar, importing an existing inventory spreadsheet is the easiest way to get your items into the system. The import wizard leads you through a series of steps to get your items and information correctly into Backbar.

Step 1 is to first setup your inventory locations. If you have counts for different locations on your existing spreadsheet, you should make sure there is an associated location in Backbar created for each one.

Import Wizard Step 1

The next step is to upload your spreadsheet. However, before doing so, please be sure the file meets these requirements:

  • The spreadsheet is in Excel XLSX format
  • All data is in the first worksheet
  • The first row of the file must contain your column headers
  • Data does not include merged cells
Import Wizard Step 2

The following data can be imported into Backbar from a spreadsheet:

  • Name*: the name of the product (required field)
  • Bin: used for storing/locating the item
  • SKU: item identifier for ordering
  • Par: inventory quantity needed on-hand
  • Cost: cost per unit
  • Units per case: number of units that come in a case
  • Quantity (in each location): the last counted quantity of the item

If you count inventory in multiple areas or storage locations (and then add columns together to get a total), include each individual location in your spreadsheet. You do not need to map the total quantity column as that will not be imported (it is calculated automatically by adding up your individual locations). If you do not record inventory counts by separate locations and only have one column for the inventory quantity, then you will map that as your only quantity column.

Below is an example of a spreadsheet with the appropriate fields. Click here to download a template XLSX file to use.

Example Spreadsheet

The next step after uploading your file is to map each of your column names to what they are called in Backbar. On the left side, select your column name from the drop down menus that match the Backbar name. If you don't have a column for a specific field (for example, if your spreadsheet does not include SKU), simply skip selecting anything in the adjacent dropdown menu. On the right side you will see a preview of the data based on the columns you mapped. Verify everything looks correct before proceeding.

Map Columns

The next step is to map each of the wines, beers and spirits in your spreadsheet to the respective drink in the Backbar database. It is very important that you try to find a match for each item so you can automatically segment and drill-down into your reports (for example by drink types and styles) and also so staff can have access to correct tasting notes, images and other information for training purposes.

The original name from your spreadsheet displays on the left side and next to that is the best guess for a match to the item from the Backbar database. If the item should not be imported (for example, if it is not a product), then click the Skip button. If the Backbar Name column shows a match to your item, click the Accept button. Otherwise if it is not a match or no suggestion is shown, click the Find Match button to find the match for your item.

The below image shows an example listing beers and the buttons we would click for each row:

Match Products Example

We are skipping the rows "Canned Beer" and "Keg Beer" because those aren't actually products. They were used as category names on the spreadsheet for organization. There are four products we can accept right away because the Backbar Name matches the product we intended.

There are two items in our spreadsheet however we need to click Find Match for. They both represent a different outcome so we'll walk through each of them. First, let's look at the item that in the spreadsheet is called yuengling Btle. Once we click Find Match we are shown a search box.

Match Products Find Match No Results

In this case it says that no results were found. The first thing to do is to try to change the search term to find the item. It is often best to just start deleting from the end of the search term, especially if it contains words or abbreviations that are not really part of the product name. In this case, we should delete off Btle in the search box. Our search will then look like this:

Match Products Find Match Results

Now we have some valid matches. Click on the specific Yuengling beer that you have and it will then be accepted as a match.

Now let's look at the second item we need to find a match for called Jailbreak Poor Righteous. When we click Find Match again it will show no results. In this case, Poor Righteous is the name of the beer from Jailbreak Brewing Company. We can delete the name and just search for Jailbreak, but as the screenshot below shows we don't find a result for the beer we need.

Match Products Find Match No Results Add New

Since the beer is not already in the Backbar database, you need to add it manually by clicking on the Add New Item button. Four new fields will appear for you to put in the:

  • name
  • vintage (if applicable)
  • drink type
  • style

Be sure for the Name field, you enter in the full official name for the product, with no shorthand.

When you add a new product that is not in our database, Backbar reviews the item and adds all the additional product information for it (such as the tasting notes, image, ABV, producer information, etc...). For that reason it is important that you give the full name of the product so that we know what it is to find the product information.

Items that are not wines, beers or spirits

The Backbar database only contains packaged alcohol products. If you have items on your inventory spreadsheet that are not packaged alcohol, you will not find any valid matches or search results. Some examples are:

  • Soft drinks
  • Mixers
  • Juices
  • Supplies
  • Food
  • Cooking wine

You need to add these items manually by doing the following:

  1. Click on Find Match
  2. Click on Add New Item
  3. Select the Type of Other Item
  4. Select a Subtype
  5. Click on Add
Match Products Find Match Other Item

One you are done skipping items and accepting a match for each item, you can click the blue Finish button. All of your items will then be imported along with the associated data from your spreadsheet that you mapped.

Important notes and tips

You don't need to complete the whole process in one sitting

If you have a very large spreadsheet, it can take a long time to find matches and add everything. Don't worry about having to complete everything in one session. Your matches are saved locally on your computer. So if you need to stop and come back to it later, your progress will be saved. You do not need to stay signed in or even leave the website open in your web browser. Next time you login and return to the Import Wizard, you will be right where you left off.

Skipped Items

If you accidentally skip an item, you can restore it back to find a match by click on the undo icon next to it in the skipped items list.

Some items may appear skipped automatically and without an undo icon. That means the item does not have valid data and cannot be imported.

When you click finish, any items that do not have an accepted match will be skipped automatically.

Navigation and Starting Over

If you made a mistake in mapping your fields or forgot to add a location in Backbar to match your spreadsheet, you can click the Previous button to go back and make changes.

If you have to change or add data on your spreadsheet after already accepting items, it is best to click the Start Over button. Note, this will erase any accepted items and skipped items you have made and start you from scratch.